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New London voters approve $7.2m operating budget

NEW LONDON — Voters approved a $7.2 million operating budget at Town Meeting Wednesday night, but did not pass a petitioned warrant article.

Failing passage was Article 3, which asked voters to put $25,000 in a previously established Conservation Land Acquisition Capital Reserve Fund.

The petitioned article was not recommended by the selectmen or the budget committee, and that may have been a determining factor in the vote, said Linda Hardy, the town clerk and tax collector.

The general operating budget, including transfers to capital reserves, has increased by a total of $182,065 or 3 percent from fiscal year 2013, town officials said.

That increase, before other major components of the tax rate are figured during the rest of the fiscal year, would add 17 cents to the tax rate for a 4 percent increase.

Voters approved Article 4, which appropriated $10,000 to be turned over to the Kearsarge Regional School District in return for an option to enter into a mutually agreeable long-term lease for the town’s school building.

The option will allow the town the time necessary to explore the advisability of entering into a long-term lease.

Also approved were Article 12, which raised $165,500 — $30,500 for fire apparatus repair, $30,000 replace a town police cruiser, $85,000 to replace a transfer station tractor and $20,000 to replace sewer waste water equipment.

Article 14, which included $175,000 for road and sidewalk improvements, was approved with funding to come from capital reserve accounts.

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