Pembroke voters OK clock tower face-liftBy Ryan O'Connor
Sunday News Correspondent
March 15. 2014 9:30PM
PEMBROKE - The historic Suncook Village clock tower is set to receive a long overdue face-lift after voters approved a $40,000 stipend at Pembroke Town Meeting on Saturday.
Voters overwhelmingly passed Article 13, which asked for permission to remove the funds from balance reserve.James Garvin spoke in favor of the article, explaining to the crowd of more than 100 that the request comes on the heels of two failed grant requests to repair and refurbish the aging stricture.
"It's symbolic to the pride of the community," said Garvin, who added that the clock had been donated to the town in 1879. "Ever since then, it's been seen as a symbol of the community. In the 1980s, because we had a period of economic decline, the clock was allowed to stop, the clock tower began to deteriorate and the clock, at that point, began to be looked upon as a symbol of failure, a symbol of decline and loss of purpose and direction for the town of Pembroke and the Village of Suncook."In 2000, Pembroke invested $125,000 to refurbish the clock.
"Since that time, it's been seen as a simple of resurgence and the rejuvenation of Suncook Village," said Garvin, who noted the district has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Town operating budget and additional articles
The lone amendment of financial significance came during discussion of the town's operating budget.
Voters supported an amendment from selectmen to add $7,500 for Pembroke Town Library expenses to the Budget Committee's recommended municipal operating budget of $7,662,394. The amended $7,669,894 budget carried without debate.In addition, residents, by a 108-7 tally, approved a $1.2 million bond for roadwork on several streets abutting Pembroke Hill, including Rowe, Perley and Girard avenues, Chappelle and Elm streets and Grandview Road. The funds to pay off the bond are likely to be generated from the town's paving allocation, and the likely three-year bond won't have a direct tax impact.Similarly, Article 4, which passed 111-4, requested a $300,000 bond for
water line infrastructure improvements on Pembroke Hill and abutting streets, which will be paid by users, not through property tax.All the other warrant articles, including capital reserve requests for two new police cruisers and a plow truck, convincingly carried.