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Derry council cuts money to fix cemetery roads

Union Leader Correspondent

April 08. 2014 7:54PM

DERRY — Town Councilors are taking a methodical approach as they begin reviewing the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget.

In the first scheduled budget workshop on Monday night, the council met for three hours and cut approximately $55,000 from the proposed budget of $36,989,488.

The cuts primarily involved the Cemetery and Buildings and Maintenance departments, two divisions of the Department of Public Works.

Councilors agreed to nix a $25,000 proposal to pave roads at Forest Hill Cemetery and also cut a $15,000 plan to replace the carpet in the council chamber.

Introducing the cemetery item, Public Works Director Michael Fowler said the department wanted to address some roads that are beginning to show signs of deterioration and develop ruts.

As with the town’s ongoing road maintenance program, Fowler said it would be a good idea to spend money now to maintain the roads instead of waiting until more damage has occurred and repairs will be much costlier.

“There are some roads that are starting to really get into rough shape there that we would like to get ahead of,” Fowler said.

Council Chairman Mark Osborne said he has frequently walked the cemetery in the summer and doesn’t see the roads being heavily traveled. He also said they don’t appear to be in that bad of shape.

“I don’t see the roads falling apart,” Osborne said.

Fowler said the roads in the cemetery were last fixed about six or seven years ago, when the town spent about $25,000 on repairs.

The town is responsible for keeping the roads open in the winter and any ruts that develop could complicate plowing efforts.

“We believe that this is a necessary improvement at this time to keep the roads in good shape at the cemetery,” Fowler said.

On a motion by Osborne, the council voted 4-3 to cut the $25,000 item. Councilors Michael Fairbanks, Joshua Bourdon and Phyllis Katsakiores voted against making the cut.

As for the carpeting item, Fowler said the carpeting in the council chamber on the third floor of the Municipal Center was starting to show some signs of wear. The carpet was installed when the facility was built in 2001, Fowler said.

“We are seeking the upgrade because of the wear and tear,” Fowler said.

Katsakiores questioned why the town had to replace the whole carpet and not just repair a section.

“I’m just wondering do we have to replace the whole thing?” she asked.

Councilors later voted, 7-0, to cut the $15,000 item from the proposed budget.

Politics Derry

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