Lyndeborough generous with warrant articles

LYNDEBOROUGH – Voters at Town Meeting added $1,000 to a study of the fire and police stations and indefinitely postponed action on designating French Road as “scenic,” but otherwise accepted everything on the warrant.

The three-hour meeting was held Saturday morning at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School with 112 voters in attendance.

Voters approved an operating budget of $1,076,985. Budget Committee Chairman Burton Reynolds said approving all of the articles on the warrant would not affect the town portion of the tax rate, which last year was $6.53 per $1,000 valuation. The total cost of the warrant articles is $278,500. Reynolds said the selectmen intend to use part of the town’s unexpended funds to keep the tax rate even.

Reynolds also noted the Central School budget was about level, but the co-op school budget was up about 10 percent.

A warrant article was approved for an extra $1,000 to study space needs, buildings and renovations for the town’s fire and police stations.

A ballot vote also approved, 96-16, changing the percentage of the land-use change tax given to the Conservation Commission from 10 percent to 15 percent.

Also, selectmen were given authority to enter into an agreement with AT&T to construct a cellular communications tower on town-owned land near the town barn on Locust Lane. The pole will be 100 feet high and disguised as a pine tree.

Selectman Dwight Sowerby said the town will get about $10,000 per year from the lease. If the agreement had not been approved, that money would have gone to someone else, since a tower has to be constructed. If other companies locate on the pole, the revenue will go up.

An attempt was made to reduce the contribution to the library building fund from $40,000 to $20,000, but the amendment failed.

Library Trustee Sally Curran said the trustees have consulted with several architects and the town building inspector and are sure a two-story addition can be put on the back of the building. It would include a new children’s area, upstairs meeting room, handicapped access and bathrooms. She said firm figures and plans will be available at next year’s Town Meeting. Some work still needs to be done on plans for the septic system and the parking areas.

Voters agreed, on a vote of 67-38, to designate Warner Road as “scenic,” but postponed action on French Road, a Class VI road. Class VI roads are owned by the town but not subject to any repairs or maintenance.

Formation of a Heritage Commission was approved, as were expanded elderly exemptions for real estate taxes.

Contributions were made into various capital reserve funds for highway equipment, fire trucks, police vehicles and the updating of the tax map.

A new four-wheel-drive police vehicle has been purchased, and that fund was discontinued.

At the close of the meeting, resident Bill Stephenson expressed his thanks to the ambulance crew and fire department rescue squad who responded when he discovered his wife had fallen in their barn about 45 minutes earlier and was seriously injured.

“In five minutes I had 28 people in my yard,” he said. “I thank them for saving my wife’s life.”

Jessie Salisbury can be reached at 654-9704 or