Town boards try _to work together

MERRIMACK – The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday agreed to meet with members of the School Board as a first step toward forming an Affordability Master Plan Committee.

The meeting will take place after Jan. 1. School Board Chairman Ken Coleman presented his proposal, which the School Board endorsed last week. _The idea is for selectmen, School Board members and representatives from other towns and organizations to look for ways to take on joint projects as a way to increase revenue and reduce spending. The idea was a response to tax bills being up an average of 19 percent this year.

A strategic plan drafted by a community’s town government and education departments could be “a first for the state,” added Town Manager Dean Shankle.

Selectmen reject union contract

The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 on Tuesday to reject a contract for a union that covers nonsupervisory public works employees.

The contract, negotiated with AFSCME Local 2986, would have given raises of 3 percent for three years. But Selectmen’s Chairman Dick Hinch said the contract would have asked the town to absorb the entire amount of “skyrocketing” increases in health insurance costs.