Canterbury voters to consider budget increase
Funding for bridge work isn’t limited to the Boscawen-Canterbury Bridge in the warrant. Voters are being asked to approve $180,000 for the replacement of three bridges, one each on Clough Pond Road, Randall Road and Clough Tavern Road. To fund the work, the town will seek the issuance of up to $180,000 in bond notes.
The amount may change at Town Meeting, said Selectmen Chairman Robert Steenson, because the scope of the work may be broader than initially expected.
Though voters will be asked to approve $175,000 for the removal of the Boscawen-Canterbury Bridge, $160,000 will be reimbursed by the state Department of Transportation. As it has in years past, the selectmen have proposed transferring $59,800 from its unreserved fund balance to pay toward the principal and interest on the Gold Star Sod Farm.
∎ Budget: In all, the operating budget presented to voters is $2,523,268. The proposal is an increase of $113,767 – or 2.2 percent – over the current budget.
The budget proposal puts $14,000 in capital reserves and $17,980 for property revaluations.
∎ Other warrant articles: In addition to the $2.5 million operating budget, voters will be asked to approve $510,595 in warrant articles. If all are approved as presented, the budget would be $3,033,863.
The town’s portion of the tax rate this year is $6.77 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If the budget is passed as presented, budget estimates show the rate increasing to $7 per $1,000 of assessed value. That change is a 3.5 percent increase. “The revenue estimates are just that, estimates. The town tax rate actually gets set in October, fairly late,” Steenson said.
Also of note is the planning board’s recommended changes in the definition of a farmstand in the town’s zoning code. Voters will be asked to approve a new definition that requires 35 percent of sales at the stand to be from products produced on the property.
∎ Contested elections: The only contested election is on the board of selectmen, where incumbent Tyson Miller is being challenged by George Clines for a three-year term.
∎ Voting: Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the town hall on Hackleboro Road.
∎ Town Meeting: March 14 at 7 p.m. at Canterbury Elementary School on Baptist Road.