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Barnstead selectmen, budget committee differ on two fronts

The Barnstead Board of Selectmen and budget committee disagree on two articles seeking a combined $75,000.

The selectmen, via a 4-1 majority, recommend buying the property at Route 28 and Oxbow Road, a total of about 15 acres, for $55,000.

Selectmen Vice Chairman David Kerr said the transaction makes sense for three reasons: to build a new facility for the police and fire departments, use the sand and gravel on the property for the highway department, and establish a boat launch at the nearby Suncook River.

The budget committee voted against the article, 4-2.

Also, all five selectmen want to spend $20,000 for in-car cameras for the police cruisers, after the old equipment, outdated by now, was misplaced five or six years ago, Kerr said.

The budget committee doesn’t want to spend the money, voting 4-2 against the measure.

∎ The budget proposal of $3.58 million is down about $75,000, or 2 percent, from last year. The largest increase over last year would be $16,000, or nearly 10 percent, for administrative costs related to highways, streets and bridges. The biggest savings, $50,000, or 35 percent, would come from money spent on government buildings.

Other warrant articles: Officials have decided to seek a three-year lease-purchase agreement for an excavator, with $65,000 earmarked in this budget, which will save money over merely leasing the machine, Kerr said. Also, $52,000 is sought to replace the Peacham Road Bridge, which is on the state’s red Llst, Kerr said.

∎ Town meeting: 9 a.m. Saturday, Barnstead Elementary School

RAY DUCKLER

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