Wood heat, wind energy up for vote

  • A blueberries sign is attached to the bottom of the Boscawen welcome sign near the roundabout on Rt. 4 coming into town. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 3/7/2022 7:12:42 PM
Modified: 3/7/2022 7:12:08 PM

Few to no residents are clamoring to put a wind turbine on their property in Boscawen, but if they do, the structures will likely be remain exempt following Town Meeting voting Tuesday.

Voters will consider articles to make wind-powered or wood-heating energy systems tax exempt. The issues came up because the exemptions need to be renewed every 10 years.

Voters will also be asked to allow the Conservation Commission to buy or sell property outside of the town boundaries. Last year, Boscawen purchased two shorefront parcels of land on Walker Pond totaling 75 acres from the Penacook-Boscawen Water Precinct.

The town of Webster plans to conserve its side of the pond so the area can be accessed by the public, the Boscawen Select Board noted in its annual report.

Residents will be asked to pass the $4.6 million proposed budget, which contains increases to the police and streets departments. The police department has seen increased overtime in the past year as two of seven positions remain vacant. Other increases are due to the rising cost of fuel and utility costs, said new Town Administrator Katherine Phelps.

Voters will also decide whether to spend $10,000 to assess the need for renovations at the old town hall meeting room located in the basement of the Boscawen Congregational Church. The town hall has been closed and is no longer used as a meeting space.

One of the notable changes in town this year is the retirement of former town administrator Alan Hardy, who stepped down at the end of last year. He was replaced by Phelps, who was preciously the town’s finance director.

This year’s annual report contains a one page dedication to Hardy that begins with the date of his birth in 1953 at Concord Hospital and concludes with the news that Hardy will continue working for the town as a part-time building and code inspector. It was written with help from Hardy’s mother Rhoda.

“During his tenure as Town Administrator, he has helped to professionalize the administrative office, by helping to create policies, protocols and procedures,” the report reads. “He is known for his team spirit, his need to explain ‘why’ and willingness to pull people aside to gather their input by saying, ‘You got a minute?’ ”

Phelps said Hardy has been a mentor to her.

“I don’t think he thinks he deserves something like that, but he does,” Phelps said of the dedication. “We want him to know he’s made an impact here.”

Voting will take place at Boscawen Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., followed by the town’s annual meeting.

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