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Selectmen Preview Special Town Meeting Articles

Rochester Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry

Special Town Meeting voters on October 17 will see eight articles featured on the warrant, which the Rochester Board of Selectmen approved on September 19.

Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar gave an informal rundown of all eight of them, starting with Article 1 that appropriates $10,000 from free cash to a bylaw codification project.

Article 2 covers $27,000 for the air conditioning system replacement at the police station, and Article 3 is for the supplemental appropriation for four different projects: The Town Clerk's Office would receive $1,500 for the restoration of books; $4,800 to the Police Department for air conditioning system repairs; $3,100 for a fire protection system; and $17,725 for the insurance budget.

Article 4 would appropriate $20,000 from free cash for the town hall annex study, and Article 5 appropriates $32,000 for the funding and reserve for future contract settlements. Article 6 would transfer $67,000 in free cash to the town's Stabilization Fund.

The sum of the appropriations totals $183,125.

Articles 7 and 8 pertain to the Personnel Bylaw: Article 7 amends language surrounding grievance filings, and Article 8 amends the bylaw's employment probationary period.

A formal presentation of a final draft of the special town meeting warrant will be presented at the next selectmen's meeting.

In other matters, Selectmen Chairman Naida Parker read a letter from the Water Commissioners regarding the town's recent upgrade from a drought watch to the drought warning. The letter served to inform residents who use public water of a mandatory ban on outdoor water use. The letter also urged non-public water users with private wells to observe the same water restriction.

Water Commissioner Fred Underhill, present during the meeting, said, "We're all on the same water aquifer and we're in trouble."

Underhill said that about 40 or 50 years ago, water wells went way down during dry spells and nearly dried up.

"And we don't want that to happen again," Underhill said, "and we would appreciate everybody willing to comply."

Also during the meeting, selectmen approved the transfer of the current liquor license for Lloyd's Market to the new owner.

The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 26 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

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