Town News

Stamford Stomp and Slurp Snowshoe Day
Easy snowshoe for beginners and anyone else who would like to join!
Instruction provided
Bring a pair of snowshoes or borrow a pair
Meet at the town library
Saturday, February 3, 1-3 pm
Hot chocolate provided


BUDGET WORK SESSION – Selectboard Meeting Minutes
The Finance Committee had several concerns.  Carl Taylor compared the 2017 budget to the 2016 budget.  If all the anticipated warrants passed at town meeting, the budget would be $123,076 higher than last year’s budget.  Mr. Taylor does not want to be difficult but feels he was appointed to the Finance Committee to review the budget and many people in Stamford could not afford such an increase.  This figure does not even include the school numbers which he hasn’t seen in final form.  Nancy Bushika noted that the raise and appropriate, without warrant articles is only up 1% over last year and the warrant articles are not part of their budget, nor part of their control.  The town decides on the warrant articles.  The first concern was the fire department’s request for $20,000 to re-establish a fire truck replacement fund.  Nancy Bushika noted that the warrant article request was received after the January 18th’s deadline, but she was willing to honor it if the rest of the board approved.  Paul Ethier said they used to reserve funds.  The fire department paid $16,000/year for the fire truck payment so this is only $4,000 higher.  Since the fire department borrowed from the town, the truck payment amount has been around $9,000/year.  The Finance Committee also wanted to discuss Article 12: borrowing $100,000 to repave the school parking lot.  Dave Tatro said the blacktop is in extremely poor condition.  The crew has to be careful plowing because it just crumbles up.  The $100,000 estimate is the most practical and economical repair, and does not address the poor base or drainage issues, which would increase the repair cost well over $300,000.  The Selectboard explained the money would be borrowed over a five year term resulting in a yearly payment of around $24,000.  The Selectboard considered if there were areas in the budget to reduce the raise and appropriate amount in Article 5.  The money to build a dog kennel is new this year.  Luke McKay, the Dog Officer, contacted North Adams who is unable to take dogs across state lines without all their papers, so building a dog kennel in town is necessary.  Other increases are hiring an assessor, employee benefits and raises.  Carl Taylor noted that although one commission member came in asking for a higher stipend, the Selectboard increased the stipend for all commissions, even those that do not meet regularly.  Helen Fields spoke that she supports modest raises for the town employees who all do a great job.  Bill Levine acknowledged that the Selectboard has been very conservative in estimating the revenue this year and we may have a fair fund balance at the end of the year.  Dave Tatro and the Selectboard discussed Article 11.  It was ultimately decided to purchase the Freightliner if the article is approved.