ROXBURY – Wind power and office terms are expected to generate debates at the annual town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 3, in the new town office.
Usually, the fire department budget sparks the most discussion. However, selectmen’s Chairman Mark Touchette believes Articles 9, 10 and 60 will provoke the lengthiest debates.
Articles 9 and 10 pertain to changing the town clerk and tax collector/treasurer’s terms from one to three years. Article 60, which seeks to amend the land use ordinance by creating a mountain district zone, would allow proposed wind power facilities to blow into town.
“We’re trying to get continuity in the town office so we don’t get change,” Touchette said of Articles 9 and 10 at a board meeting this month.
“I look at it as, it takes that long to learn all they have to do,” Selectman Deborah DeRoche said regarding the jump from a year to three.
Article 60’s change is intended to resolve gray areas of the ordinance and prevent wind energy facilities from being labeled as industrial structures, which are prohibited by the current ordinance.
The new mountain district zone would include all areas of the mountain ridge comprised of portions of Record Hill within Roxbury, Flathead Mountain, Mine Notch, Partridge Peak, and North and South Twin mountains that are located at or above an elevation of 1,500 feet.
Touchette said on Monday afternoon that voting on Article 60 will be done by written ballot rather than a show of hands.
Other new articles include No. 28, which seeks to raise $5,000 toward a townwide revaluation and remapping project; No. 61, which asks voters to adopt a dog ordinance previously OK’d by selectmen; and No. 62, which asks voters to authorize municipal officers to spend an amount not to exceed 3/12 of the budgeted amount in each budget category of the 2009 annual budget from Jan. 1, 2009, to annual town meeting in March.
Regarding the proposed budget of $372,122, $247,222 will be raised from taxes, up $25,479 in taxes from 2007. Should voters OK all money articles, taxes will increase by one mill, or about $27,000.
The municipal budget doesn’t include the town’s share of the SAD 43 and Oxford County budgets. Those are finalized later in the year.
In municipal elections, town clerk Tina Howard is seeking a selectman’s seat. Roxbury hasn’t had a third selectman since August when Alan Hodgkins resigned.
By Terry Karkos
26 February 2008
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