Town Times Requester




Board members and fund transfers approved at Durham Town Meeting

Five board members were elected unanimously and without contest at Durham’s Annual Town Meeting on Oct. 7 at the Coginchaug Regional High School’s auditorium. Following the approved agenda and the recommendations of the Board of Finance, residents at the meeting also approved a number of transfers and carry-overs for items such as construction projects and public works vehicles.

All five of the board members elected at the meeting are currently serving in those positions.

Richard Spooner was re-elected to the Compensation Review/Personnel Policy Commission.

Three current members of the Library Board of Trustees — Robert Booz, Mary Ryan, and Lynn Johnson — were elected to new terms serving until 2016. Chair of the library board Jane Eriksen referred to “continuity” while nominating Booz. In nominating Lynn Johnson, Durham Tax Collector Martin French called her “part of the very cohesive group” on the library board.

Peter Cascini, currently serving on the Board of Trustees for the Durham Volunteer Fire Company, was also re-elected to a term ending in 2016.

A unanimous voice vote approved the transfer of $108,788 from the Contingency Fund and the Storm Emergencies lines of the 2012-13 budget to cover overages in other lines. Most of the transfer went to snow removal and clean up from the February blizzard, while much of it went to town engineering, which according to Durham First Selectman Laura Francis was money spent by the town in order to get federal matching funds on road projects,

“This is the time of year where we balance out our budget. We take money from Contingency if we need to ... we did not have to use our whole contingency account this year which [is] very fortunate,” Francis said.

Noting that the Contingency line, budgeted at approximately $121,000, was tapped at the meeting for almost $97,000, Francis said, “When we get our audited report back for the closeout of June 30, we will see a surplus this year.”

Voters also approved the carryover of $168,568 in funds allocated in the 2012-13 budget into the 2013-14 budget. The bulk of that money came from projects on Pent Road, Bear Rock Road, and conservation at White’s Farm, that were not completed at the end of the last fiscal year.

Also in the 2013-14 budget, voters approved the transfer of over $275,000 to go towards the purchase of public works vehicles and town wide radios. The money came from already approved reserve funds, most notably the Highway Equipment Reserve budget line.

The vehicles to be purchased include a loader, a compact wheel loader, and a 1-ton pickup.

Director of Public Works Kurt Bober attended the meeting and described the need for the vehicles, which either replace older models or contracted vehicles.

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