Tamworth OK residents recycle improvements | Local News
TAMWORTH – Increasing recycling and reducing gerrymandering were topics covered in a tent by 92 town residents at the town’s annual meeting on Saturday afternoon.
Normally, an annual town meeting is held inside KA Brett School in March.
This year due to the pandemic, the town meeting was held outside in a large tent adjacent to the school. Despite being outside, people wore masks. It was a hot, sunny day, but the occasional gusts of wind threatened to blow loose papers at times and succeeded at least once.
There were 31 articles to discuss. All but one were adopted, although some were changed.
Article 9, as originally drafted, provided for raising $ 36,000 for the improvement of transfer stations. Outgoing coach Willie Farnum, who is ending his term, has convinced voters to change the article to say $ 100,000, $ 36,000 from taxes and $ 64,000 from unreserved fund balance.
“The overall project to bring the transfer station up to current standards will cost a considerable sum, and those costs are steadily increasing,” said Farnum, adding that “the current estimate is $ 1.2 million”.
Farnum explained that the transfer station needs a dump facility to recycle goods like paper and plastic. Recycling would reduce the costs of trucking solid waste to landfill. Farnum also said there was no bathroom for transfer station workers and no running water for washing hands.
Maureen Diamond said she agreed the transfer station workers deserved a bathroom.
“Can you imagine not having a bathroom in your workplace?” she asked adding that residents should imagine not being able to wash their hands after picking up their trash and going to the transfer station. “How many times do you want to rinse your hands while doing this?”
One woman, who did not show up, wondered if Tamworth could strike a deal with surrounding towns that have a bailer.
Farnum replied that he had spoken with officials in surrounding towns about a regional recycling effort, but it was going nowhere.
“The general comment I received was, ‘Well I don’t think our citizens would like this,’” Farnum said. “So it’s a shame because we could share an expensive thing.”
Residents also voted in favor of section 14 calling for spending $ 50,000 on parks and recreation, the swimming program and for patriotic purposes.
The rec program has been a hot topic after some shut down the rec program last summer due to COVID-19 and fired embattled rec director Parker Roberts.
Selectman Becky Mason said that between the additional $ 50,000 and $ 50,000 in a “contingency line” in the budget, the city should have enough money to restart a recreation program. Responding to questions from the audience, Mason said it was not clear how quickly they could revive the program.
Selectman Melanie Streeter has confirmed that there will be Independence Day fireworks and that they will take place on Friday July 2.
Residents also wondered when the city office and town hall would reopen. The buildings have been closed to the public due to COVID-19. The clerk conducts curbside business.
Residents Ellen Farnum and Gabby Watson were section 30 petitioners, which called on the New Hampshire legislature to draw political maps without gerrymandering. Farum and Watson both belong to a nonprofit group called Open Democracy, which campaigns against gerrymandering.
Watson said gerrymandering means politicians choose their voters rather than voters who choose their representatives. “Basically you don’t want this shenanigans in our democracy,” Watson said.
Ellen Farnum said on Saturday that 58 of 61 New Hampshire municipalities that voted on an anti-gerrymandering article passed it. The residents agreed and adopted the article.
At the request of fire department grantmaker Zack Remick, Article 11 calling for the collection and allocation of $ 15,000 for gear washing equipment was rejected without an upward or downward vote. the decline. Remick said FEMA rules only allowed the department to apply for one grant at a time, and voters had already approved Section 10, which called for raising $ 220,000 to replace old firefighter packs. . Section 10, which has been slightly amended, provided for deducting $ 20,000 from taxes and $ 200,000 from a grant.
Moderator Chris Canfield, who has been the town’s moderator since 2005, said in his recollection that it was the first time he had seen a town meeting being held outside, and he thinks it happened. very well spent.
During discussion of the final article, which calls for all other matters to come to town, a man shouted that they should meet in a tent like this next year and other residents responded. “Yeah!”
To which Canfield replied, “And we’re going to move it in February!”