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March 6, 2013

Water issues are on Plaistow ballot

PLAISTOW — Water will be running through the mind of voters Tuesday.

Voters will be voting on a $30,000 feasibility study, which could finally bring a public water supply to town.

“I’m hoping this will pass,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said. “Evaluating the potability of water is a critical public safety issue.”

If it passes, it would be the first feasibility study done for a water system in 40 years.

A separate warrant article asks for $400,000 from three different accounts to extend a water line on Route 125 which feeds sprinkler systems. Officials hope the water line would attract businesses and possibly even provide water to residents.

A public water supply is not the only feasibility study voters are being asked to approve. The town is asking for $25,000 for a study on improvements to the public safety complex.

Voters will decide whether to approve the proposed $7.7 million budget. The budget is about $77,000 less than the default budget.

“The key aspects of this budget are centered around several consolidations, which will save the town $12,000,” Fitzgerald said.

The budget calls for consolidations of the cemetery budget into the highway budget and the animal control budget into the police department’s budget.

Voters also are being asked to raise $80,000 for a new shelter at the Old County Road Recreation facility.

“We spend $5,000 a year renting tents, which we use for shelter now,” Fitzgerald said. “It would be prudent to invest in having a permanent shelter that would allow us to expand programs.”

Last year, voters chose not to spend $150,000 on the same facility.

Voters will be asked to bump the selectmen’s salary from $1,000 to $3,000 a year. It would be the first hike in pay for selectmen since 1970.

Other items on the warrant include $31,500 to replace mobile radios for the police department and $50,000 for a new highway department pick-up truck.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 12 at Pollard Elementary School on Main Street.

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