The Feb. 5 selectmen’s meeting included a wrap-up of the budget that will be presented at next week’s meeting, which is open to the public. In addition, they discussed a warrant article for repairs to the chapel that will go before the town for approval.
Though a new town administrator has been hired, the person’s name is not yet available. The deputy town clerk’s position is still not filled. Whoever is hired will likely need a lot of schooling.
On Feb. 12, a day after the primary votes were cast, the selectmen met for their regular meeting and the budget hearing. Several residents were in attendance as well as Ardis Yahana representing Children’s Unlimited. The Albany people were Leah Valdaris, Lance Zack, Rob Nadler, Peter Don Konics, Chuck and Ann Merrow and Steve Knox. Chairman Rick Hiland went through the different categories of the budget and took questions from the audience.
Among the topics questioned were the new town administrator’s salary. We did learn who will occupy that position: Kelly Collins, retiring town administrator of Wakefield.
As Albany’s administrator she will be working part-time Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She has knowledge in dealing with welfare issues and that’s helpful. When the treasurer’s portion of the budget came up, Chuck explained how the figures were reached and said Albany would now be earning interest from the bank.
Our legal budgeted amount remains the same. Often the town uses the state’s municipal association for answers to questions thus cutting back on costs. The zoning board is looking to increase the number of meetings and conferences and their budget reflects that.
The conservation commission is also looking for more help especially with their legal needs as they are working on a ground water cleanliness issue for which they are seeking a grant.
There was a small increase in the public safety budget for the sheriff’s patrol and the fire department. Sanitation rose due to costs of solid waste disposal. Under Culture and Recreation, we learned that Albany citizens must stop by the office and get a library voucher in order to use their facilities.
Ardis Yahana explained the budget cost for Children Unlimited reflected the use of a resource center for families in need of assistance. Eight families used the facilities from July 2018 to June 2019.
To date there are three families getting help. When the warrant articles were checked all were voted up by the three selectmen except for No. 24 ($2,000 to support Valley Vision) voted one no and two yes; No. 25 Conway Humane Society ($1000) voted two no and one yes; and No. 26 Tri-County Cap’s Homeless Intervention and Prevention Program ($368) voted two no and one yes.
After the budget hearing, most everyone left. The selectmen continued with their regular meeting, which ended about 7:30 p.m.
Waldorf School: The next session of the winter morning garden: Parent and Child Playgroup starts Friday, Feb. 28. Drop-ins welcome.
Gibson Center: AARP Driver Safety class will be held in March. Sign up early because the price is going up from $20 to $25. Some insurance companies offer discounts to people who take this course. Sign up (call 603-356-3231) for the following trips: On March 13, see The Spirit of Johnny Cash (cost $46), and on March 18, the Russian National Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. The cost is $62.
Library: Monday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. there’s a discussion of the intersection of food, environment and climate change. On March 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., there is U.S. Census Bureau Training.
Condolences to the family and friends of Rosemary Stimes who died recently: siblings James and Mary, son Michael, and life partner Mike Heighe.
It’s cold, there’s snow all around, but yet it’s beautiful outside. Get out and enjoy!
Send your news to Mary Leavitt at (603) 367-9133 or Dorothy Solomon at (603) 447-1199.