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Fate of building and budgets to be decided in Pembroke

Pembroke voters at the upcoming Town Meeting will hear the report on the town’s Union Street Property approved last year, and ultimately determine the fate of the town’s ownership of the buildings.

The study, approved at the 2012 Town Meeting, established a committee to “study the viability of retaining 4 and 6 Union Street as Town property or transferring it to private ownership.” The town currently owns the Union Street property, and leases it out as a revenue generator.

“Last year, the discussion was that we look at it and make sure that it was actually making money and not losing money,” said Town Administrator David Jodoin. “This year, they’ll open it up for discussion, and they can vote to determine what they want to do. Somebody could vote to keep it, somebody could vote to sell it.”

The report, which is available on the town website, recommends that the property remain in town ownership, with its use undergoing periodic re-evaluation.

Based on concerns raised by CIP Committee Chairman Gerry Fleury to the selectmen and Budget Committee, the warrant will establish a committee that will “go through the current process and study it, see what’s working and not working and try to come up with recommendations,” according to Jodoin.

Specifically, the committee will examine billing and collection procedures, overall operations and repairs. The study will also include recommendations on whether the town should abolish the Sewer Commission by rescinding the 1971 vote which established it. That report will be set to be presented at the 2014 Pembroke Town Meeting.

Several warrants place money into capital reserve funds, totaling at $555,000, with $200,000 of that going into a town equipment fund, and $175,000 going into a fire equipment fund. Articles to withdraw existing money from these funds are also on the ballot, including $1,113,034 withdrawal to replace and refurbish a 1979 aerial truck, taking the funds from the Fire Major Equipment Fund.

“Those are pretty much status quo articles. Those show up pretty much every year,” said Jodoin. “They have a very good savings plan here for capital expenditures.”

The Budget Committee’s proposed budget for the town is $7,681,715, which the selectmen agree with. On the school side, the School Board is recommending a $25,635,011 budget, while the budget committee’s falls at $25,166,336.

The estimated tax rate on the school side is $17.71 or $16.96 per $1,000 for the School Board and Budget Committee’s plans respectively. For a $250,000 home, this equates to $4,427.50 or $4,240. On the town side, the tax rate is estimated at $6.30 per $1,000, or $1,575 for a $250,000 home.

The Pembroke School District Meeting will take place Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m., in the Pembroke Academy auditorium.

The town elections will be held Tuesday, March 12, at Three Rivers School, with the polls open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The Town Meeting will take place Saturday, March 16, at 10 a.m. in the Pembroke Academy auditorium.

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