Rochester Fall Town Meeting preview
Rochester — The Rochester Board of Selectmen signed and approved the Fall Town Meeting agenda at Monday night’s meeting.
The Fall Town Meeting, scheduled for Oct. 17, consists of eight articles, ranging from bylaw codification, a Town Hall Annex study and an air conditioner replacement. The Financial Committee was also present at the meeting, and expressed support for all eight articles except about the Town Hall Annex study.
Air Conditioner Replacement
Residents will get the chance to vote to transfer $27,000 from free cash to install a new air conditioning unit at the police station. The station had repairs over the summer because the system was on the “bridge of collapsing,” the Financial Committee said. Temporary repairs were made, but the unit needs to be replaced before next summer. The board also said that there have already been two bids that came in under the $27,000 budget.
The town is asking voters to approve the transfer of $10,000 from free cash to pay a consultant to codify all of the town’s existing bylaws. Planning Board Chair Arnie Johnson was at the meeting, and expressed his desire to be part of the decision when choosing a consultant to assure it would be done in a way that will make it easy to use.
“We use them the most and if we don’t like how they’re done, we aren’t going to use them,” Johnson said.
The Selectmen agreed that it could be a collaborative effort, and the Financial Committee gave its recommendation for the article.
Town Hall Annex Study
Article four will have residents voting on a transfer of $20,000 for a study of options for a new Town Hall and Town Hall Annex. At a meeting in May, the Rochester Town Hall Annex Committee said they decided that the best option to solve the space and building issues for municipal departments is to build a new town hall on property the town already owns.
The property the committee suggested is on Dexter Lane, between the Senior Center and the Police Department. The tentative estimated cost for the project is $4.9 million, but the committee emphasized that until it gets the $20,000 needed to do the study, it will not be able to give a more accurate estimate.
This article was the only one on the agenda that the Financial Committee did not recommend. Ultimately, it decided not to recommend it, and that members would listen to what the voters had to say at the meeting and then vote individually.