WESTMORELAND — Though it was standing-room only at Wednesday night’s annual town meeting, residents kept conversation brief and voted down only one article on the warrant.
The meeting drew 258 of the town’s 1,284 registered voters to the Westmoreland School, for a turnout of about 20 percent.
The sole article voted down — submitted by petition — asked if the town should purchase a $8,650 top-loading container for the disposal of paper products at the Westmoreland Recycling Center. The selectboard recommended this, while the budget committee did not.
A previously formed committee is reviewing if there are more cost-efficient recycling options for the town, rather than running its own center, according to selectmen.
With this in mind, the budget committee and many voters at Wednesday’s meeting said it would make more sense to hold off on the equipment purchase.
“We didn’t think it was time to spend money on equipment before we decide what we want to do,” said Richard Paul, a committee member.
The article failed by a 68-52 hand count.
Also on Wednesday, voters approved raising $2,019,000 to install a fiber-optic broadband network throughout the town, with $1,219,000 of the cost to be financed through bond issues. The remaining $800,000 will be donated by provider Consolidated Communications.
The article passed 252-6 by written ballot, with no discussion.
Other articles that won voters’ approval included the town’s $1,226,732 operating budget and a request to purchase an election ballot counter for $3,500, which will come from unassigned funds.
Articles allocating funding to the town’s bridge reconstruction capital reserve fund ($20,000), highway equipment capital reserve fund ($23,625), fire equipment capital reserve fund ($22,400) and fire department capital reserve fund ($20,000) all got the green light.