New Ashford voters OK $346K for early work on broadband network installation

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New Ashford voters backed a $346,000 plan for preliminary work to install a broadband network in town during a special meeting Tuesday at Town Hall.

They also approved a 2020 fiscal year budget of $777,808, a 10.6 percent decrease from the current year, largely due to a drop in the cost of school transportation, according to Jason Jayko, chairman of the Select Board.

In doing so, they approved using $9,800 from free cash to replace heaters in the fire station and $2,500 to supplement emergency management grant funds.

But Article 12 fell by a vote of 21-11. It proposed using $10,000 from the cash stabilization account to install a dry fire hydrant to allow the Fire Department to fill the tanker truck. But voters asked for more information and further research to verify that the location is the right one for an operating dry hydrant. Jayko said town officials will conduct further research on the matter.

Voters approved article 14, which alters a zoning bylaw to require any changes in driveway alignment to require a written permit issued by the Planning Board, after review by the Conservation Commission, road superintendent, building inspector and tree warden. The change is an update to make the outdated bylaw consistent with other town regulations.

Articles 15 and 16, to change the tree warden and the fire warden positions from elected to appointed, also were backed by voters.

According to Town Clerk Lori Trottier, 41 voters attended.

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