ANDOVER — Paving, building construction and tree removal projects are among items approved at the annual town meeting Saturday.
A total of $689,115 was approved for construction and paving sections of East Andover, Wyman Hill and South Arm roads. The money will be borrowed from the COMSAT Trust Fund at 2% interest. The fund was established in 1984 with money from a tax settlement from the satellite Earth Station built by AT&T in 1961. As of June 2021, it had $759,515.
Voters approved spending $50,000 to remodel the Town Office, $25,000 for tree removal at Woodlawn Cemetery and $6,100 for a metal cargo container for the Transfer Station. The money will come from the town’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Town Office renovations will include creating separate areas for the public and staff offices, making the entryway handicap-accessible and having it face the street, and creating a separate customer waiting room.
For the Fire Department, voters approved $9,737 for a bond payment for a firetruck purchased last year and $10,560 for portable air packs.
Fire Chief Jim Adler said Sunday that the department has 44 specialized air bottles and 14 must be replaced by 2026 and the rest by 2027.
Residents also agreed to spend $18,500 to repair the area at the front of the Fire Station and replace the pavement with concrete padding.
An article to use $11,400 approved last year to renovate a bathroom at the fire station for public use passed, but one asking for another $10,000 for the project did not.
Peggy Madigan, a member of public bathroom committee, said bids for remodeling were higher than expected.
Adler said the department is not prepared to deal with an influx of people at the station because of safety issues and a lack of parking. There could be issues with people possibly getting in the way of firefighters leaving and returning from calls, and needing the bathrooms to clean off hazardous materials.
Madigan said the bathroom committee will attend a selectmen meeting to discuss options for a public bathroom and the issue could be brought to a special town meeting.
The majority of the 68 articles passed as written, Selectman Joe Luce said Sunday.
Forty-seven residents cast votes on the 2022-23 budget, which becomes effective July 1.