Richmond voters approve warrant at outdoor town meeting Saturday

Paul Cuno-Booth, The Keene Sentinel, N.H.
·2 min read

Apr. 12—RICHMOND — A month after the usual date, Richmond held its annual town meeting Saturday, in an outdoor space meant to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Given the pandemic, town officials didn't want to cram everyone into the regular location — the Veterans Memorial Hall — according to Bill Daniels, the selectboard chairman. Instead, he said, the meeting was held at the pavilion in Amidon Park, with a tent and appropriately distanced chairs.

"Thank God the weather cooperated," Daniels said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

The business itself was fairly routine, according to Daniels, who said that voters passed everything on the warrant unamended.

Two people did try to add money to the highway department's budget, Daniels said. One wanted to fund a loader; the other, a new garage. Neither motion passed.

Daniels said both are items that the selectboard has discussed, but after this year's warrant was already set. They may be on the table next year, he added.

The town's 2021 budget of $777,319 — which was split across several articles — is down about $20,000, or about a quarter of 1 percent, from last year's budget.

Combined with other articles on the warrant, voters appropriated a total of $1,066,060, down from $1,114,648 last year.

Those other articles included $55,000 for road work on Fish Hatchery Road; about $234,000 for several capital-reserve or trust funds; dissolving the heritage commission, police advisory board and capital improvement program committee; and discontinuing the police special details revolving fund and transferring its balance of $19,643 into the unassigned fund balance. (Richmond voted to dissolve its police department in 2019 and has since relied on coverage from the Cheshire County Sheriff's Office.)

Daniels said the meeting started at 9 a.m. and was done about an hour and 15 minutes later.

"There was very little discussion on anything; it went through very smooth," he said.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS.