Temple approves use of ARPA funds for upgrades at town office

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TEMPLE — Residents voted Saturday to spend the town’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds on upgrades at the town office. These upgrades will include an ADA complaint bathroom downstairs, along with an on-demand generator and updating some of the kitchen appliances.

The town has approximately $54,000 in ARPA funds. Half of those funds have been received and the other half is anticipated in the next year. As the town office is an emergency shelter for the town, the select board felt that upgrades would be covered under the guidelines for ARPA funds. The only discussion at the town meeting was to express satisfaction at the upgrades, and the article passed unanimously.

The 2021 town report was dedicated to Betsy Hyde, who served on the RSU 9 school board for the last 12 years and recently decided she was ready to be done.

One position for the select board was up for reelection. Dean Collins and Tracy Dunham were both nominated on the floor. Collins has lived in Temple since 1999 and since his retirement, felt he could dedicate his time to the community. Dunham has served on the select board for three terms and handles a lot of computer work and training for using the ARPA funds.

The town elected Collins with 19 votes. Dunham received 16 votes.

All of the articles in the town meeting warrant were approved, and the majority were approved unanimously.

Residents approved a stipend increase for the select board, from $3,200 to $3,700 annually. The select board had not received an increase in 13 years and the increase was similar to other neighboring towns.

The town also approved an article to give a three percent discount on real estate taxes paid in full within thirty days of the tax billing date. This was the only article not recommended by the select board.

A request was made for $0 for the Road Construction Reserve Account. The account had a balance forward of $51,307.95, and is only used for emergencies such as washouts and major disasters, so additional funds were not considered necessary for this year.

A request for $105,000 was approved for the Town Roads and Bridges Account. The town crew expects to work on Varnum Pond Road this summer. Due to the rising cost of materials, they may not be able to do anything else.

The town voted to raise and appropriate approximately $622,000 for the year.

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