Town meeting is behind us.  Phew!  Harrisville residents were likely pleased, as the school tax rate was down, and the town’s operating budget was nearly flat.   Our taxes should remain stable for yet another year.

The existing highway department garage has been changed on to at least twice during its life, and is showing its age.  It does not properly accommodate the size and number of pieces of equipment the town crews use in road maintenance.  The Selectmen determined that, rather than invest in the older building on a poor site, we should soon move the Highway Department to the site of the recently built salt-shed.

We were not able to vote on building a new highway garage this year.  The town did however put $100,000 in the Town Buildings capital reserve funds.  The Selectmen appreciated the voter’s willingness to put money away for necessary large future expenditures.  We hope to bring the necessary warrant articles to the voters in 2015 for a new building allowing all equipment and materials to be on one centrally located site.

Look for construction at the Police Department and in the Town Office parking lot as work authorized at town meeting begins later in the Summer.

Our Land Use Board function well.  The Zoning Board of Adjustment is asked to interpret and apply the zoning regulations while protecting both the Town’s interests and the rights of applicants that come before them.  They deal with potentially contentious issues by definition.   The current Board does the job well.  They serve with grace, given the judicial nature of their task.  We thank them for their service.

Our Planning Board took on several major efforts this past year.  The sometimes tedious but necessary review of Zoning Ordinances and the bringing of votes to the Town parallels their work on refining and updating a Town Master Plan.  Our thanks to them as well.  The Conservation Commission provided input and shared the Natural Resources Inventory they compiled.

We are never perfect in our preparations for Town Meeting.  We need to proofread the Town Report more thoroughly next time around.  We and Angela, our Administrative Assistant, will continue to try to get the Warrant out earlier.  It would be nice if Common Threads could adjust their publication date for the February-March Issue so that an insert of the Warrant could be included.

This year the Town Report was available at two Town locations (Town Offices and the Recycling Center) and at the General Store.  Copies could be found at the Post Office as well – even though formally the Post Office is not supposed to allow non-Postal Business materials to be distributed on the premises. We thank Mark for his forbearance.

All three of us thank the voters for keeping the current Board intact for another year.  We shall do our best to honor the trust placed in us.  Thanks again to our staff and all who help keep Harrisville – both town and community – running smoothly.

Jay Jacobs, Charles Michal and Seth Kallman