Andover voters will decide construction projects and fire equipment accounts on Saturday


ANDOVER — Voters will decide at Saturday’s annual meeting whether to fund renovations to city offices, a fire equipment account and a public handicapped bathroom at the fire station.

The action on the 68 articles begins at 8 am at the Hôtel de Ville.

One article calls for spending $50,000 of the $87,766 planned from the American Rescue Plan Act to overhaul the Town Office Act. Another $25,000 would be used for tree removal at the local cemetery, and $6,100 would be used for a metal cargo container for the waste transfer station.

Treasurer Amber Cooper said in April that proposed renovations to the city office would include creating separate areas for the public and for staff offices, making the entrance handicapped accessible and facing the street, and creating a separate waiting room for customers.

The proposed equipment account for the fire department would have an initial amount of $10,000 for a future tank truck. A fire department reserve account of $10,560 would be for portable air packs.

“What I’m trying to do is create the account so that we can slowly invest the money and take care of the issues that we need to take care of without hitting the city all at once in a year,” said said fire chief Jim. Adler said in April.

Air packs need to be replaced every 20 years at around $1,100+ per bottle. He said the city has until 2026 to replace 44 bottles, which are expected to cost $52,800.

The vote on designing a handicapped-accessible restroom for the public at the fire station is asking to spend $10,000. Voters approved $11,400 to build two public restrooms last year, but the bids were four times what the city had for them, Planning Council member Peggy Madigan said in April.

“So we’re asking to keep that money that locals gave us last year and ask for a bit more this year,” she said. “And we scaled down our project a bit to include just one public bathroom.”

If the article is adopted, one of the station’s two toilets would be renovated for public use.

Writing in the city’s annual report, selectors Brian Mills, Joe Luce and Jeff Elkie said there were no road projects for 2021 “but there are some on the term for 2022. We will be looking to fund such projects with COMSAT Trust funds and establish reimbursement in accordance with the COMSAT Trust Fund Ordinance.”

Residents will be asked if they should borrow from the fund at 2% interest to pave sections of East Andover Road, Wyman Hill Road and South Arm Road.

The fund was created in 1984 with money from a tax settlement of the satellite earth station built by AT&T in 1961. As of June 2021, it had $759,515.

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