By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Voters overwhelmingly turned down a move to prevent further development over the aquifer by a vote of 514-187.
Article 2 was a petitioned warrant article to stop all further industrial development over the aquifer circulated and submitted by George Condodemetraky who also sought a seat on the Board of Selectmen.
The article was the subject of many letters to the editor and great deal of conversation around Belmont. Its future was the hot topic of this year's candidates' night at the Belmont High School.
Proponents of the warrant article said that the biggest danger to the aquifer is industrial development over it, while opponents claim that is in not in the best financial interests of any industry to potentially pollute the aquifer. Opponents also say the long-term economic viability of Belmont would be severely hampered as one-third of the town is over the aquifer.
Article 3 asked voters to raise by bond issued under the Municipal Finance Act for $375,000 to replace a bridge/box culvert on Hoadley Road. This was supported by the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee and passed by a vote of 420 for it to 261 against it and got a three-fifths majority, or 408 votes of the 681 needed to pass.
Article 4 asked the town to authorize a long-term lease/purchase agreement for of $560,000 to purchase a new pumper truck for the Belmont Fire Department and to raise and appropriate $63,507 for this year's payment. Both the selectboard and the Budget Committee recommend this article. This article squeaked by with 414 voting for it and 260 voting against it. With 674 voting yesterday, it need to pass by 404 votes.
Article 6 requested $40,000 for a new command vehicle for the Belmont Fire Department. Town Administrator Jean Beaudin said yesterday that it was too late to remove the article from the warrant when Belmont and Laconia decided to share a chief and a deputy chief. She said should the article pass, the money would remain in the apparatus special revenue fund. This vote passed by a narrow margin of 346 yes votes and 335 no votes.
Selectman Jon Pike easily bested his three opponents by garnering 333 votes to 93 for James Spiller, 119 for Condodemetraky and 153 for write-in candidate Kevin Sturgeon.
Of the six people running for five slots on the Budget Committee, Eric Shirley, Albert Akerstrom, Tracey Leclair and Ronald Mitchell prevailed. Former selectman and town administrator Donald McLelland Sr. fell short.
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