Fitting for a town whose central meeting hall is right on the waterfront, Elmore’s annual meeting Tuesday featured plenty of talk of Lake Elmore.
Some intrepid residents even walked across the frozen lake to attend the town meeting.
During an efficient two-hour session — adjourning just in time for an early potluck lunch at the Methodist church —voters easily passed their town budget, although there was some talk about adding money to help clean up invasive milfoil in the lake.
It isn’t exactly immigration policy, but Elmore would like to get rid of that unwelcome visitor. The town appropriated $15,000 for the Elmore Lake Association, a $10,000 increase over the current year.
Town Clerk Sharon Draper said the association wants to start a greeter program for people using the town’s boat launch, so they can double-check watercraft for any invasive species. They could also pay some qualified divers to help get rid of existing milfoil.
“There are a couple of 2-acre spots that need to be cleaned up,” Draper said.
The lake cleanup appropriation was part of roughly $27,000 added to the town’s $842,892 operating budget for next year, and voters passed that larger expense without any amendments, other than a few stand-alone spending measures: $44,200 for the volunteer fire department and fast squad, and $30,00 to establish an equipment fund for that department.
In addition, Elmore residents voted to pass a leadership torch.
Longtime select board member Bob Burley stepped down after his term was up Tuesday, and residents voted in Glenn Schwartz, co-president of the lake association. He joins Rob Wills and Caroline DeVore on the three-person board.
Speaking, again, of the lake, Shorty Towne left many residents pondering a question: Why, if the town has to support a Lake Association, can’t Elmore residents swim for free in the lake?
The answer is because Lake Elmore and Elmore Mountain are part of a state park, and the state sets those fees.
Elmore’s legislative representatives, Gary Nolan, R-Morristown, and David Yacovone, D-Morristown, also stopped by on their sweep through their constituent towns.
Nolan fielded questions about the condition of Route 12, which he said was redone with inferior asphalt that hasn’t done well with extreme temperature variations. And Yacovone talked about potential cuts in services for people with disabilities, something he said he’d fight.
Since Elmore and Morristown vote on their combined school budget by Australian ballot, there is no longer a school portion of the annual meeting. But, according to Draper, there was talk about the town’s one-room schoolhouse. She said enrollment is now 14 students, but it needs 20 to remain viable.
And there was discussion about FairPoint Communications, and the lack of high-speed internet in town.
“On this side of the mountain, we’re still in the dark ages,” Draper said.