GOSHEN — The most talked-about warrant article of the annual Goshen Town Meeting Saturday night focused on four trees that had been cut down on town land adjacent to the Old North Cemetery.
The article, submitted by petition, sought $3,5000 to reimburse former Cemetery Commissioner Ronald Kempton for the cost to remove the trees on or about Nov. 24, 2018 and to dismiss with prejudice the law suit filed by the Town against Raymond Wentzell.
In the end, the article was amended from $3,500 to $1 and it passed on a ballot vote, 28-13.
“Ron was trying to do well for the Town and he asked me to take them down,” Wentzell testified. “I probably spent $10,000 in legal expenses in the lawsuit,” he added.
There was also a dispute about the health of the trees provided by a certified arborist, according to Town Counsel.
The Selectmen and Budget Committee did not recommend the original article as submitted.
In one other piece of business, voters approved a three-year contract between Goshen and Newport for ambulance service. The cost to Goshen for calendar years 2020, $44,484 (prorated based on the number of service days), 2021, $45,819 and $47,194 for 2022.
The Article was not recommended by the selectmen or budget committee.
At the outlet of the meeting it was announced that none of the selectmen would be present. It was stated by Moderator Mary Walter that two were ill and the third was scheduled for surgery. Walter led the meeting.
The first six articles on the warrant passed without any discussion.
They included General Government, $308,177; Public Safety, $168,771; highway, $210,.120; Sanitation, $72,055; Health, $8,672 and Welfare, $5,000.
Other articles that passed included Conservation, $750; Debt Service, $100; Capital Reserve Funds, $60,000 (firefighters personal equipment, $20,000; property revaluation, $10,000 and fire department vehicles and gravel, $15,000 each; Digital Mapping, $12,500; Plow Dump Truck Lease, $27,400; Backhoe Lease, $12,445; Grange Grant, $40,000; Lempster Coach Road Bridge, $75,000; Rand Pond Road Repairs, $80,000, and Transfer Station Offset, $20,000.
The meeting lasted one hour.