Charlestown voters reject fire station bond, agree to close school


Valley News Correspondent

Published: 03-13-2024 11:04 AM

Modified: 03-14-2024 11:02 AM

CHARLESTOWN — During all-day balloting Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly defeated a petitioned article for a new fire station, narrowly approved the permanent closure of the North Charlestown Community School, passed a town operating budget and elected a new Selectboard member. The $3.5 million bond for a new fire station, which needed a 60% majority to pass, failed to get a simple majority, losing 438-126.

The proposed closure of the North Charlestown Community School on the Fall Mountain School District warrant passed, 276-269. The school will be returned to the Farwell Trust, a nonprofit that owned the school, known as the Farwell School, until it was donated to the Fall Mountain School District and the name changed after an addition was put on in the mid-1990s.

Enrollment has been declining at the school, and this year it is being used only for pre-K, with all K-5 Charlestown students attending the Charlestown Primary School.

In a contested race for a one-year seat on the Selectboard, challenger Charles Baraly defeated incumbent William Rescsanski, 366-158.

All other articles on the Town Meeting warrant passed except one — giving the Selectboard authority to buy or sell land and buildings or demolish buildings after receiving agreement from the planning board and conservation commission. The article was defeated, 423-135.

Voters approved a town budget of $6.66 million, including a $5.6 million town operating budget, $605,000 for the water fund and $441,000 for sewer.

Adoption of the town community power plan, establishment of a transfer station capital reserve fund, lease/purchase of a transfer station roll-off truck, discontinuance of Spur of Borough Road and the library capital reserve fund were among the approved articles.

The Fall Mountain school budget of $36.7 million was appro ved, 966-780. 

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The remainder of the articles on the school district warrant also passed, including an appropriation of $150,000 for a survey of Fall Mountain High School for future improvements and an article to fund $115,000 in capital projects at Charlestown Community schools through a reserve fund.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached  at

COR RECTION: Fall Mountain Regional School District voters approved the $36.7 million school budget in ballot voting on Tuesday, 966-780. They also approved an appropriation of $150,000 for a survey of Fall Mountain High School for future improvements. A previous version of this story was incorrect on the outcome of the budget and survey appropriation votes.