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Residents Vocally Oppose Merger of BF and Rockingham

It is not uncommon in Vermont and New Hampshire to find towns with smaller villages within such as Plainfield and Meriden New Hampshire and most notably for this story, Rockingham and Bellows Falls. What happens when a town and an incorporated village try to merge? In Windham county Vermont, residents mostly opposed a proposed merger of Rockingham and the Village of Bellows Falls within, as although taxes would be less for residents of the Village, they would increase for residents of the Town.

Two public hearings were held this past Saturday and it was explained that the different effects on the tax rates are because of the different budgets between the two entities, with a nearly $2.5 million gap. A hearing was held in each town and officials had hoped to create a merger committee to discuss the idea, made up of both Trustees and Selectboard members.

If approved by voters in both towns, the merger would then go to the state for their approval or modification and if approved there, all property within Bellows Falls would belong to Rockingham, including all finances.

The proposed merger will be discussed at tomorrow’s Selectboard meeting and after two more public hearings, a vote is scheduled for May 17th.

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