SALISBURY — Sand and flood control will be among the hot topics when the annual spring Town Meeting gets underway May 17 at Salisbury Elementary School.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to dredge 300,000 to 350,000 cubic yards of sand from the Piscataqua River in Maine that will be used to fortify Salisbury Beach and Newbury's portion of Plum Island.

Although the federal government is paying $19 million for the dredging, the cost of transporting the material has fallen to the state and town.

Town Manager Neil Harrington recently said Salisbury and Newbury have agreed to split the transportation cost, with each town receiving 150,000 to 175,000 cubic yards of sand.

The state has agreed to pay up to 75% of the transportation cost and Salisbury has already set aside $150,000 for the project. Harrington has requested $50,000 to cover any potential remaining costs, as well as to maintain a reserve.

The sand funding request will be heard at a Special Town Meeting, also scheduled for May 17 at the Salisbury Elementary School. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

The Special Town Meeting warrant also includes: a $40,000 request to purchase and equip a command vehicle for the Fire Department; $62,000 to purchase and equip an administrative vehicle for the Police Department; $42,000 to replace the roof on the Hilton Senior Center; $65,000 to purchase and install a new packer on the rear of the town's trash truck; $20,000 to repair the walls at Long Hill Cemetery and the Colonial Burial Ground; and $5,000 to purchase holiday lights for the Town Common.

Voters will also be asked to approve $118,323 to fund Salisbury Community Television and Media Center. 

The spring Town Meeting begins immediately after the Special Town Meeting and includes a request to approve the town's $30.6 million annual operating budget, $14.3 million of which funds Salisbury's expected share of the Triton Regional School District budget.

The second year of debt service for the Lafayette Road sewer project will require $577,500. A request for $5.1 million to fund the Ring's Island resiliency project is also included on the Spring Town Meeting warrant.

The resiliency project is designed to protect the area from flooding and includes engineering and construction costs as well as any other related funding.

A request for $100,000 for a special purpose stabilization fund is also on the annual Spring Town Meeting warrant.

A pair of citizen petitions will also be on the Town Meeting warrant, the first would double the cost of parking fines in town from $25 to $50.

Voters will also consider a citizen petition to double parking fines in the Salisbury Beach area between May 15 and Sept. 15. 

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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