PHILLIPS — Voters approved a $1.2 million annual town budget, up 2 percent from the previous one, after denying requests for funding from a handful of local nonprofit groups Saturday.

The 77 voters at the annual Town Meeting also approved raising $38,965 in matching money in order to get a $241,782 grant from the Maine Department of Transportation to restore damaged downtown sidewalks.

Town Manager Elaine Hubbard said selectmen and the budget committee did not recommend funding requests from nonprofits because they felt it should be an individual decision to support the nonprofits, not something compelled through taxes.

Residents turned down a total of $3,078 in requests from local nonprofit groups, including Safe Voices, the American Red Cross, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Tri-County Mental Health Services and Community Concepts Organization.  

Residents also voted to raise $38,965 and take $21,480 from the sidewalk reserve account to make up a combined 20 percent match for a Maine Department of Transportation Quality Community Grant to rebuild sidewalks from Trecartin Park to the corner of Bridge and Main streets, and possibly also construct a new sidewalk from True Value Hardware to Depot Street.

Hubbard said it would take a long time for the town to set aside enough money to restore the sidewalks without the help of the grant.

Voters also increased the budget committee’s recommended $545,668 public works budget to $595,668, with an amendment requiring the additional $50,000 come from the town surplus account.

Selectman Andy Phillips was re-elected to the board, beating Lloyd Griscom 47-21.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]