SOLON — Articles in the 90-minute Town Meeting all had been approved Saturday, with voters rejecting a $500 pay raise for each of the town’s three selectwomen, when a resident stood to ask if they could go back and reconsider the pay raise.
Andrew Davis, husband of Selectwoman Sarah Davis, appealed to residents to reinstate the pay raise. The raise from $28,000 for the three officials to $29,500 was not unreasonable, Davis said, based on the amount of time the board members put into their work and the services they provide.
Voters reconsidered and agreed, 20-12, to reinstate the pay raise in which each selectwoman will receive $9,333 per year, plus $1,001 more for the chairwoman and $500 for the vice chairwoman.
A move to reduce the proposed annual pay for the deputy tax collector and clerk from the proposed $6,000 to $5000 was approved by voters.
By the time they were done Saturday, Solon residents approved a budget of $314,579 to be taken from taxation, down from $321,074 last year, not including spending from state grants or spending for schools and the county tax.
Chairwoman Elaine Aloes said the town tax rate of $16 per $1,000 in property valuation would remain the same. About 50 people were at the meeting
Voters on Saturday also approved a plan to borrow $380,000 for a project to repave several roads. Aloes said the low rate of interest — 1.7 percent — was too good to pass up. She said doing the paving this year would save money in the long run.
“The longer you wait, the worse the pavement gets,” she said. “If you keep extending it out, it gets more expensive.”
The vote authorizes the town to repave Brighton, French Hill, Drury and Grant roads; and the Solon section of Hole in the Wall Road. The project also would replace a deep culvert on River Road, west of Michael Stream. To do that, the town will raise $271,000 from taxation, take $115,000 from state road assistance funds, $148,000 from the town’s paving reserve fund and borrow $380,000.
“I think that’s more than appropriate to do,” Aloes said of borrowing the money now rather than putting off the paving project for a year. “It’s the best thing the town can do.”
The vote, which was done by paper ballot rather than a show of hands, was 33-17 in favor of borrowing the money to be paid off over two years.
Residents also agreed to set aside $1,000 from taxation for a public sand-and-salt pile because of all the ice this winter, but decided not to raise money for the local Boys Scout and Girl Scout troops, saying that in the past such organizations did their own fundraising and didn’t ask the town for help.
Voters also agreed to spend $24,000 for the Fire Department, rather than the $30,000 requested by the department. Residents also voted to spend $65,000 for the transfer station.
In the public works budget, residents voted to raise $84,000 for winter roads, $94,000 for summer roads, $10,000 for equipment maintenance and $15,000 for the equipment reserve account.
In town elections, incumbent Selectwoman Sarah Davis was re-elected unopposed, as was Town Clerk and Tax Collector Leslie Giroux and school board member Laura Layman. Sharon Begin was elected as a write-in candidate for town treasurer. Judith Robertson, the incumbent, declined to seek re-election.