Voters at the Whitefield annual Town Meeting approved every article put before them Saturday, including a proposal to spend $29,000 for renovations to the town office and fire station.
The $29,000 approved by the 80 voters at Saturday’s meeting will pay for renovations to the town office expected to include new carpeting, the installation of two heat pumps to help heat the building, insulation in the ceiling, mold removal, installation of an upgraded, more user-friendly counter, and a new exhaust fan and toilet in the bathroom and, at the fire station, for the installation of overhangs over the doors to the station to prevent snow from building up and blocking the exits, according to Aaron Miller, town clerk and administrative assistant.
Miller said the mold remediation will remove a small amount of mold from the vault in the town office.
Budget items which drew debate Saturday included an article appropriating $6,617 in town funds for several organizations, including Kennebec Behavioral Health, Young at Heart Children’s Center and American Red Cross.
Miller said some residents sought to provide funding for LifeFlight of Maine, a medical helicopter service which asked for $575 from the town. The selectmen and budget committee both recommended no town funds be given to LifeFlight, according to the meeting warrant.
One resident at the two-hour-long meeting made a motion to take $150 from the $1,150 appropriated for the children’s center and give it instead to LifeFlight, but the motion failed.
Another resident later wrote a check to the town, Miller said, for $150 and asked that it be donated to LifeFlight by the town.
The $1.1 million municipal budget, passed by voters in a series of warrant articles, is up $56,000, or 5.4 percent, from the current year’s budget. However, increased revenues, including $350,000 in excise taxes, up by $30,000, and the use of $300,000, an increase of $145,000, from surplus more than offset the impact of the budget increase on taxes. The municipal budget, according to a budget overview, would require $23,000 less from property taxes.
However, the tax rate can’t be determined until the Regional School Unit 12 budget is set later this year.
The annual Town Meeting Saturday was preceded by elections Friday night.
Elected to two open positions on the Select Board were Charlene Donahue, with 121 votes, and Bill McKeen, with 103 votes, defeating Bruce Mathews, who received 93 votes.
The positions were previously held by Sue McKeen, who is Bill McKeen’s wife, and Dennis Merrill, who did not take out papers seeking re-election after several years as a selectman.
There were only two candidates for three open positions on the Planning Board. Elected were Marianne Marple, with 150 votes, and Glenn Angell, with 137 votes. Steve Sheehy was the leading write-in candidate, with 23 votes, for the third vacant position and agreed to take the position, according to Miller.
David Boynton, who was unopposed, was re-elected as road commissioner.
In a write-in only race for the school board, because no candidates sought the position, Tara DeLisle was the top vote-getter with 12 votes, though by Sunday she had not yet confirmed whether she would take the position.
Keith Edwards — 621-5647