FARMINGTON — Selectmen on Tuesday approved the warrant articles that voters will consider passing at the annual Town Meeting scheduled for Monday, March 19.

Many of the articles address the selectmen’s budget proposal of $4,650,934, which is a 4.2 percent increase from last year’s budget.

Residents will also be asked to consider passing local ordinances that regulate wind energy projects and medical marijuana clinics and dispensaries. The proposed town ordinances would provide local control over the two issues, which otherwise are managed by state law, and many other municipalities statewide have already adopted similar ordinances.

Recommendations from the town’s budget committee will also appear on warrant, giving voters an alternative to the selectmen’s proposals. The committee has proposed a $4,703,434 budget, which is a 5.38 percent increase from the last year’s budget.

The biggest difference between the selectmen and committee budget proposals was the payment structure for the construction of a garage at the new town police station, which is expected to open next month.

Police Chief Jack Peck requested $75,000 to cover the estimated cost to build the garage, which would be constructed at the site of the new police station.

Selectmen want to fund the garage project over three years, setting aside $25,000 annually. The budget committee wants to include the entire $75,000 in the budget being decided at next month’s meeting.

Town Manager Richard Davis said Tuesday that the selectmen’s proposal is more prudent, calling it a way to do more research on the garage project. Both proposals would set the money aside in a reserve account to fund the construction, he said.

Residents last year overwhelming approved a $490,000 renovation of the building that will become the town’s new police station. The building at116 Franklin Ave. was donated to the town by Franklin Memorial Hospital after town officials spent many years struggling with space shortages at the police station inside the town’s municipal building on Farmington Falls Road.

The selectmen and budget committees’ proposals this year each include 3 percent raises for all town employees, along with other changes to contracts for certain bargaining units.

The town’s tax rate is $16.01 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Davis said that he could not estimate how the budget proposals would affect the tax rate, which includes school and county taxes.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]


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