BINGHAM — Residents will vote Monday on a $30,000 land purchase by the fire department and a change to the town clerk’s position at the annual Town Meeting. 

Selectmen also are proposing a budget of $650,335, which is $15,913 less than the current year’s or about a 2 percent decrease.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Quimby Middle School and will be preceded by elections from 12:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium and auditorium. 

The only contested race is for a seat on School Administrative District 13 board. It is a three-year term and there are four candidates.

“Things are looking pretty basic, and there have been no major increases in spending,” said First Selectman Steve Steward.

He said Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed state budget, which would cut municipal revenue sharing, would reduce the town’s revenue; but the effect probably would not be felt until 2014.

“I think a majority of municipalities are not on board with the budget the way it has been proposed, so hopefully it will not go through,” Stewart said.

If it does, the town could lose about $125,000, affecting taxes significantly, he said.

For 2013, though, the town budget is close to what it was last year. The slight decrease is mostly a reflection of the $25,000 the town raised last year for its bicentennial celebration. 

This year there have been few major increases, although one of the most significant is the cost of water to the town, Steward said. The current cost is $59,000, but selectmen are asking the town to budget for a cost of up to $70,000. 

Selectmen also are recommending that voters approve the purchase of land known as the Old Colby Theater lot, which is next to the Town Office and the fire station. The cost would be $30,000 and would come from the Fire Department’s surplus account.

Steward said selectmen have talked to the owner of the property and that, if purchased, the land would be used for storage and extra parking for the fire department.

Selectmen also are proposing changing the position of town clerk from an elective office to one that the Board of Selectmen fill by appointment, beginning in 2014. The appointment would be for an indefinite term, Steward said. Selectmen already appoint the town treasurer and tax collector, although neither position is usually for more than three years, he said.

School board candidates:

Terina M. Adams

Adams, 44, is a cook at North Country Variety and has two children in the school district. She said she communicates well with children and knows a lot of her children’s friends.

“I want to be a voice for the kids. I want to speak to them and relate their concerns to the board so they can learn and become responsible adults,” she said.

Laurie L. Attwood

Attwood, 41, is a teacher at the Marti Stevens Learning Center, an alternative high school in Skowhegan. She also has three children enrolled in the Bingham-based district and said she would like to see more activities that involve the community at the schools. She recently started a tae kwon do class in town and said she would like to help the community through the school district.

“The district is really the heart of the community and if elected my goal would be to keep it thriving,” she said.

Attwood served on the board of governor’s, which is similar to a school board, at her son’s school in England before the family moved back to Bingham three years ago. She was raised in the town and is a graduate of Upper Kennebec Valley Memorial High School.

Raymond L. Francoeur

Incumbent Ray Francoeur, 76, is retired and has served one term on the school board. He said he would like to continue the work he started this year.

His top concern is making sure people are happy with the budget in the midst of state cuts to education funding, he said.

Melissa Thompson

Thompson, 52, has sent seven stepchildren through the school district and has a granddaughter and a stepson enrolled. She wants to see test scores rise, more of an emphasis on academics before athletics, and increased participation of parents in school board meetings, she said.

Thompson works as a cook and dietary aide at Somerset Rehabilitation and Living and as a cashier at Tracey’s Variety. She is running for a board seat for the first time.

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368
[email protected]

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