ALBION — Voters approved slight increases in the town’s proposed municipal budget of $867,277 during the annual Town Meeting on Saturday morning.

About 40 voters unanimously approved an additional $5,000 to upgrade the town’s computer system so that car registrations and title transfers can be processed electronically.

Town Clerk Amanda Dow said most other towns in the area already have made the upgrade.

Right now, she said, “we actually have to type them up and handwrite the titles and sales tax forms and all that stuff.”

The existing system is particularly cumbersome, she said, because she uses an old typewriter that has no working lower-case “d” and that has a crack in the roller bar that needs to be avoided.

The other budget increase was in the Planning Board secretary’s pay, which rose from $20 per meeting to $30 per meeting. The board meets once a month.


Even with the increases, the municipal budget is still significantly less than the $1,027,787 approved by voters last year. The decrease occurred mostly because the town is planning to do less road work this year than last year.

The approved budget’s effect on the property tax rate, which is currently $13.70 per $1,000 of taxable valuation, is unknown because budget processes are ongoing for the county, school and state, all of which will affect the tax rate.

Voters also unanimously approved changes to the town’s rules governing wireless telecommunications facilities. The changes streamline the process of adding additional antennae to the town’s three existing cellphone towers, and they establish a charge of $100 for each additional antenna.

While the crowd of about 40 voters skewed older, three siblings from the Sawtelle family were the exception to the rule.

Deanna Sawtelle, 27, Angela Sawtelle, 22, and Tom Sawtelle, 20, said they have been attending their annual Town Meetings regularly over the past several years.

“It’s important to know what’s going on in your town, and we have a responsibility to make sure money is being spent wisely,” Deanna Sawtelle said.


“I think other young people don’t care because they don’t think it affects them,” Angela Sawtelle said.

Voters also elected people — all running unopposed — to various municipal positions.

On the Town Meeting floor, Kevin Morrissey was elected to a five-year term on the Planning Board; and Julie McKenzie, Dean Mason and Bill Najpauer were elected to three-year terms on the Budget Committee.

Dow, Selectman Mike Getchell, Road Commissioner Winston Higgins, and school board Director Steve Grenier all were re-elected to their seats, with about 55 votes cast for each by secret ballot Friday at the Bessey Building.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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