READFIELD – Voters approved the municipal budget without any substantial changes at Town Meeting on Thursday.  

Two articles, for roads and debt service, were adjusted to reflect the results of Tuesday’s referendum.

Voters had approved a bond issue of $700,000 for road reconstruction and rejected a bond issue of $480,000 to build an addition to the fire station.  

In a presentation at the start of Town Meeting, Town Manager Stefan Pakulski said that if voters approved the budget as presented, it could raise property taxes by $2.30 per $1,000 of taxable value, which he acknowledged would be difficult for many to bear.  

Most of the $530,000 projected increase in total taxes is due to the budget for Regional School Unit 38, which Readfield voters were the only ones to reject on Tuesday. Voters in Manchester, Mount Vernon and Wayne pushed the school budget to approval.  

Pakulski said his projections are based on the assumption that the state budget will turn out to be slightly less favorable to Readfield than the version reported out by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.  

At Town Meeting, voters approved amending the Conservation Commission’s budget to allow them to spend $2,500 from the conservation lands account as matching funds for a parking area at the fairgrounds, where a group of residents are raising money to build an athletic field.  

Lorraine Wagner, who is on the cemetery committee, proposed reducing the Cemetery Department budget from $33,083 to $20,000, saying that the higher amount is out of line with what other towns spend maintaining their cemeteries.  

The amendment was defeated after a short debate in which other residents said it’s difficult to make comparisons to what other towns do and that Readfield’s cemeteries need maintenance to prevent greater expenses in the future.  

At the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen, Budget Committee and Roads Committee, residents defeated an article to spend $50,000 to pave the transfer station road. Wayne residents also use the transfer station, and at their own town meeting on Wednesday they had approved contributing $20,000 toward the project.

Readfield’s funds would have come out of the transfer station fund balance, with no effect on taxes.  

Readfield residents approved a $30,000 paving project at last year’s Town Meeting – with $10,000 to be paid by Wayne – but selectmen did not carry out the project after finding out it would cost more than expected. They determined that it would cost less over the long run to maintain a gravel road.  

“It’s not truly about whether or not you want the most cost effective road, it’s do you want a gravel road or a paved road?” Selectman Kathryn Mills Woodsum said. “If you want a paved road, then the cost isn’t the most important piece.”  

Some residents were in favor of the project, but it was rejected on a voice vote.  

An ordinance defining conflict of interest and providing for the recall of elected officials was adopted without any opposition.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645
[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.