BINGHAM — Voters at Town Meeting will be asked on Monday to give modest raises to town officials and to increase the appropriation for snow removal this year by 50 percent.

The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. in the Quimby Middle School gymnasium on Main Street. Polls will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. at the school for the election of officials.

On the ballot unopposed this year is incumbent First Selectman Steven Steward, who is seeking a three-year term as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor. Leo Hill and Brian Malloy are seeking a return to the School Administrative District 13 board of directors for three-year terms.

Nancy MacDonald, who was appointed last fall to fill the seat on the school board vacated by Ray Francoeur, who stepped down for health-related reasons, is running for a one-year term on the board. No other races on the ballot are contested.

Steward said the amount of money needed to be raised from taxation will go from $640,843 in 2014 to $663,876, providing all of the articles pass as proposed.

The current tax rate is $21 for every $1,000 worth of assessed property value.

Stewart said some of the increase in spending is seen in the projected cost of the snow removal contract with the town plowing contractor, which would increase from $80,000 in 2014 to $120,000 in 2015.

“He hasn’t had a raise in years, and last year he got shellacked, and we just figured it was time, because he really didn’t want to do it again,” Steward said of the contract with Kennedy Construction of Pleasant Ridge Plantation. “I think it’s a fair contract now.”

The total public works budget, including summer roads, back roads, sidewalks and mowing would increase from $134,800 to $150,900, with a nearly $50,000 transfer of funds from surplus and from state road assistance, according to the meeting warrant.

Steward said Town Office employees, including the three selectmen, the tax collector, the town clerk and the treasurer, all would get a 3 percent pay increase.

“You’ve got to keep ’em happy,” he said.

The total cost of town government would increase from $138,761 in 2014 to $141,355 in the proposed warrant.

Other spending on the table for Monday night’s meeting includes a slightly larger public safety budget, with small raises for the Fire Department and the ambulance service. The cost of street lighting is up in the article, from $24,500 to $27,000.

Funding for nonlocal organizations on the Town Meeting warrant this year includes just four recipients, to keep the level of spending the same as it was last year. The proposed recipients are the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, at $400; Senior Spectrum, at $500; the American Red Cross, at $295; and hospice, at $500.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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