PALMYRA — Residents attending the annual Town Meeting on Saturday will have plenty of opportunity to debate and discuss spending options with several competing recommendations from the Board of Selectmen and the town Budget Committee.

Polls for town officer elections will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Friday at the Palmyra Community Center in the former Palmyra Consolidated School on U.S. Route 2 at the corner of Madawaska Road. The annual business meeting is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, also at the Community Center.

There are three candidates on the ballot for one, three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Herbert Brindley, who previously has served on the board, is on the ballot with Ronald Rowe, who has previously run unsuccessfully for selectman, and political newcomer Camile Derosier.

Patrick White, the incumbent selectman, chose not to seek re-election.

Former Somerset County Commissioner Robin Frost is running to finish the two years left of a term expiring in 2017 left vacant with the departure of Selectman Brent Hale, who moved out of state, according to Town Clerk Val Sprague.

Palmyra Administrative Assistant Susan Morton said she expects spending for the coming year will rise from the $784,837 approved by voters last year to $813,799 if all of the articles are approved as written by the five-member Board of Selectmen. The Budget Committee has other recommendations, however, beginning early on the town warrant with Article 5 in the town charges account.

Town charges include officers’ salaries, utilities, supplies, contracted services and other spending lines. In that account, selectmen recommend spending $165,000 — $135,000 from taxation and $30,000 from surplus. Budget Committee members recommend $115,000, a reduction of $50,000, according to the town report.

Morton said the town might achieve some savings suggested by the Budget Committee by not investing as much this year in the Community Center, which the town took over a couple of years ago.

“It’s a big building and quite costly to maintain,” Morton said. “They are hoping not to spend so much on maintenance and putting more money into it.”

Two articles later in Article 7, the selectmen recommend spending $10,000 — $5,000 of which would come from an investment account — for assessing work. The Budget Committee recommends raising $5,000 and not taking any money from the investments. The Budget Committee offers no recommendation on a proposed article to borrow $406,000 at an estimated interest rate of 2.5 percent and to take $60,000 from state roads programs to repair and improve Lang Hill, Raymond and Wyman roads.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee also disagree on spending recommendations for fire protection, solid waste disposal, recycling, Planning Board and Board of Appeals accounts, food banks and soup kitchens and on taking $5,000 from surplus to cover town accounts that are in danger of running short before the end of the year. The Budget Committee recommends raising no money for that.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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