SMITHFIELD — Voters at the annual Town Meeting Saturday will be asked to transfer money from a scholarship fund into a new reserve account for celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the founding of the town of Smithfield this summer.

Polls will be open for the election of officers 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday at the Municipal Building in the former elementary school on Village Road. The annual business meeting and voting on the 60-article town warrant is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the same location.

There are no contested elections on this year’s ballot for three seats on the Board of Selectmen, town clerk, school board, tax collector, treasurer, road commissioner and sexton.

Smithfield Administrative Assistant Nichole Clark said residents will be asked to close out the Smithfield Sesquicentennial Scholarship Fund, which was established at Town Meeting in 1991, and to move the money into the Smithfield Anniversary Reserve account. About $2,100 in the scholarship fund will be added to the anniversary reserve for a total of about $9,000 on hand for the celebrations July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 2.

The town spent about $2,600 last year getting ready for the events, Clark said. She said the town already has a $1,500 per year scholarship fund for a Smithfield student graduating from Skowhegan Area High School with the highest grade point average who will be continuing his or her education after graduation.

Clark said one scholarship was granted in 1992 or 1993 and was the only one awarded.

“The Board of Selectmen took a look at the history of that account — it doesn’t make much,” she said. “And we already have a scholarship fund, so rather than raise money, we’re just going to take that money and use it for stuff that we need for this year.”

Events at the Fairview Grange Hall and the Municipal Building will include public suppers, live music by Kevin James and Dave Mello, demonstrations of folk instruments, arts and crafts and poetry readings with special guest Wesley McNair, Maine’s poet laureate. There also will be Historical Society events and a parade to wrap up the three days on Sunday with Grand Marshal Darren Hartford.

In the business portion of the meeting, Clark said the $734,947 budget approved by voters last year is expected to increase by about $5,000, coming from slight increases in road paving and reconstruction, a three percent increase in general government and a small increase in tipping fees to Waste Management for town trash.

Voters also will be asked to take $20,000 from surplus to pay a 1.5 percent discount on taxes for property owners who pay their taxes in full within 30 days of getting their tax bill as an incentive to get residents to pay their taxes early and in full.

Smithfield residents also will be asked to raise $75,000 for the road paving and reconstruction account to add to the current balance of $207,364 and to make payments of $23,181 on the municipal building bond, $70,290 for road construction and paving bond, along with taking $17,000 from the road block grant.

Also on the business agenda Saturday night will be questions to raise $157,150 for winter roads, snow removal and sand and salt purchases; $25,000 for general road, bridge and culvert repair; $3,500 for road resurfacing; and $10,000 for grading. Voters also will be asked to spend $9,345 as the town’s 5 percent match of a federal grant for a new 3,000-gallon tanker/tender for the Fire Department and $699.95 as the town’s share for a new thermal imaging camera for the Fire Department.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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