ALBION — Using years of built-up savings to defray costs, voters at the Albion Town Meeting approved an overall budget up 3 percent from the prior year, but with a $384 decrease in the amount of the budget supported by property taxes.

About 30 voters turned out Saturday morning for the two-hour annual meeting, where they enacted two ordinances and adopted a $953,170 budget, with $376,282 to be raised by local property taxes.

The residents agreed to appropriate $180,000 for town highways and bridges, with $5,000 to be raised from property taxes, $100,000 pulled from the general fund of savings from other years, $30,000 from excise taxes and $45,000 from the state.

The town also approved $300,000 from excise taxes for snow removal and sanding.

The Board of Selectmen told residents that the town remained mostly on budget for road clearing this winter, despite the heavy snowfall.

“I think we were over $4,000,” Selectwoman Beverly Bradstreet said.

“Which is pretty low compared to every other municipality around,” Selectman Michael Getchell said.

The most enthusiastic response during the meeting came toward the end, after voters approved $16,000 for maintenance of and $6,000 for repairs to the Besse Building, where the meeting was held.

Before voting on whether to approve $59,169 for the fire service, residents asked Fire Chief Andrew Clark whether the department is facing recruitment and retention problems like those of other departments in the state.

Clark said the department isn’t short of volunteers as much as some of the neighboring towns are, but it still needs more on-call responders during the daytime.

“If someone has a solution, I’d love to hear it,” Clark said.

Throughout the meeting, the Besse Building’s front door rattled loudly in the background as it was open and shut and struck the door frame. Bradstreet told the voters that the town plans to repair the door next week, drawing applause.

Voters also unanimously approved an ordinance that formally spelled out the duties of the Fire Department and a number of amendments to the Land Use Ordinance, such as an amendment that removed the fee scale and turned over authority to change fees to the Board of Seletpersons.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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