Residents in the town of Washington ousted a longtime selectman in a close Friday election and passed a budget that’s 13 percent higher than last year’s at Saturday’s Town Meeting.

Challenger Berkley Linscott, who owns a feed store on Route 17, won a three-year term after beating Donald Grinnell, who has been on the board since 2002, according to Selectman Duane Vigue. He said Linscott won with 132 votes to Grinnell’s 112 votes. Cheryl Cichowski received 52 write-in votes to win a spot on Regional School Unit 40’s board in an uncontested election.

Vigue said approximately 100 residents went to Saturday’s Town Meeting at Prescott Memorial School on Waldoboro Road, passing a $775,000 budget as proposed by selectmen. It’s $92,000 higher than last year’s budget.

That includes $43,000 more to maintain roads, $20,000 to repair a 20-year-old firetruck that needs body work, $18,000 in insurance, salary and payroll expenses and $10,000 more in legal fees to handle an increasing amount of land-use violation cases.

One of those long-standing cases is related to an unpermitted gravel pit at the intersection of McDowell and Mitchell Hill roads owned by Linscott, who couldn’t be reached for comment on Sunday. In October 2013, the town issued a stop-work order at the property, saying permitting requirements weren’t met, but Linscott has said he thought at first that it didn’t have to be permitted.

Last week, he said that battle — which he said has cost him $30,000 in legal and other fees — led to his decision to run for office. He said Washington residents “ought to have a choice” after years of uncontested selectman races. A lifelong town resident, he also served a one-year term on the board in 1974.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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