SKOWHEGAN — A handful of voters at a special town meeting Tuesday night agreed to authorize selectmen to transfer an amount not to exceed $15,000 for unanticipated expenses for fire hydrants and street lights.

Town Manager Christine Almand said the Maine Municipal Association prefers that if a city or town anticipates an overage in projected spending that they address it with a special meeting rather than wait until the annual Town Meeting, which is June 8 this year in Skowhegan. Municipalities are not allowed to exceed approved budgeted amounts without approval of voters at a special town meeting.

The budget year expires June 30. Selectmen recommended passage of the article.

The cost for electricity and water are higher than what was budgeted at last year’s annual Town Meeting.

“Historically we budget $100,000 for street lights,” Almand said. “Last year we probably should have budgeted an additional $5,000 to $7,000, but we didn’t. And then through the budget process, the Budget Committee and selectmen cut $5,000 from the budget requests.”

The budget for street lighting ended up being $95,000, which was $10,000 to $11,000 short of what was needed.

As for the fire hydrants, Almand said, there was a rate increase, leaving the town short about $3,500 for water. Almand said approval by the Public Utilities Commission of anticipated refunds, or tax credits, from the Skowhegan division of Maine Water have been slowed and would not be available before the annual Town Meeting so a special vote was necessary.

About 15 people attended the special meeting, most of them appointed or elected town officials. Philip Curtis, of Madison, Somerset County’s road commissioner, was the meeting moderator.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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