A new fire station for the village of East Pittston is the high-ticket item that Pittston residents will consider Saturday at Town Meeting, and the chairwoman of the town’s Board of Selectmen said that’s not expected to affect the town’s tax rate.

“We have an inadequate fire station in East Pittston,” Jane Hubert said. “This year, the chief reviewed some money, ideas and plans and said this might be the time to forward that.”

The price tag on that project is expected to be $300,000, financed through a bond issue of $300,000 with an estimated net interest rate of 2.5 percent.

“It doesn’t affect the budget much, and it won’t affect the mill rate,” she said.

In fact, selectmen don’t anticipate much change in the tax rate this year. It won’t be finalized until after the School Administrative District 11 budget is approved in June. It’s now $13.20 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

In all, the town’s proposed spending is expected to come in at $998,000, about $6,000 more this year than last. The big increases are proposed in summer maintenance for the highways, up $27,000; and for snow removal, sand and salt, up about $12,000. This year’s proposal is seeking one-time funding of $22,000 to replace the roof on the central fire station. Hubert said those items, as are all the highway accounts, are funded by excise tax, and that does not affect the property tax rate.

Not all costs would increase. This year, selectmen are not budgeting for legal fees, and the cost of maintenance at the salt shed is dropping from $32,000 to $3,600.

Residents will have an opportunity to have their say on proposed budget starting at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the Pittston Elementary School on Pittston School Street.

The municipal election will take place on Monday, March 21. The polls will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at the Town Office at 38 Whitefield Road.

Who will replace Jane Hubert on the Board of Selectmen remains a mystery.

“I’ve gotten more responsibility at my home,” Hubert said. “I’ve enjoyed being a selectperson and working with people, but when I do the job, I want it done right, and I don’t have the time to do it right now.”

Usually someone is ready to run, she said, but no one has turned in nomination papers.

“Whoever gets it will be a write-in candidate,” Town Clerk Deborah Barry said.

Tammy Usher is running uncontested for the single seat on the Personnel Board. Four seats are up for election on the Budget Committee and three candidates are running — Cheryl Peaslee, Hope Ricker and Hubert. Three seats are up for election on the Planning Board, and the only candidate to appear on the ballot is James Lothridge. The term of office of all of these positions is three years.

The East Pittston Water District also is holding its election March 21. One seat is available on the board, and Leroy Usher is running uncontested for the three-year term.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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