RICHMOND — In a hot gymnasium on a humid spring night, about 75 Richmond residents hammered out the town’s spending plan for the next fiscal year.

Richmond’s proposed budget was 1.19 percent lower than the budget for the current year’s budget; that translates to a $33 savings in taxes on a $150,000 house on the municipal portion.

Based on the proposed Regional School Unit 2 budget, a 2.49 percent increase to the tax rate is anticipated. That would add 45 cents to the mill rate, bringing it to $19.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The RSU budget goes before voters in the district on June 14 for final approval.

After an overview of the budget Tuesday by Town Manager Janet Smith that detailed the changes approved by selectmen, voting commenced.

Most articles passed with little or no discussion, but the cost of running the Isaac F. Umberhine Library drew both questions and support from residents, as did spending on the town’s summer recreation program.

An amendment from the floor increased the amount to be raised and appropriated for the Senior Center by $3,600 to $17,210 to keep the center open a total of four days a week, an increase of one day. Voters approved the increase.

An amendment from the floor proposed to increase spending on the senior center to keep it open an additional day at a cost of $3,600; the amendment and the article passed.

A move to add the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program to the list of organizations that receive social services funding and to give it $1,000 hit a procedural pothole. Despite a successful motion to overrule the moderator, residents were not allowed to make the addition because it would have put the town in jeopardy of being sued.

The move also earned some push back from elected officials. Budget Committee member Paul Adams said town officials spent many nights reviewing budget requests, and that program didn’t appear to ask for funding.

“We put in our time,” Adams said. “All they’ve got to do is show up one night. I know I sound heartless, but my time is worth something, too,”

Richmond’s warrant included proposed changes to the town’s land use ordinance, which were adopted after some discussion on historic properties. Voters also agreed to update the town’s municiapl fire department ordinance.

Following the vote, Smith said the added funding for the senior center would have only a very small impact on the tax rate.

In Richmond, candidates are elected by secret ballot; voting will take place at the same time as the state’s primary election on June 14.

Ryan Chandler, Karyn Hixson and Ryan Shea are running for the single open seat on the Board of Selectmen; the term of office is three years.

Three seats are open on the Budget Committee, but only two candidates turned in nomination papers. Veronica Belanger and Mary Alioto are running for the three-year terms. The only option to fill the third seat is by write-in vote.

One seat is open on the Richmond Utilities District, and Jason Prout is seeking election to the three-year term.

Laurie Umberhind is running for the seat on the RSU 2 board, representing Richmond.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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