Residents in Farmingdale will decide Saturday whether to spend money on a new firetruck as part of the nearly $1.68 million municipal budget.

The Town Meeting begins at 1 p.m. in the Hall-Dale High School theater.

Article 25 of the 67-article warrant asks the town to approve the purchase of a new firetruck and to appropriate up to $300,000 to fund the project. Rose Webster, Farmingdale’s treasurer, said the estimated total cost of the truck, including interest, would be $342,961.37. The warrant later asks the town to approve taking no more than $100,000 from the Capital Improvement Account toward the purchase of the firetruck if the purchase is approved.

In the town’s annual report, Fire Chief Dana Mealey said the town’s old truck, a 1994 Ford chassis that is kept at the station on Litchfield Road in Hallowell, did not pass the mandatory pump test. Repairs would cost an estimated $21,000, which Mealey said doesn’t make sense for a truck that was due to be replaced soon.

The budget increased over last year by $160,563 to $1,674,223, or about 10.6 percent, but Webster said that increase would be offset by money in surplus and the town’s reserve account. Webster said the current tax rate, $14.25 per $1,000 of valuation, would increase because of an increase in the Regional School Unit 2 budget and the county budget.

The Board of Selectmen recommended the town spend up to $250,000 from the Capital Improvement Reserve Account to acquire a property in the Maine Avenue corridor for a new town facility. Webster said ideally the town would have a larger fire station and town office with parking and other amenities, but such a project is several years away. The article is on the warrant just in case.

The board also recommended the town spend $4,500 in surplus money to join the Gardiner Public Library. Town Clerk Rose Webster said the warrant recommends using about $500,000 in surplus money for a variety of things.

Webster said she never knows what article might be controversial until the day of the meeting, but she hasn’t heard many questions or concerns to date.

The town plans to appropriate the most money, more than $500,000, for highways and roads. The board recommended spending $319,196 for highway maintenance, up $32,500 from last year’s budget, and $24,304 from block grant funds.

The board asked for $200,000, the same as last year, for the sanding, snowplowing, snow removal and salt contracts, which increased $6,228 to $226,228. The town expects to use $26,228 in surplus to cover the rest.

The solid waste contract with Augusta calls for less money than last year’s. The selectmen recommended $30,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, compared to $44,000 last year.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ


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