ST. ALBANS — Town residents will have the chance on Saturday to gather and vote on accepting the roughly $1.14 million budget, which represents a decrease of over $6,000 from the current operating budget.

Town Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Town Hall

Polls will be open for municipal elections from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, also at Town Hall.

According to Town Manager Rhonda Stark, the decrease in the budget was in large part the result of a townwide re-evaluation that wrapped up last year. Right off the bat, she said, that took $25,000 out of the budget.

Some of the larger line items for the budget include a request for $180,379 for administration, which is roughly a $7,000 increase; $293,920 for public works and the Highway Department, which is a decrease of just over $7,000; and $98,264 requested for Mid Maine Solid Waste and Recycling.

Voters will have a chance to elect a new town clerk. Town Clerk Stacey Desrosiers is not running again, as she is retiring after 26 years. Instead, Emille Lemire and Kimberly Novak are running for the one-year position.

Lemire, a retired Navy officer, said she is running for town clerk because she wants to be more involved with her hometown. After graduating from Nokomis High School in 1995, Lemire, 40, said she enlisted in the Navy and was mostly stationed on the West Coast and in Hawaii. She retired in 2016 and wanted to return home to be with her family.

While Lemire never has run for elected office before, she said she wants to bring new ideas to her small town’s politics. Specifically, she said she wants to start looking at the budget to find if there are more effective ways to award contracts and bids for projects.

“My focus is on trying to save money for the taxpayers,” she said.

Novak, a real estate agent who recently retired after 20 years in the Coast Guard, said she is running for town clerk because she misses working with people in a challenging way. In the Coast Guard, Novak was a yeoman, which she said has administrative duties like those of a town clerk. After being stationed in North Carolina, Novak said, she and her husband decided to move to St. Albans, since her husband is originally from the area. Soon after, she heard that the town clerk position would be opening up.

“This might be just what I was waiting for,” she said.

Novak, 46, also serves as co-chairwoman on the Somerset Committee, which raises money for events such as the July 4 celebration.

“I really like the town of St. Albans,” Novak said. “The Town Office people are super-nice, and I think it would be a really good place and a good place to work.”

On Board of Selectmen, Hiram Weymouth is running for re-election for a three-year term. Weymouth is unchallenged in his race. Road Commissioner Stephen Emery is seeking another term as road commissioner.

Lemire, Novak and James O’Neil are each running for a seat on the Budget Committee. O’Neil and Novak are incumbents, and Lemire will replace Ronald Fowle Jr.

A seat is open on the Regional School Unit 19 board of directors, but no one is listed on the ballot.

Stark said no new initiatives or projects are planned for the upcoming year. Two proposed ordinances are on the warrant. The first proposed ordinance would exempt active-duty military members from having to pay vehicle excise tax. Stark said this came about after a resident came in and asked if such an exemption were possible, and Stark said other towns in the state do provide such an exemption.

The second proposed ordinance, from Fire Chief Jason Emery, would allow the St. Albans Fire Department to charge and collect fees when they respond to an accident. Stark said Emery has been working on this proposal for a few years, since surrounding towns charge varied fees for responding to accidents. Stark said this would be a good way to recover money that would then be placed in a capital reserve for Fire Department equipment.

No referendum questions are going before voters. At last year’s Town Meeting, about 50 residents turned out and passed the budget quickly.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

 

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