CORNVILLE — Voters at Saturday’s Town Meeting approved a municipal budget of about $500,000 and re-elected a selectman, a road commissioner, a town clerk, a treasurer, a tax collector and a school board member.

About three dozen people turned out for the meeting at the Town Hall, sailing through all 21 warrant articles in about 25 minutes.

“My God, that’s a record — 25 minutes,” meeting moderator Peter Mills said just after adjournment.

In Friday elections, all candidates on the ballot were re-elected, including Selectman Rick Oberg, who got 33 votes; Road Commissioner Myron Moody Jr., 31; Town Clerk and Town Treasurer Tammy Chamberland, 34; Treasurer Charlotte Prosser, 28; and School Administrative District 54 board member Theresa Howard, with 13 votes. Howard, an incumbent, was a write-in candidate on the ballot, as she did not turn her nomination papers in by the deadline.

By a show of hands, voters approved spending $82,000 for disposal of recyclables and solid waste, $100,000 for winter roads, $120,000 for summer roads and $50,000 for equipment, with voters stipulating as part of the vote that any unspent balance of that $50,000 go to the highway equipment fund. The Budget Committee had recommended spending $120,000 on winter roads but Mel Blaisdell, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said it had been a mild winter and not all of the money was needed. He made a motion to approve $100,000 instead.

Blaidell said the budget approved Saturday is about the same, or a little less than, the budget approved last year.

Voters also approved spending $105,758 for the third payment on a 2015 road paving project.

The warrant article generating the most discussion was one asking if voters would appropriate $5,000 for the town’s annual membership in the Kennebec Regional Development Authority, or FirstPark, located in Oakland. The Budget Committee recommended approval.

Mills, who also is a Cornville resident and executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority, said FirstPark has a new executive director who is working hard to draw more businesses to the park, which is home to T-Mobile. Twelve to 15 lots are available in the park, according to Mills.

He said T-Mobile has been in the park 13 years, has about 750 employees and generates about $30 million in payroll each year, with that money circulating into the central Maine economy.

“T-Mobile has the lowest rate of turnover of any one of the T-Mobile call centers in the United States, and they’ve got 17 of them,” Mills said.

He added that the bills to towns probably will disappear in about three years, as the last payment on a bond for money used to develop the park is due in 2020.

But Blaisdell, a 36-year selectman, said he thought it would take many years for the town to get back the money it has invested in FirstPark and wanted to know if any Cornville residents work at T-Mobile.

“How many live in Cornville?” he asked. “It’d be interesting to know, wouldn’t it?”

Mills said he thought one or two employees live in Cornville, which is one of 24 municipalities in the Development Authority.

Former 21-year Selectman Carroll Gould said he hoped Blaisdell, who is 68, will live long enough to see a return on the town’s investment.

“I won’t,” Blaisdell retorted.

But Cornville Food Pantry volunteer Anna Court piped up from two rows behind Gould to say she supports FirstPark.

“I’m good with it,” she said. “I think it’s a good thing.”

Residents voted to increase town officers’ salaries by 2 percent. The positions include those of selectmen, registrar of voters, treasurer, tax collector, town clerk, health officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer and fire chief.

Blaisdell said he does not expect the town’s tax rate 0f $17.20 per $1,000 worth of assessed valuation to increase with the budget, though the school budget has not been finalized yet.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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