ROME — About 70 residents attended Rome’s nearly three-hour-long Town Meeting on Saturday, approving all but three articles on the meeting warrant and a referendum to appropriate money for the reconstruction of North Pond Road.

First Selectman Richard LaBelle, who was re-elected to a one-year term, said the $592,833 2018 municipal budget voters approved Saturday represented a 3.7 percent increase from the current fiscal year’s municipal budget.

LaBelle said all other town officials who ran for re-election were running unopposed and were elected.

Rome’s current property tax rate is $8.97 for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation. LaBelle said the rate probably will increase, but the town is waiting to hear from the school board and the county about their proposed budgets before an official number can be calculated.

The North Pond Road reconstruction referendum, which was held a day earlier at the Rome Community Center, passed overwhelmingly, 75-15. With the approval, the town can appropriate $315,000 for paving and reconstruction of the road. The referendum states that all money received from the Local Road Assistance Program will be appropriated to fund the project.

The three articles that were rejected by the residents had to do with changing three town positions from elective offices to appointive ones, being filled annually by the Board of Selectmen. Those positions included the town clerk, the town treasurer and the property tax collector.


The vote followed a 10-minute presentation from LaBelle advocating for the change to appoint rather than to elect people to the positions, which LaBelle said had the backing of the town’s attorney.

Tammy Lyons, the town’s tax collector and treasurer, gave a 25-minute rebuttal, advocating for the selection method to remain the same, which voters ultimately chose.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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