RICHMOND — Town voters endorsed the spending plan that the Richmond Board of Selectmen proposed at the town’s annual Town Meeting Tuesday.

The $2.3 million spending plan keeps spending relatively flat for the coming year overall.

While some costs, totaling $73,623, have increased Town Manager Janet Smith said in an overview before the start of the meeting, so have some revenues; that total is $79,215.

While the town’s valuation is not yet known, the mill rate in Richmond is expected to increase from $19.55 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $19.74 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That includes the town’s share of assessments for Sagadahoc County and Regional School Unit 2. For a home valued at $120,000 without any exemptions, that means a property tax bill of $2,346.

In all, 101 residents turned out to ask questions about town business, including queries about staffing at the Richmond Police Department, investment in collections at the Isaac F. Umberhine Public Library, and from Alice Knapp, a former selectwoman, why the transfer station closes minutes before its advertised closing time among others and why the Town Office is open only four days a week.

And they turned out to vote, in nearly all cases unanimously, to support spending on salaries and administrative costs, funding the Emergency Medical Services program, completing road surfacing projects, and stashing some funds in town reserve accounts.

Through their vote, residents endorsed returning to the policy of paying firefighters an hourly wage rather than a modified stipend. Smith said after a review, town officials found that in some cases, firefighters were not making minimum wage when they turned out to fight fires.

Among other policy changes, voters also agreed to make a shift in how it offers recreation programming. In this budget, town officials are planning to hire a part-time year-round recreation director at $15,000 a year, and offer programming for both children and adults in town, for which $17,000 has been set aside to spend in the first year.

While Knapp questioned how the change had been publicized, several residents, including Ian Alexander endorsed the move.

“We owe it to (the children) to start the program,” Alexander said.

At the close of the meeting, which lasted an hour and 40 minutes in the gym at Richmond High School, one resident, who declined to identify herself, said the meeting was one of smoothest she had attended in years.

At the start of the meeting, Charles Kincer was named the winner of the town’s Spirit of America Award.

Next week, Richmond residents will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect two selectmen to the five-member board.

In all, six people are running: incumbent LaPlante, Randy Bodge, Marilynn Grizkewitsch, Abben Maguire, Mark Taylor and Brian Woodbury.

One of the seats became open with the death earlier this year of Gary Poulin.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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