MADISON — Residents at Monday’s annual Town Meeting approved a $2.9 million municipal budget that is expected to maintain the current tax rate of $21.50 per $1,000 worth of property valuation.

More than 80 people turned out at Madison Junior High School for the meeting, where they sailed through a 36-article warrant in just under an hour, approving every one.

The current budget is $2.6 million, about $300,000 less than the budget approved Monday, but the town is using surplus funds to offset the increase, according to Town Manager Tim Curtis. The increase in the budget is due mostly to capital works projects involving roads and capital equipment purchases.

Madison Paper Industries closed in May 2016 and in 2014, the mill’s valuation was reduced by $130 million, according to Curtis. Five years ago, the town’s valuation was about $500 million and now it is about $350 million, he told residents Monday night.

Curtis said earlier Monday that officials were able to keep the tax rate stabilized because the municipal, school and county budgets are relatively flat.

“We are confident that your tax rate will not fluctuate very much,” he told voters at Town Meeting.


Residents voted to adopt an ordinance entitled “Prohibition of Marijuana Retail Establishments,” which prohibits large scale growing operations, retail shops and social clubs, though they could apply to the town for such uses and voters would have the final say at a future town meeting. Current marijuana business operations such as those which sell medical marijuana or retail marijuana products would not be affected by the ordinance. The law regarding personal use also would not be affected by the ordinance.

An ordinance entitled “Animals” was amended to say that large farm animals are restricted to property that is 1.5 acres or larger. Voters also approved merging two separate cemetery ordinances into one and made minor language changes to several other ordinances.

Voters approved an article asking if they would authorize the Madison Electric Works Board of Directors to change its charter to allow the board to borrow through the issuance of revenue bonds. Madison Electric Works has had a charter since the 1970s that restricts its ability to borrow without voter approval at Town Meeting.

Residents on Monday also voted to authorize selectmen and the Madison Library Board of Directors to convey about 41 acres in East Madison known as Jacob’s Pines to Somerset Woods Trustees to be developed as George Jacobs, who willed the land to the town in 1987, wanted it to be, for recreational purposes, including trails.

Resident Doug Denico raised concerns about the conveyance, asking about where revenue from the cutting of wood on the property would go.

“It’s staying right with the lot to work on trails and stuff like that,” Selectman Paul Fortin said.


On Tuesday, election day, voters will choose one of three candidates for the Board of Selectmen: David Savage, Robert Hagopian and Jeff Drew. The person elected will replace Fortin, who is not seeking re-election.

Voters also will be asked if they want to change the way the road commissioner and town clerk-treasurer are chosen.

Currently those positions are elected; voters will decide Tuesday whether to continuing electing people to those positions or have the town manager appoint them, with approval from selectmen.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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