RANDOLPH — Residents of this southern Kennebec County town voted Wednesday to approve a proposed $2.1 million spending plan for the fiscal year that started July 1.

In less than an hour, the 35 voters who turned out agreed to setting money aside in accounts to pay for future expenses, such as the town’s comprehensive plan, a public works truck and the future townwide revaluation.

Randolph, which had a population of 1,772 in the 2010 Census, has more than 1,300 registered voters. The Town Meeting was held in the Teresa C. Hamlin School gymnasium.

Voters agreed to spend $80,000 of the property tax collected this year on a new-to-Randolph firetruck. That amount will be added to the nearly $69,000 town officials have saved for the purchase expected later this year of a rescue pumper.

Along with routine spending — paying the salaries and benefits for town employees and the cost of running the Town Office, as well as maintaining and improving the town’s streets — voters approved continuing the town’s contract with Gardiner Ambulance as well as its partnership with the Gardiner Public Library.

Two related policy articles drew a question from one voter. One authorizes selectmen, on behalf of the town, to sell real estate acquired by the town for unpaid property tax or sewer payments. The other authorizes selectmen to waive foreclosure on real estate of property tax and wastewater lien mortgages, if the ownership of those properties is contrary to the town’s best interest.

Mark Roberts, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the first allows the town take a property for unpaid taxes and the second allows the town to decline to take on a property that would be problematic to own.

To pay for the approved spending, $1,581,226 will be raised through the property tax. The balance of the spending will be paid by using $453,100 in surplus funds and $100,000 in state revenue sharing.

In approving all the articles in the warrant, the budget exceeded the town’s property tax levy limit by $67,062, treasurer Janet Richards said.

Under state law, municipalities are required to secure permission from voters to spend money if the budget that voters approve results in a tax commitment that totals more than the town’s property tax levy limit. In a secret-ballot vote, residents voted 27-4 to allow it.

For a home valued at $115,000, which is close to the median price of a home in Randolph, a homeowner would pay $2,116 in annual property tax before any exemptions are applied.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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