CORNVILLE — Voters at Town Meeting on Saturday approved a budget of just over $500,000 and approved a 2.8 percent salary increase for town officers.

About 30 people turned out for the meeting, held at the Town Hall on West Ridge Road, where they flew through a 22-article warrant in about 40 minutes.

Residents approved an amendment to an article at the request of resident Sam Jencks, who recommended increasing money for winter roads from $125,000 to $150,000. The town has used a lot of salt and sand this winter, according to officials. The Budget Committee had recommended spending $125,000.

“We are going to be using a lot more sand,” said Jencks, a member of the town’s Planning Board. “That will increase the cost. If we do it now, anything that’s left, we’ll be ahead of the game.”

As part of the article, residents also approved a Budget Committee recommendation to spend $155,000 for summer roads and $55,000 for road equipment, with an unexpected balance to go to the highway equipment fund.

Those to receive a 2.8 percent salary increase include selectmen, the registrar of voters, the treasurer, the tax collector, the town clerk, the health officer, the code enforcement officer, the animal control officer and the fire chief.

An article generating a fair amount of discussion was one asking the town to adopt an ordinance titled “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance.”

Mel Blaisdell, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the ordinance would allow residents to sell items such as bread, jam and vegetables without obtaining a state license.

“Every town in Somerset County has voted this in except Cornville, as far as I know,” Blaisdell said.

Jencks asked whether such an ordinance would mean the town is responsible for enforcement. Blaisdell said the ordinance requires the seller to have customers who buy items sign a paper, which removes the town’s responsibility.

The budget voters approved Saturday is about the same as last year’s, and the tax rate of $15 per $1,000 worth of valuation is not expected to change, according to Blaisdell.

Wayland Magoon, director of the town’s historical society, thanked voters in advance for approving $500 for the society, which is trying to restore an old brick school house and acquire artifacts for a little museum to put in the building.

“What we need is more people,” Magoon said. “We need members. We have four active members.”

Right now, he said, the historical society is not requiring dues or membership fees; it just wants more members.

“The price is right,” said meeting moderator Peter Mills, a Cornville resident who also is executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority. After Cornville’s meeting, Mills was heading to Solon to moderate the Town Meeting there.

Voters Saturday also approved spending $82,000 for solid waste, $16,000 for the fire department and $103,360 for the fourth payment on a 2015 road paving project.

In Friday elections, Cornville Selectman Michael Gould was re-elected with 27 votes, as was Road Commissioner Myron Moody Jr., who got 31 votes. They ran unopposed.


Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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