WINDSOR — Residents will elect a new selectman and decide whether to allow restaurants, and likely the Windsor Fair, to serve alcohol in secret ballot voting Tuesday.

The secret ballot vote will be followed up by votes on primarily budget-related items Wednesday at the annual Windsor Town Meeting.

The $1.76 million town budget headed to voters is down $27,000, or 1.5%, from the current year’s budget.

Ray Bates, chairman of the selectmen, said the decreased budget, combined with increased property tax revenues in large part from additions to a Central Maine Power Co. substation in town, should allow for a modest property tax decrease.

“They’ve been expanding,” Bates said of the addition to the tax base from the CMP substation. “It’s like a mushroom; they keep growing and growing over there.”

The tax decrease comes despite a projected $139,000, or 4.66%, increase in Windsor’s share of the $23 million Regional School Unit 12 proposed school budget, which will go to voters for approval at the polls Tuesday.

Town Manager Theresa Haskell said town officials sought to limit spending as much as possible to try to offset the increase in the school budget.

Voters at the open town meeting will also decide whether to adopt an updated 911 ordinance, which Haskell said simply updates the local ordinance to match state guidelines.

Voting and discussion on the budget and most other warrant articles is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, upstairs at the town hall.

Voters will elect a new selectman, choosing between candidates Andrew Ballantyne and David Coons, and vote on three proposals to loosen restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at businesses in town.

Town rules do not allow restaurants or other businesses in Windsor to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on their premises.

Two proposals to be decided by voters Tuesday would allow restaurants or other licensed establishments, including vendors at the annual Windsor Fair, to sell liquor to be consumed by customers on-site. One of the proposals would allow it to be sold every day of the week other than Sundays; the other also would allow liquor sales on Sundays.

At a June 1 public hearing, advocates for the change said it could help draw a restaurant to town and allow a vendor, if meeting state regulations, to sell beer and wine at the town’s fair. Fair officials said Windsor is the only fair in the state with horse race betting that doesn’t also allow beer or wine to be sold and served on its fairgrounds.

A third alcohol-related proposal going to voters Tuesday would allow the sale of beer and wine, for consumption off premises, by local stores on Sundays.

Haskell said stores in Windsor have been given licenses from the state to sell malt liquor, beer and wine, including on Sundays, for years now, despite an apparent local vote in the 1970s banning the practice.

She said a state official contacted the town and said they needed to look at the issue of whether stores could sell beer and wine on Sundays. Haskell said they did, and it appears residents voted down a 1974 proposal that would have authorized such sales.

She said if the proposal is rejected at the polls, stores in town would have to stop selling beer and wine on Sundays.

The race between Ballantyne and Coons for a three-year term as a selectman is the only contested race on Tuesday’s secret ballot.

Ballantyne, 28, an electrical engineer who works in Augusta with a bachelors in electrical engineering from the University of Southern Maine, is making his first run for local office.

He said he sees running for selectmen as an investment in the community, not only for himself but for the future of the two daughters he and his wife, Kristen, share. Kristen’s family owns Windsor mainstay Hussey’s General Store.

Ballantyne said important issues in town include preserving the road system, which has seen significant improvements in recent years; keeping taxes down; and keeping residents engaged in things that bring the community together, such as the Windsor Fair.

“It’s important to keep that community aspect alive,” Ballantyne said. “I have a lot of enthusiasm and energy; I’ll be dedicated.”

Coons could not be reached for comment.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Windsor Town Hall.

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