CHELSEA — Voters approved a little more than $1.5 million in municipal spending at the annual Town Meeting.

During the Thursday night meeting, 35 voters, some wearing masks, sat in chairs spaced at least 6 feet apart across the floor of the Chelsea Elementary School gymnasium.

Voters worked through 40 articles in about 90 minutes.

Municipal spending of $1,524,433 is slightly higher than the $1,500,172 spending plan approved in June 2019.

Town residents also moved forward $597,840 in revenue, $100,000 from state revenue sharing and $497,840 from other sources. The warrant allowed up to $200,000 from revenue sharing to be appropriated, but Selectwoman Deb Sanderson said it would be prudent to aim lower, as revenue sharing figures would be uncertain this budget year.

A draft budget shows that the town will carry $180,575 in undesignated fund balance into next fiscal year, bringing the total anticipated revenues for the town to $879,415, or $27 more than last year.


Voters approved $10,650 in funding for the continuation of a recycling program, based on a recommendation from the town’s Budget Committee. The program allows residents to bring recyclables to the Town Office.

Voters also sided with the Budget Committee on spending for summer roads and related debt service.

The warrant allowed up to $688,759 in funding for those expenditures, which the Select Board recommended in full, funding $558,840 for operations and reconstruction and $129,919 in debt service. Voters passed the article with the Budget Committee’s recommendation to fund $408,840 for operations and reconstruction and $129,919 in debt service.

Budget Committee member Rick Danforth said the full amount was too aggressive, citing an original $733,840 request from Town Manager Scott Tilton. Tilton, who is also the town’s road commissioner, said his original $733,840 request for the line was made because “we are falling behind and need to invest in our roads.”

One article, Article 41, was amended by voters, changing the interest rate on unpaid taxes from 8% to 5%. The resident that moved the amendment cited economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for the change. The amendment was passed by a 12-11 vote.



At Tuesday’s elections, Sherri Truman was elected to the Select Board with 40 votes in a fully write-in election, filling the seat previously filled by Ben Smith.

According to Town Clerk Cheryl Mitchell, no other candidate in any race received the minimum vote requirement of 25 votes. That leaves the following positions unfilled:

• Two members of the Regional School Unit 12 board of directors.

• Five seats on the Planning Board.

• Two seats on the Board of Appeals.

• Four seats on the Board of Assessment Review.

• One seat on the Budget Committee.

Mitchell said the Select Board will have to appoint people to those positions.

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