Randolph Town Clerk Lynn Mealey opens the Town Meeting on Thursday. Mealey announced she will retire in January. Jessica Lowell/Kennebec Journal

In under an hour — and with few questions — Randolph voters approved the town’s proposed $2.25 million budget, and gave it a $200 bump.

The spending plan came in only a few thousand dollars more than what was proposed a year ago.

Some of the increased costs come from factors outside the town’s control, like inflation, while others come from one-time projects.

In the coming year, for instance, a large maple tree will need to be removed from the Maple Grove Cemetery. Mark Roberts, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen, said the cost of that project is estimated at $4,500 because it will require a bucket truck, to take the tree down before it falls and damages headstones.

The 30 town residents who attended supported a motion from the floor by Stephanie Duncan of Senior Spectrum to increase the town’s donation for Meals on Wheels by an additional $200, to $600.

“I wasn’t able to get to the Budget Committee meeting or I would have asked for a little more money,” Duncan said.


And without comment, the residents agreed to authorize the selectmen to borrow up to $1.2 million to pay for a new fire station on Kinderhook Street, on town-owned property near the Town Hall.

The current property tax rate is $18.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The new property tax rate will be calculated later this summer, but it’s not expected to change much.

Before she convened Town Meeting, Town Clerk Lynn Mealey announced she intends to retire in January after more than two decades with the town, working her way from part-time to full-time in positions of increasing responsibility.

“I’ll miss being at the office daily, my co-workers and all of our residents, some of which I have gotten to know very well over the last few years,” she said. “I look forward to the next chapter of my life.”

Residents and town officials gave Mealey a standing ovation.

Traditionally, Town Meeting has taken place at the Teresa C. Hamlin School, but since its closure and sale by the Gardiner-area school district, that’s no longer possible.

This year, the annual town budget vote was held at Farrin’s Country Auctions on Water Street.

Before the close of Town Meeting, Randolph Fire Chief Ron Cunningham said he hoped next year’s meeting could take place in the new fire station.

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