CHELSEA — Residents of Chelsea will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed $1.6 million town budget on June 8.

The proposed budget of $1,631,437 is an increase of more than $100,000 in comparison to last year’s budget of $1,525,433.

The town election is scheduled for Tuesday with polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chelsea Elementary School gym. On Thursday, June 10, the town will have an in-person business meeting at 6:30 p.m., also in the gym. Voters are able to vote absentee up until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

“We are projecting a loss in revenue,” Town Manager Scott Tilton said. “School and accounting went up. Of the budget, $64,000 of the $106,000 in increases are for the roads, not a lot.”

A majority of items on the budget decreased from last year, in the areas of town government, tax assessing, board committee tax expenses and employee tax and benefits. The town is experiencing a loss in revenue from last year’s amount of $497,840 to the upcoming year’s amount of $493,324.

Of the decreases, the proposed fund for the town government went down from $250,219 last year to $243,281 this year. Public service costs decreased, too, in the areas of fire protection services, ambulance services and public safety. Fire protection went from $99,758 last year to $99,659 this year, ambulance services from $38,838 last year to $37,207 this year and public safety went from $28,967 to $26,197.

Among the increases, one of the largest areas of the budget is for legal services, which went up 53% in comparison to last year. Last year the town asked for $10,000 of the budget to go toward legal services, but this year, Chelsea is asking for $23,000.

Chelsea town manager Scott Tilton

Tilton said the increase is for hiring a bond council committee to discuss the town’s ability to do “substantial work” on the roads. Tilton said the last time the town borrowed money was around eight years ago. The committee will cost around $1,600, he said. Also part of the legal services is for tax increment financing or TIF in the Windsor area of town and the Augusta town line to Ferry Road, costing $13,000.

Other increases in the budget are in areas of winter road maintenance and general assistance.

Michael Pushard voted against the summer roads, mainly because, according to Tilton, Pushard wanted the road budget to decrease by $50,000 for the summer. The amount recommended by the selectboard with Pushard in disagreement is $600,213 and the budget committee recommended $535,553.

Chelsea residents will also have the opportunity to vote to fill 20 positions, which include:

• Three write-in seats on the Regional School Unit 12 Board of Directors that are currently held by Michael Lemelin, Doug Crochere and Richard Cote, who is vice chair.

• A three-year Select Board position that is currently held by Deb Sanderson, who will not be seeking reelection. Jason Mills will run for Sanborn’s spot. The Select Board position has to be filled and Mills will need 25 signatures to make it happen.

• Two write-in town Budget Committee seats that are currently held by Carol Belanger and Marion Bowman; neither is seeking reelection.

•  Seven write-in Planning Board seats.

• Three write-in Appeals Board seats.

• Four write-in Board of Assessment seats.

If the other elected positions are not filled, the Select Board can appoint members to fill the positions for a year, Tilton said.

Also on the ballot is a Solar Array Ordinance, which sets guidelines for the ability to put solar panels and place and gain revenue from the use. Tilton said the town has no plans to set or install any solar power panels, but that the ordinance would just create town guidelines.

On the same day as the vote, June 8, Chelsea residents will be able to vote for the RSU 12 school budget for next year in the amount of $24,277,840 with a local fund of $13,043,097 to be raised. Chelsea’s part of the RSU 12 budget has an increase of $76,554 — or 3% over last year. Chelsea has the most students in the district with 390 students.

On June 10, for the public business meeting, the town will be going over the budget and answering any questions. The business meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Elementary School gym.

All voting will be June 8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., also in the gym.


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