FARMINGDALE — Voters approved the town’s proposed spending plan of nearly $1.6 million Thursday and added $10,000 to the fire protection budget for the year.

The additional money came at the suggested of Town Clerk Rose Webster, who recommended to the nearly two dozen residents at the Hall-Dall Middle School gym that the requested $65,700 be increased to cover costs of the Farmingdale Fire Department.

With the additional costs of running the new fire station, Webster said, that doesn’t allow much money if one the fire trucks breaks down.

“If something breaks down on a fire truck, for a car it might cost $500, but on a fire truck it could cost $5,000,” she said.

Farmingdale Fire Chief Dana Mealey thanked Webster for bringing up the funding.

“We had a repair on one truck last year that cost $9,000,” Mealey said. “We don’t usually have that kind of fluff in the budget.”

For the past five or six years, any funds left over from fire protection has been put in a reserve account to be used for the purchase of a future fire truck or other vehicle.

During that same period, Farmingdale has also built a new $1.36 million fire station, which the department moved into at the end of 2019. The cost of running it has been higher than expected.

“The new station was strictly a crapshoot for what it would cost to maintain it,” Mealey said. “It was about $10,000-$12,000 for the year for heat, light and other things.”

Mealey said the Fire Department is all set on new buildings for years and years to come, and the increased request would give the department a bit of a fund.

Voters also approved an ordinance that would allow town officials to pursue reimbursement of fire department costs incurred responding to accidents and emergencies involving nonresidents. Mealey said any money collected would offset department costs.

They also approved $20,000 to take down trees the cemetery sexton has identified as dangerous, and selectmen agreed to consider adding a page to the annual town report to update residents on special projects at the town’s cemeteries, including a delayed fence replacement project.

Of the $1.69 million to be raised, only about $1 million will come from property tax.

Farmingdale’s property tax rate is $17.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The property tax for the coming budget year factors in assessments for Kennebec County government and Regional School Unit 2 as well as any changes in the town’s valuation that will be determined this summer.

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