Fairfield residents gather Monday at the community center for the annual Town Meeting, the first held in person in two years. Kaitlyn Budion/Morning Sentinel

FAIRFIELD — Residents approved a $6.4 million municipal budget at the Town Meeting on Monday, the first time the town has held its annual meeting in person in two years.

Roughly 50 people gathered at the Fairfield Community Center and approved all warrant articles, and after some discussion approved the higher dollar amounts on four articles where the Town Council and Budget Committee differed on spending.

The total expenses in the budget come out to roughly $6.4 million, although after factoring in expected revenue, the amount to be collected from taxes is roughly $2.2 million, a decrease of about 5%, or $125,000.

The four articles where the Town Council and Budget Committee disagreed were funding for the library, Fairfield Police Athletic League, Spectrum Generations and for the Victor Grange.

When it came time for the Police Athletic League article, there was some confusion as several people attempted to make a motion at the same time. Ultimately, the motion was made for the council recommendation of $35,582 to be given to the league, which was $10,000 more than the budget committee recommendation.

There was some discussion about why the organization needed the higher amount of funds, and Bruce Roderick, president of the league’s board, said the money was needed for additional maintenance to athletic fields in Fairfield. The public works department does help with some of the maintenance, and does an excellent job, he said, but some things have to be done by specialists.

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“There’s things that are out of their purview that we need to hire out — things that require chemical applications, maintenance of the baseball fields — that have to be done by a professional organization,” Roderick said.

The motion was approved by voters, granting the higher amount to the organization.

Concerning funding for Spectrum Generations, there was first a motion to approve the budget committee’s lower recommendation for $4,173, however, it was voted down. A second motion to approve the higher amount recommended by the council, for $5,000, was approved by voters. Spectrum Generations provides services for older and disabled adults.

For the library, voters approved the amount recommended by the budget committee, $217,784. The council had recommended $500 less than that. And for the Victor Grange, the amount recommended by the budget committee, $4,000, was approved by voters. The council had recommended $3,000.

At the start of the meeting officials awarded Thomas Munson with the 2022 Spirit of America Award. Munson has volunteered in a variety of roles in town, and has helped the community through his expertise in real estate.

Officials also dedicated the annual town report to Jeffrey Marshall, who died earlier this year. Marshall served on the Maine School Administrative District 49 board of directors, the Budget Committee and was a Planning Board alternate for several years. He served as a coach and umpire for youth sports, and helped establish the Police Athletic League program.

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