Anson OKs $2.1 million town budget

Anson residents at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting passed a $2.1 million budget and elected two to the Select Board.

Tammy Murray, the town clerk and tax collector, said Monday the municipal budget increased 9.3% from last year. Murray said this was due to replacing aging town equipment, and inflated oil and gas prices.

All 41 articles on the town warrant passed, Murray said, but one was amended before it was approved. The amendment allowed the town to put an additional $2,000 into the fire capital reserve account beyond what the Select Board requested. The money is to be used to buy individual oxygen tanks used by firefighters to breathe in hazardous environments. The tanks are more expensive now, Murray said, so the town was “just bringing things up to cost.”

The meeting included lengthy discussion on allocating $142,645 for wages and benefits for full-time firefighters as the Fire Department transitions from an all-volunteer force, Murray said. The article was decided by secret ballot, passing 44 to 23.

Murray said there will likely be a slight increase in the property tax rate, but it was premature Monday to say what the rate will be because school and county budgets have yet to be finalized.


Six town officials were elected to office Friday. James Smith was reelected as a selectman, with 79 votes, and a second, vacant seat on the Select Board went to newcomer Sharon Mellows, who received 91 votes.

Grace Carrero and Judith Dunphy won seats on Regional School Unit 74 board of directors, each running unopposed. Carrero received 100 votes and Dunphy 92.

John Bryant unseated Ralph Withee as a trustee for the Anson-Madison Water District, with 70 votes to Withee’s 38. Withee, however, will serve as a trustee for Anson-Madison Sanitary District because no one ran in that race and he received four write-in votes.

Cornville approves purchase of $242,000 snowplow

Cornville residents at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting approved a $771,000 municipal budget that includes a new town snowplow that will cost $242,000.

Selectman Mel Blaisdell said the budget represents an 8% decrease, or $100,000, from the spending plan approved last year. Whether the tax rate of $17 per $1,000 worth of valuation changes depends on the still-unknown school and county budgets, he said.


Decreases in the budget are due to other costs being less this year than last, according to Blaisdell, who has been a selectman for 45 years.

Blaisdell said 37 people attended the meeting, approving the warrant articles in 25 minutes.

“Every article went through,” he said. “No problems anywhere.”

The town report was dedicated to Myron Moody, who was the town’s road commissioner for 45 years and chose not to run for reelection, instead opting to retire last fall. Blaisdell said Cornville has 48 miles of roads and four old snowplows the town needed to start replacing.

Blaisdell ran unopposed for his seat and won. Newcomer Julian Payne was elected to the School Administrative District 54 board of directors, succeeding Gary Sinclair, who chose not to run for reelection. Payne, who ran unopposed, is a former member of the Waterville Board of Education.

Town budget increases in Embden, but property taxes could decrease.


Embden residents passed a $1.6 million municipal budget Saturday at the annual Town Meeting.

Select Board Chairman Charles Taylor said Monday that expenses increased by about 10% from last year, in line with inflation. He said, however, that residents could see reduced property taxes this year.

The tax rate is to be determined in the summer, after the school district and Somerset County Commissioners set their budgets. Taylor said the town used excess revenues from last year to reduce the impact on taxpayers.

All 38 articles on the town warrant passed with no amendments, Taylor said. The article that generated the most debate was the proposal to increase the property tax levy limit if the municipal budget requires a tax commitment that is more than the current limit. Residents eventually voted 30-8 in favor.

More than 100 voters turned out Friday to fill four elected positions. The only contested race was for the Select Board, which incumbent Wayne McLaughlin won with 77 votes. McLaughlin is to serve a three-year term.

Ruth Blake was reelected as tax collector and Michael Witham was reelected as road commissioner, each having received 103 votes.


Write-in candidate Robert Lightbody was reelected with 23 votes to the Regional School Unit 74 board of directors.

“We’re sitting very well in Embden,” Taylor said. “It’s a delight having the Town Meeting and the thoughtful questions. It really works as the purest form of government.”

Solon residents reject changes to road commissioner’s job

Solon residents passed a $1.3 million municipal budget during Saturday’s annual Town Meeting and elected a new selectman.

Elaine Aloes, chairwoman of the Select Board, said Monday that the budget increased from last year, and the town will need to raise an additional $48,835 in taxation.

Aloes said the town is waiting on the school district and Somerset County Commissioners to see how their budgets affect the property tax rate, but said that “for our portion, it won’t affect the mill rate.” The mill rate is the figure used to calculate property taxes.


The 58 voters at Saturday’s meeting approved all but two articles on the town warrant, Aloes said. They rejected proposals to:

• Have the town’s road commissioner also serve as the director of the Public Works Department, beginning in 2024.

• Make the road commissioner/public works director an appointed — rather than elected — position.

“People thought the road commissioner has enough to do taking care of the roads,” Aloes said, “and didn’t want him to also have to be responsible for the transfer station.”

While the other 37 articles were approved, two were amended before being passed. Initially, one article proposed the town use up to $38,774 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to lease solar panels for the Town Office and buy heat pumps for the fire station.

Aloes said a later quote for the equipment came in at $10,000 more than expected, so residents approved the article for $48,774 and voted to spend $10,000 less on another article, a land purchase for a new town garage.

In voting, John Dunay received 32 votes in winning a term as selectman over Zane Brown and incumbent Lois Miller; Gary Bishop was reelected with 70 votes as road commissioner; and Laura Layman received 65 votes and won reelection to the Regional School Unit 74 board of directors.

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