About 60 residents pass a $1.2 million municipal budget Saturday during Washington’s annual Town Meeting at Prescott Memorial School. Emily Duggan/Kennebec Journal

 WASHINGTON – In what the town clerk characterized as a “quick and painless” annual Town Meeting, voters approved a $1,213,055 municipal budget in about a hour.

Town Clerk Mary Anderson said all 40 articles were passed Saturday morning with little to no discussion, including a new town-owned property ordinance.  

Around 60 people attended the meeting at Prescott Memorial School, similar to last year. The town has 1,302 registered voters. 

The $1.2 million municipal budget is roughly $500,000 lower than last year’s $1.7 million spending plan. 

With Article 23’s passage, the town voted to appropriate $40,000 from the unexpended 2022 appropriations and $50,000 from the undesignated fund to decrease the tax commitment by $90,000. 

Saturday’s vote was for the municipal budget, and did not include school or Knox County spending. The Maine School Administrative District 40 budget will be voted on in June.


Anderson announced that Katherine Grinnell won a spot on the Select Board, defeating three-term incumbent Tom Johnston.  

A slate of people were elected to the Budget Committee to serve one-year terms, including Deborah Bocko, Wendy Carr, Jesse Casas, Sean Donaghey, Donald Grinnell, Kathleen Ocean and David Williams. Kimberly Linscott and Joan Tognacci will serve as alternatives.  

With the passage of Article 16, which allows municipal officials to apply for Homeland Security or other grants that become available, the town’s emergency management services director, Donald Grinnell, said the town received $66,000 from a disaster declaration President Biden approved this week. 

Grinnell noted in his annual Town Report that a December storm caused damage through downed trees, wires and road washouts. The Old County Road culvert at Davis Stream was completely washed out from the storm. 

“As you all know, the major storm from Christmas caused damage to the town,” Donald Grinnell said. “I went through and applied, and Knox County was granted the money one to two days ago. We will get $66,000. The federal government pays 75% of it, the state pays 15% and we pay the rest.” 

The property ordinance voters approved is for the town-owned areas of the Public Works garage, the Nelson-Butterfield Park, the Washington Pond boat launch, the Village Park and any other tax properties designated by the Select Board.  


The ordinance states that vehicles left unoccupied, or unattended after dark may be towed. It also limits the weight of vehicles that can use the Washington Pond public boat launch and the Nelson-Butterfield Park on Crystal Pond to 24,000 pounds or less. Fines can range from $100 to $500. 

Peg Hobbs, a member of the Recreation Committee, said she plans to apply for grants to put walking trails and sidewalks in towns and asked the town for help with the planning. She said that sidewalks are “not just for the city” and that there are grants available for rural towns.

She hopes the trails and sidewalks will help make the town safer and add more outdoor activities for people to enjoy. 

“Our kids are fresh air kids!” Hobbs emphasized. 

The Spirit of America award was given to Mildred Melgard who, at 82, said she is “slowing down” but “will try her best” to continue with her efforts for the town. She worked the Town Meeting as an election clerk. 

The small town of around 1,500 recorded six marriages, 18 births and 33 deaths, and sold 247 dog licenses in 2022.  

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