No big changes in services forecast for North Haven

Posted March 12, 2009, at 9:43 p.m.

NORTH HAVEN, Maine — While the overall proposed budget is about 1.6 percent smaller than last year’s, voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting shouldn’t notice any major changes to services, the town clerk said.

Residents of the island community will choose two selectmen and vote on a budget for the new year that’s just slightly reduced from last year’s $1.68 million. The budget does not include funding for schools, which occurs at another meeting for SAD 7. That will be held at the end of June.

“I don’t think we had any major cutbacks,” Town Clerk Kathy Macy said Thursday. “We’re just trimming up — and some of our insurance premiums went down a little bit, surprisingly enough.”

Macy said that 90 to 100 people attended last year’s annual town meeting, which is less than a third of the island’s wintertime population of 375 people. In the summer, the island swells to between 1,500 and 2,000 people, she said.

Islanders who do come to meeting can expect to see incumbent Selectman Linda Darling running again, and Merton Howard running for the selectman’s seat vacated by Louis Carrier. Other candidates can be nominated from the floor, Macy said.

Some of the larger sums listed on the town warrant include $204,227 for town administration, $41,771 for the Fire Department, $61,818 for emergency medical services and $287,930 for medical coverage. Some of the money will be raised through taxes, but other sums will come through fees and the town’s fund balance.

Voters also will decide the fate of a much smaller amount — $2,122 — for the island’s dance fund, which is on the warrant among other items residents can choose to carry forward from 2007.

“We used to give dances here in the community building. We haven’t had a dance in ages,” Macy said, adding that the fund is “just sitting there” right now.

That could change this summer, she said.

“We might tap into it a bit for Community Days,” Macy said.

North Haven’s annual town meeting will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at the North Haven Community Building.

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