Machias residents approve all 55 articles

Posted June 10, 2010, at 12:50 a.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Maine residents approve all 55 articles — Approximately 60 Machias voters passed all 55 articles at the annual town meeting Wednesday night, most with no discussion.

The budget will raise taxation by about 5 percent, said Town Manager Chris Loughlin, with most of that increase due to a loss in state and local revenues. Loughlin explained that the actual budget only increased by just under 0.5 percent.

Loughlin has estimated that the town’s revenue losses would be between $130,000 and $150,000, with the majority being state revenue sharing funds.

At the start of the meeting, the results of Tuesday’s elections were announced.

Warren Gay was re-elected selectman with 187 votes, defeating challengers Stephen Berry Sr. (76 votes) and Belden Morse (147 votes). Shawn Scoville was unopposed and re-elected to the school board.

Town voters also ratified the May approval of the $4 million school budget and approved continuing the school budget validation process for an additional three years.

Wednesday night, the hourlong meeting raised $1.2 million through taxation for the $1,847,640 municipal budget. Included were increases in personnel costs of almost $13,000, a $2,000 increase for Fire Department expenditures, a decrease in insurance costs, a small increase for the transfer station account, a decrease for the public safety building, a decrease for the Police Department, and small increases in the Public Works Department, county tax assessment and animal control costs.

Third party requests from such entities as the Red Cross, Burnham Tavern, the Chamber of Commerce and Porter Memorial Library were decreased by $6,000.

Debt service showed a slight increase of $13,000, with a total request of $332,420.

The voters approved continuing to fund downtown revitalization efforts, a contingency account of $20,000, and $3,000 for the repair of sidewalks.

Also approved were a significant increase of $40,000 for road repairs and $5,000 for town hall roof repairs.

Only one motion failed, an amendment to share a lawnmower purchase with the Machias School Department. The amendment failed with 14 yes votes and 21 no.

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