June 21, 2018
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St. Albans facing ‘straightforward’ town meeting warrant calling for conservative spending

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

ST. ALBANS, Maine — Residents here will gather at the annual town meeting Saturday to decide on what Town Manager Rhonda Stark characterized as a conservative spending plan for the coming fiscal year.

Selectmen decided this year not to devote any money to road repair other than that which comes to the town through state government, which Stark said avoided a major spending increase.

Selectmen have recommended a budget of $833,503, which is about $27,000 more than the current year. The Board of Selectmen’s budget does not include expenditures for public schools or Somerset County services, which will be determined later this year.

The St. Albans Budget Committee shaved about $13,000 from selectmen’s proposals by recommending to delay refinishing the floor at the town hall, though they agreed with selectmen that the exterior of the building should be painted this year at a cost of $9,500. The budget committee also shaved $7,500 from the highway department’s salt budget, said Stark. The town meeting warrant will include the recommendations of both boards.

“It’s a pretty straightforward budget,” said Stark. “There aren’t any big new expenses.”

Saturday’s town meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the town hall. On Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the town hall, voters will decide on two contested municipal elections.

Road Commissioner Ronnie Finson, who has been in his position for more than 20 years, is being challenged by newcomer Sheldon Neal.

For the town’s budget committee there are four people vying for three seats: incumbents Dennis Smith, Ronald Fowle II and Michael Wiers, as well as newcomer Daniel Hanson.

Selectman Seth Snowman has chosen not to try to retain his seat, leaving it open for Jason Gould, who is unopposed on Friday’s ballot.

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