FREEDOM, Maine — The 60 people who turned out Saturday morning for the annual town meeting decided to give the go-ahead for Freedom to buy a new, $250,000 pumper-tanker firetruck. The town needed to raise about $175,000 for the new truck, according to Selectman Ronald Price.
Voters also agreed to allow the town to take up to $35,000 from the town capital improvement fund to lay down a concrete pad where road salt and sand will be placed.
Town Clerk Cindy Abbott said Wednesday that altogether the municipal budget is estimated at $837,000. Last year’s budget was $815,852.
Voters decided not to raise and appropriate $15,000 for the public safety department’s capital improvement account, which had been requested, Abbott said. She also said residents decided to trim some of the requests for funding from social service agencies and then added PenBay Medical Center to the list, to which they gave $701.
On Friday, voters elected Brian Jones to the one contested seat on the board of selectmen. He beat incumbent Carol Richardson by 82 to 57.
Thorndike residents will be asked to approve building new town office
THORNDIKE, Maine — Voters who attend the annual town meeting on Saturday, March 19, will be asked what they want to do about the town office, said First Selectman James Bennett.
“Our town office is in sad, sad shape,” he said, adding that the structure is leaky, moldy and has buckled walls.
Community officials have said the town is eligible for nearly $70,000 in grant money if voters want to build a new building.
“They’re turning down a lot if they turn it down,” Bennett said. “It’s come to the point now where we have to do something. It costs too much to redo this one.”
Voters also will decide whether to reduce the price of a trash bag sticker from $1.50 back to $1, he said. Back when the cost was a dollar, the town generated $13,000 from the stickers. Now, although the price is higher, the revenues are down to $10,000.
Bennett said that the town likely will have an increase in the municipal budget but not a big one.
Excise tax is way down, the state’s revenue sharing has “taken money away from” Thorndike, and interest has dropped by about $8,000 on some money that was bequeathed to the town years ago.
“We’ve got to make that up,” he said.
On the bright side, the Waldo County budget is a bit less this year than it was last year, said Bennett, who also is on the Waldo County budget committee.
Municipal elections will happen on the floor, and all three of the current selectmen who are holding one-year seats have indicated that they wish to run again, he said. Those selectmen are Bennett, Gerald Berry and Steven Fitton.
Bennett said that incumbent Regional School Unit 3 Director Helen Sahadi has indicated she would like to be re-elected to the board.
The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Mount View School middle school gymnasium, and the fire department will serve dinner for $5 per person after the meeting.