South Thomaston sets town meeting warrant

Feb 12, 2014

South Thomaston — The South Thomaston Select Board signed a 26 article warrant Feb. 11 and set the annual town meeting for Tuesday, March 25 at the Gilford Butler School, according to a press release from Administrative Assistant John Spear.

The board's proposed 2014 budget includes a decrease of $14,150, or 2.41 percent in the amount of property taxes required to fund town operations, even though total municipal expenditures are slated to increase by $98,553, said Spear.

The expenditure increase results in large part from $105,000 in anticipated road paving costs, which are to be funded in part by $70,000 from the town’s paving reserve fund. Projected increases of approximately $40,000 in automobile excise taxes and other revenues contribute to the property tax decrease.

Spear cautioned the overall property tax levy will not be known until the town’s assessment from Regional School Unit 13 is issued after the district's budget is finalized. Spear noted the district's assessment comprises approximately 80 percent of the town’s property tax levy.

The warrant also seeks voter approval of a proposal to expend up to $350,000 to purchase a fire truck to replace the 1989 model year Engine 5. This proposed expenditure would be funded by utilizing $244,200 from the town’s fire truck replacement reserve fund, $10,000 in an anticipated donation, $5,000 from a trade in allowance or sale, and by borrowing $90,800.

By a margin of 85 to 62, voters rejected purchasing a fire truck to replace the 2003 model year Engine 1 at the 2013 town meeting. The select board, at the request of the fire chief and the ad hoc fire truck replacement committee convened by the chief, elected to put this matter to the voters at the 2014 town meeting.

The board noted the current proposal is significantly different from last year’s, in that the truck to be replaced is the 25-year-old Engine 5, and consequently the voters should be given the opportunity to consider the matter.

Voters will also be asked at the meeting to elect a select board member for a term of three years to replace Robert Branco, who is not seeking reelection. Moira Paddock and Sonja Sleeper have filed nomination papers for the open seat.

Also on the warrant is an election for a three-year term for the town’s only seat on the RSU 13 Board of Directors. Incumbent Christine Curtis is the only person who filed nomination papers for that position.

The town meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

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