Trash tops Thomaston town meeting talk
Thomaston — It took a little more than 90 minutes for 40-plus residents of Thomaston to pass all articles on their town warrant June 11.
Voters passed the recommended $2,949,427 budget, which is an increase of 3.99 percent over last year.
A breakdown of the $113,212 increase in taxes includes $24,552 in wage increases, $20,047 in operational cost for the Cooperative Transfer Station, $34,792 in unclassified account of which $16,803 is for Workers' Compensation, and $14,000 is for health insurance.
The transfer station drew the most discussion of the evening, questioning the necessity of the $20,000 increase.
"It costs to recycle," explained Selectman Peter Lammert, noting the amount is attributed to at least nine separate items.
He further stated that if citizens want to recycle they need to bring it to the station that way, instead of lumped all together.
The budget was reduced by $4,000 after prior deliberation and also supports from reserve and capital appropriation for the purchase of a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive public works truck with a snowplow to replace the 2004 unit, and the purchase of a police cruiser including trade-in of a 2009 unit on the two-year replacement plan.
Voters also supported the ambulance staffing at a cost of $17,500 from ambulance revenue, which would allow ambulance staff to be paid for a 12-hour on-call shift.
Approval was given for the expenditure of $10,000 from the unassigned fund balance for the Fourth of July celebration.
"The town remains financially stable in these shifting economic times," noted Town Manager Valmore Blastow Jr. when he presented his 23rd annual municipal budget recommendations in March.
Blastow noted the state revenue sharing continues to be a debated item.
"The current year is projected at $159,900 from the high of $483,231 in 2008 — which represents a reduction of $323,331," reported Blastow.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 14.