Voting, Monday, March 18

Another double-digit increase eyed for Friendship

Town meeting Tuesday, March 19
By Beth A. Birmingham | Mar 08, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham One article on the Friendship warrant asks voters to raise up to $20,000 to repair the walkways along Harbor Road from the Advent Christian Church to Tamarack Road. Voting takes place March 18 and the town meeting will be held March 19.

Friendship — At the town meeting March 19, at 6 p.m. at the Hahn Community Center, Friendship voters will be looking at a municipal budget increase of 13.12 percent.

The proposed budget to be raised and appropriated by the town totals $463,453, an increase of $60,795 from last year.

Municipal elections for candidates and ballot questions will be held Monday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

Of the eight articles to be voted on by secret ballot, five seek approval of financial expenditures. Those include:

-- whether to spend $6,500 for fireworks for Friendship Day, Saturday, July 27 -- which was defeated last year by a 115-105 vote;

-- whether to raise up to $20,000 to pave the walkways along Harbor Road from the Advent Christian Church to Tamarack Road;

-- whether to raise up to $12,000 for the purchase of a York Rake, a piece of equipment used for road maintenance;

-- and whether to spend $4,000 to replace the copy machine in the Town Office.

One other article seeks voter approval for selectmen to appropriate $75,000 -- $25,000 each from the Vehicle Replacement Fund, the General Fund and Automobile Excise Tax -- and borrow a principal amount of $185,000 for the purchase of a new fire engine, and to raise an additional $49,697.45 for the first of four annual payments on the vehicle.

Nearly half of this year's increase -- $27,438 -- is for the first payment of a plow truck that was approved at last year's town meeting, according to Town Clerk Joel Fearn.

He also said the town is trying to keep $25,000 to $30,000 in the maintenance fund for various projects.

A breakdown of the budget shows:

— General government at $193,830, down one tenth of a percent, or $282;

— Protection at $164,320, up 1 percent, or $1,836;

— Roads at $196,131, up 2 percent, or $3,737;

— Buildings at $65,685, up 10.4 percent, or $6,822;

— Health, Sanitation and Social Services at $99,849, down 1.4 percent, or $1,367;

— Community Development at $4,600, up 2.4 percent, or $110;

— Debt Service at $27,538, as explained above.

The sum of the general budget, combined with article requests, totals $863,453. After applying $400,000 from various accounts to reduce taxes, voters will be asked to raise a total of $463,453, an increase of $60,795, or 13.12 percent, from last year.

On the ballot for election March 18 are incumbents David Benner for selectman, Victor Motyka for assessor, and Brooke Simmons for RSU 40 Board of Directors. All are running unopposed for their respective three-year terms.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Friendship town meeting
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