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Owls Head budget sails to passage, citizens honored

By Stephen Betts | Sep 01, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Deena Carafelli was honored at Monday evening's Owls Head annual town meeting with the Spirit of America Foundation volunteer award.

Owls Head — Owls Head residents approved a $1.2 million municipal budget and elected town officials at their annual town meeting.

The town also honored two residents who have served their community.

Nearly 50 residents turned out for the Aug. 31 meeting held in the maintenance building at the Knox County Regional Airport, so residents could be spaced six feet apart. People attending wore face coverings.

Gordon Page was reelected without opposition to a second term on the Board of Selectmen. He was first elected to a two-year term in 2018.

Susan Thomas was reelected without opposition to another term to represent the town on the Regional School Unit 13 Board.

Adam Philbrook was reelected harbor master and William Leppanen as road commissioner. William George was elected to the town council, succeeding Dave Matthews.

The town announced the annual town report is dedicated to Frank Ross III. He is the longtime fire chief for the town. He has also served the town in many other capacities.

Deena Carafelli was given the Spirit of American Foundation award for volunteerism. Carafelli served as volunteer librarian for 23 years and served multiple terms on the Board of Selectmen.

Kerry Hadley, the new board president of the library, announced at the meeting that a donor contributed a $2,000 matching grant for the library and encouraged residents to donate. She said 20 to 25 people per week are now using the library and Wednesday hours (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) are being added in two weeks.

During the town meeting, residents unanimously approved an expenditure budget of $1,201,023. This is up from the $1,075,810 budget approved by residents in 2019.

The largest account is public works which was approved at $650,323, up from $519,465 last year. The increase is due to $130,000 for the harbor park project.

The general government account was approved at $332,830.

The public safety budget was approved at $212,120 which includes $100,692 for emergency medical care services from neighboring Rockland.

The human services budget was approved at $1,750 and the proposed unclassified budget at $400.

Revenues are budgeted at $738,264, slightly more than in 2019.

Town residents also approved taking $177,500 from surplus to pay for money that was inadvertently omitted from last year's tax commitment. Selectmen said that was an error on the part of the assessor's agent last year.

Budget Committee chair Bob Hirsch pointed out that the town's share of the RSU 13 budget has gone up 27% over the past two years.

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