Farmington voters to face $4.4M budget


FARMINGTON — Farmington voters will gather for their annual town meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Community Building to decide on a $4.4 million municipal budget, a shoreland zoning ordinance, an  animal control ordinance change to address barking dogs and a 46-article warrant.

The meeting begins on Friday with town elections for two selectmen positions and two school board directors taking place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Community Center, said Town Clerk Leanne Pinkham.

Selectmen Stephan Bunker and Dennis Pike both seek re-election while Andrew Hufnagel seeks to take one of the selectmen seats. Ray Glass is seeking re-election to the school board and Monique Claverie seeks to replace Director Yvette Robinson who is not running again for the board.

Breaking with the traditional Monday night meeting this year, Farmington officials opted to try a Saturday meeting to provide a better opportunity for more residents to attend. The meeting reconvenes on Saturday morning for citizens to vote on warrant articles.

In an effort to keep costs down, the proposed 2010 budget of $4,411,560 represents a decrease of $3,061 from the 2009 budget. Running the town government makes up 89 percent of the total budget with the rest allotted to capital road improvements, debt service on the town garage and newest fire truck and other special projects and contracts, said Town Manager Richard Davis in a town meeting overview.

According to the town warrant, department requests reflect a 0.683 percent decrease in wages and salaries.

Selectmen and Budget Committee members agreed on all but two warrant article requests, he said. Selectmen recommend funding the American Red Cross at $2,000 and the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project at $3,000 while the Budget Committee recommends no funding for either agency. According to the warrant, their reasoning is based on their belief that donations to charitable organizations should be by individual choice rather than property tax.

A recent request to amend the town’s animal control ordinance to cover chronic dog barking resulted in a proposed draft that will come before voters Saturday. The draft provides more specific information to help police and the animal control officer “evaluate dog barking and enforcing against” it.

Voters will also revisit amending the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance to include changes in accordance with the current state model that has previously been used to update the ordinance and keep it consistent with state requirements.

Other articles are listed in the annual town report released Friday and available this week in some area stores and the library.

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