Gilead road work calls for 62 percent budget increase


GILEAD — Residents will choose a selectman and a school board member, decide whether to adopt an updated comprehensive plan, and act on a proposed $472,831 municipal budget when they gather Saturday night.

The annual town meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

The proposed budget, at $473,000, is 62 percent higher than the current operating budget of $291,000. However, administrative assistant Alicia McLean said all the proposed town road project, which make up the proposed increase, aren’t expected to be passed.

Four separate road and bridge articles in the 42-article warrant, ask for a total of $204,000.

She said road commissioner Fred Corriveau will recommend which of the four roads are the most important to fund.

“The Bog Road is most important,” McLean said.

The proposed cost for that work is $28,000. Others recommended are two sections of the North Road at a combined cost of $56,000 and repair of the Lary Brook Bridge at a cost of $120,000.

Other money articles include about $3,900 for social service organizations, a drop of $400 from the current year, an increase in maintenance of roads and bridges to $50,000, a reduction in fire department funding because of carryover funds, and another reduction in cemetery maintenance, also because of carryover funds.

Selectman Stephen McLain Jr. and school board member Bethany Corriveau are expected to seek additional three-year terms. The town is unaffiliated with a school district and pays for its students to attend area school systems. Most attend Regional School Unit 44, headquartered in Bethel.

All elective positions are nominated and acted on from the floor.

Residents will also decide whether to adopt an updated comprehensive plan. The first, and only such document, was adopted in 1994, said Fergus Lea, planner with Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, which is the organization that assisted the town with the writing of the revised version.

Jack Pucak, chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, said the major changes are incorporation of state laws, such as shoreland and floodplain laws, and recommendations to write a road ordinance and a site plan review ordinance.

“For the most part, residents are satisfied with the land use ordinances,” he said.

Another recommendation calls for allowing development along ridge lines in such a way as to allow unobstructed vistas, he said.

The town’s current tax rate is $17.30 per $1,000 valuation. The proposed municipal budget does not include school or Oxford County taxes.

[email protected]