Municipal budget drops by nearly 8 percent


GILEAD — Voters approved a municipal budget of just under $269,000 for the current calendar year during a three-and-a-half-hour town meeting Saturday night. That’s a nearly 8 percent decrease from the last calendar year.

Last year’s municipal budget, adopted during the annual town meeting and at a special town meeting to raise $18,000 for the transfer station, totaled $291,000.

Deputy Town Clerk Alicia McLean said 82 people from this tiny western Maine town turned out for the annual event.

Incumbent Selectman Stephen McLain Jr. retained his seat over the challenger, former longtime Selectman Fernand Corriveau, by a vote of 56-26. Residents also elected a new school committee member, Ann Choquette, a home health nurse, over Sherri Cordwell by a vote of 38-33. Incumbent school committee member Bethany Corriveau chose not to seek another term.

Townspeople also approved a revision of the Comprehensive Plan, which had been revised for the first time since it was originally written in the mid-1990s, by a vote of 23-11.

Among the changes are incorporation of new state laws governing shoreland and floodplain laws, and recommendations to write a road ordinance and a site plan review ordinance.

Four separate road and bridge articles, which asked residents to raise a total of $204,000, were passed over until more study can be completed, said McLean.

She said the county’s emergency management office may be able to help the town apply for and receive some funding for one or more of the projects.

When and if a grant is received, a special town meeting will be called for resident action, she said.

Road projects proposed were for two sections of the North Road, a section of the Bog Road and repairs to the Lary Brook Bridge.

The new tax rate will be determined once the Oxford County tax and school taxes are figured in. Gilead sends most of its students to nearby SAD 44. The current rate is $17.30 per $1,000 valuation.

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