New Sharon town meeting set for Saturday

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NEW SHARON — Voters will gather at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Cape Cod Hill School for the annual town meeting to consider re-electing first Selectman Maynard Webster and filling the third selectman’s seat for one year.

Webster said Tuesday that he is ready to seek another term, but third Selectman Larry Donald has indicated he will not complete his three-year term.

From the floor, voters will elect someone to complete the last year of his term, Town Clerk Rose Mary Eller said.

Forrest Bonney and Terry McManus have expressed interest in fulfilling Donald’s position. Other candidates may be nominated from the floor.

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Other town officers will be chosen for the year, including road commissioner and a new town treasurer. Scott Pratt resigned due to work commitments. Deputy Treasurer Bonita Tompkins has completed the work this year, Eller said.

The Town Warrant represents a proposed 2012 budget of $771,669 if everything passes as requested, Webster said.

Voters last year raised $761,773 to cover the town budget. The town also paid $702,171 to Regional School Unit 9 and $100,646 in county taxes.

Selectmen this year are asking voters to raise and appropriate $10,000 to buy new digital tax maps from Aerial Survey and Photo of Norridgewock. The maps are connected to a Geographical Information System. The new digitalized maps provide a higher level of accuracy, Webster said.

Town maps are 20 years old and are accurate to plus or minus 25 feet to any given point, he said. The digitalized maps offer one-meter accuracy to any given point, ensuring surveyed lots are true, according to the Town Report.

New tax-map information would eventually be online. State updates could be superimposed, Webster said. Selectmen expect the digitalized data to cover any tax-map updates for the foreseeable future.

The Fire Department is seeking $8,000 for protective gear.

“It costs approximately $2,000 to equip a firefighter with personal protective equipment,” Acting Chief Gerry Provencher said in his report to the town.

A firefighter’s turnout gear has to be replaced every 10 years, Webster said. The amount would cover three or four sets per year for either new members or as replacement gear.

For the 50th anniversary of the Fire/Rescue Department, articles ask voters to raise and appropriate $31,650 for the department to operate, $10,000 for the firetruck reserve fund and $10,000 for the fire station reserve fund.

While $362,998 is requested for road construction and maintenance this year, selectmen recommend using paving funds carried over from 2011 and an estimated $33,880 in Urban-Rural Initiative Program funds to bring the amount to be raised from taxation down to $282,620.

The article covers $106,498 in paving, $65,000 in summer road maintenance, $45,000 for salt and sand, and $146,500 for snow-removal contracts, less the carryover and URIP amount.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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