Strong elections and budget highlight annual town meeting.

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STRONG — Voters will choose two selectmen from among four candidates during Friday’s annual town elections from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Forster Building.

Chairman of the board Milt Baston, and James Burrill are seeking re-election to the board for three-year terms, along with challengers Rupert Pratt and Robert Boyd.

Duayne Boyd is running unopposed for fire chief for a three-year term. Chief Scott Dyar left the position recently to move out of state.

No one took out papers for a five-year Budget Committee seat.

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Town Clerk Lois Barker is running unopposed for a three-year term.

When voters convene for the annual town meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Forster Building, they will address funding needs and requests totaling $581,090, Treasurer Sandy Mitchell said.

“We’ve tried hard to keep the budget the same. It’s been pretty tough. There are some items that we have no control over,” Baston said. Those items insurance hikes, ambulance costs and other routine expenses.

New items requiring a town vote include starting a reserve account with $4,000 to replace the fire station roof, Baston said. The aging roof was patched with a waterproof fiberglass type paint that should last a few years but after inspecting the roof, the fire chief requested funds to start saving for replacement, an estimated $8,000 to $9,000 project, he said.

Another new funding request will help a former town employee with the cost of insurance until he is eligible for Medicare, Baston said. Robert Boyd retired from the town maintenance crew in January after 28 years. He came to selectmen asking for help with insurance costs until July of 2011 when he can enroll in Medicare, a request for $5,000 for retirement insurance. Selectmen decided to bring it before voters since it had not been done before, he said.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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