One issue before voters is whether the town should keep a three-person police force or return to a four-person one.

DIXFIELD – Voters attending Dixfield’s annual town meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7, in the Dirigo Middle School gym, will see a host of new items on the warrant.

Among them are two requests to borrow thousands of dollars to buy a new Public Works Department truck and go in with Wilton by paying half the costs associated with building a new addition to the East Dixfield Fire Department.

Depending on whether voters favor recommendations by the Finance Committee or selectmen, the proposed 2003-04 gross municipal budget will either be $1,594,186 or $1,549,428, respectively.

Town Manager Nanci Allard said the $1.54 million budget by selectmen represents a $16,124 increase over last year’s budget.

Selectmen expect that Article 6, which concerns the police department budget, will generate considerable discussion because the board is recommending that the town remain with a three-person police force while the Finance Committee favors returning to a four-person force.

As a result, selectmen requested that the article be voted upon by secret ballot.

The committee whittled the Police Department’s initiated budget request of $196,730 down to $165,702, while selectmen cut it even further to $133,394.

Social services requests were also whacked by both groups. A total request of $25,193 from 15 agencies was pared to $10,662 by the committee and $9,712 by selectmen.

The two groups also differed on insurance and benefits. The committee recommends raising the initiated request of $206,950, while selectmen pared that to $195,450.

Both groups agreed on raising $250 for the River Valley Rivers ATV Club instead of the requested $5,000 amount in Article 18.

Article 21 asks voters to raise $17,000 to buy a Two-Dial E. Howard Post Clock Replica from Electric Time Co., Inc., of Medfield, Mass., to commemorate the town’s 200th birthday.

According to the warrant, the cost would be included in the town’s 2003-04 gross operating budget but Allard believed that was a mistake, which is why she didn’t include it in the overall operating budget figures.

The warrant states that the town has received $7,649 from various contributors toward purchase of the clock. But, at Monday night’s selectmen meeting, Charlotte Collins said Donna and Butch Towle, who previously donated $500 toward the clock, gave another $2,500.

Article 23 asks voters to authorize municipal officers to buy a new Public Works truck by borrowing up to $70,000 on a five-year note.

Article 24 seeks authorization to borrow up to $45,000 on a five-year note as Dixfield’s half of building a new addition to the East Dixfield Fire Department. Wilton voters already approved their half of the costs associated with the project.

Articles 25 and 26, respectively, seek authorization to allow municipal officers to disburse $10,000 from secured funds through the Maine Department of Human Services and $10,000 through secured funds for a Community Development Block Grant, for Dixfield Water System improvements.

Article 28 seeks to adopt a slew of state-adopted fire prevention codes and standards, while Article 29 asks voters to repeal the Dixfield Subdivision Ordinance that was adopted at the May 21, 1990, town meeting, and adopt the Planning Board’s new Subdivision Ordinance.

The new ordinance, pending voter approval, would become effective upon date of adoption.

At 9 a.m., prior to the annual town meeting, there will be a re-enactment of Dixfield’s first town meeting in the middle school cafeteria.

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