GILEAD – Residents passed a municipal and school 2006-2007 budget that reflects a 6 percent hike over the current year at their recent town meeting.

Administrative Assistant Beverley Corriveau said about 50 people devoted about two hours to act on the 40-article warrant on Saturday night, March 25.

The tax rate will be set in October for the approved $471,800 budget. Corriveau said that was up about $30,000 from the 2005-2006 budget. The current tax rate is $16.25 per $1,000 valuation.

Residents overwhelmingly approved lengthening the terms of the town clerk and treasurer, tax collector, and highway commissioner from one to three years. Incumbents Lin Chapman, town clerk and treasurer, Corriveau, tax collector, and Fred Corriveau, highway commissioner, were re-elected to those positions with no opposition.

Beverley Corriveau said the change was needed to provide greater job security, to give officers a chance to learn the job, and to eliminate the need to hold an election for the positions each year.

Also re-elected to their current positions were Third Selectman Mark Wigley, and town School Committee member Maxine Corriveau. Both positions are for three years.

Residents approved spending $12,000 for the purchase of three metal roll-off dumpsters for the Bridge Street transfer station. A street light is also expected to be installed at the site.

They also granted permission for the town to establish a reserve account for special education. Corriveau said selectmen are expected to discuss the amount to be placed in the account at their April 12 meeting. She said the funds will come from school surplus monies.

Other action included appropriating about $15,000 for paving a portion of the North Road, $3,000 more for the fire department to help pay for additional training, and $1,800 for updating tax maps.

The tax map updating is needed by selectmen to prepare for going out to bid for a complete property revaluation. Corriveau said the last full evaluation was undertaken in 1980. Percentage increases were made in 1991 and 1998.

She said a special town meeting will likely be called later in the year to raise money for the property revaluation.

Taxes may be paid without penalty through Nov. 29.