HARTFORD – Fifty-nine articles will greet voters Thursday, as they assemble for the first weeknight town meeting.

The change from a Saturday to a weeknight was made by the Board of Selectmen in hopes of bringing more people to the open town meeting.

If all articles pass at the annual town meeting, the 2007 budget recommended by selectmen will be $622,514. The Budget Committee has recommended articles totaling $617,514. Neither figure includes school costs.

Money to be raised by local property tax is $1,079,913. This does not include the entire school budget.

The meeting, to convene at 7 p.m. May 18, at Town Hall will be preceded by a covered dish dinner at 6 p.m.

Voters will be asked if they will change the term of town clerk, treasurer and tax collector from a one-year term to a three-year term. Selectmen are endorsing this change, saying it is important for the continuity of the position.

Another article asks if residents will change the position of Road Committee member from an elected to an appointed position. Selectmen believe this change would ensure active participation and help the committee function properly.

Voters will also be asked if they will accept an agreement with the Nezinscot Valley Purchasing Authority for bulk purchasing such items as culverts, gravel and fuel to save money. The authority provides for the towns of Sumner, Buckfield and Hartford and carries a $500 administrative cost.

The largest money requests are summer roads for $138,680 and winter roads for $134,562. The administrative account asks for $113,142.