Issue: Town meetings and elections

On June 12 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. voters will decide the following elections.

Running for a three-year selectman’s term are: Steven Elsman, Hope McCabe and Dale McNeil.

Running unopposed for a three-year term as town clerk, treasurer and tax collector is Lianne Bedard.

Running unopposed for a three-year term on the SAD 39 School Board is Lynn Izzi.

Running unopposed for a one-year term as road commissioner is Jeremy Johnson.

Issue: Taxes

If residents approve the 64-article town meeting warrant taxpayers would face a slight tax rate increase. The municipal budget is $673,010. Selectmen have recommended taking $90,000 from the fund balance to reduce taxes so taxpayers will be looking at a tax rate of $13.08 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The tax rate last year was $13.07.

The complete budget including the school and county tax if approved will be just over $1.6 million. The school warrant will be voted on June 13 by district voters. If approved, Hartford’s share would be $901,105. Last year the total was $859,113.

The scoop: On Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. a public Hearing will be held in the Hartford Town Hall on the Town Warrant. The annual town meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 14.


Issue: Flood buyout update

The Scoop: Diane Ray has announced that the town has been notified of a Federal Emergency Management Agency award that should provide enough money to complete the buyout of local homes in the floodplain of the Androscoggin River.

Up next: The buyout money should become available in September.

Issue: Brook and town clean up date

The scoop: At 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, and Saturday, June 9, people are asked to meet to form clean-up crews along routes 140 and 108. People should bring gloves, bug spray, sunscreen, a rake, shovel, wheelbarrow if possible and a water bottle.


Board: Sumner Selectmen

Met: Tuesday, May 22

Issue: Fire Department Budget

The scoop: The budget committee discussed purchasing a new fire truck. The Sumner Volunteer Fire Department is looking at a $140,000 pumper tanker. According to fire Chief Bob Stewart the old tanker is unreliable. In a rural area where there are no fire hydrants, it is critical to have water available to fight the fire until additional water comes from surrounding towns, Stewart said.

Up next: One-third of the tanker’s cost is available but the budget committee is still studying how long the town should take to pay for the remainder.

Issue: Garbage dumping

The scoop: The owners of garbage dumped on the roadside in Sumner have been located and they have arranged to have it cleaned up.

Issue: Town complex gardens

The scoop: The Town Office staff extended thanks to Maynard and Sons Trucking and to Road Commissioner Jim Keach for donating time and equipment to deliver manure to the town complex gardens. Thanks were also extended to Mt. Tom Snowmobile Club for donations of plants for the gardens.

Issue: Property assessment

The scoop: Selectmen decided to increase land values by 20 percent except for tree growth and farm land. The value of tree growth and farm land is set by the state. The reason for the increase is that the town is penalized if it’s valuation differs too much from the state assessment. Sumner is now at 89 percent of the state assessment. The increase will bring the town assessment up to 97.9 percent of the state assessment. This saves the expense of having the town reassessed at this time, selectmen said.

Sumner-based freelance writer Mary Standard wrote this installment of Government at a glance in Oxford County towns. Reach her via e-mail at: [email protected]