BETHEL – After approving nearly every article on the warrant as written Wednesday night, town meeting voters OK’d an amendment to buy a new ambulance.

That decision came after Bethel Rescue Director Cheryl Bennett amended Article 39, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $297,500 for capital improvements, Town Manager Scott Cole said Thursday afternoon.

Bennett motioned to raise an additional $125,000 for the ambulance.Cole said it was discussed at length before a majority of voters OK’d the amendment, then approved Article 39 as amended.

Voters increased the fiscal 2009 budget by 1.8 percent over the current budget by adding the new ambulance and $20,000 to the solid waste budget. They decreased the police department budget by $16,086, Cole said.

As written, based on recommendations by selectmen prior to town meeting, the 2009 budget would have been 2 percent below the current budget.

The approved municipal budget is $3.15 million, excluding Bethel’s SAD 44 and Oxford County assessments. Of that $3.15 million, $1.9 million will be supported by property taxes, Cole said.

The projected tax rate will be $10 per $1,000 of valuation, up from this year’s rate of $9.15.

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