MEXICO – Selectmen on Wednesday night set a series of meetings with the Budget Committee to develop the 2009-10 spending proposal.

Town Manager John Madigan said at last month’s meeting that he expects to keep a new budget at about the same level as the current year’s $3.35 million, a figure he said was needed to retain all existing municipal services.

In keeping an agreement with several on the Budget Committee, the town will begin its budget development process a little earlier this year than last.

Scheduled were combined sessions with the Budget Committee for March 3, 5, 12, 17 and 19. A sixth meeting to hear requests from outside agencies, such as social service organizations, was also set for April 2.

All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are held in the downstairs meeting room of the town hall.

Residents will vote on the final proposal June 9. Seven to 10 days prior to the referendum vote, a public hearing will be held to give people a chance to ask questions and learn about the proposed operating budget.

In a related matter, Madigan updated the board on the status of the current budget that included greater use of heating oil, but not costs since the price of fuel oil has declined. Also, he said excise tax revenues are down about $8,000 compared with this time last year, and costs for animal control services are up slightly.

In another matter, Dr. Albert Aniel presented a letter to the board from Rumford Hospital asking for a moratorium on the development of wind turbine projects.

Madigan said none have yet come before the town.

Aniel said a growing body of literature suggests that health hazards from low frequency noise may exist. He asked for a moratorium until studies can be made.

The board referred the letter to the Planning Board for consideration. They also appointed Aniel to the Planning Board as an alternate member for a five-year term.

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