KINGFIELD – The theme of this year’s town meeting was holding the line on spending.

“As most of you know, we are in an economic downturn,” said resident James McClure. “I would ask you as we go down through these articles to hold the line on the budget items for this year.”

The nearly 150 voters approved a total budget of $704,540, or $1,380 less than last year. The need for fiscal responsibility versus spending to promote the town as a tourist destination came to a head in Article 17, where $3,000 was requested and $2,000 recommended by the Budget Committee for the Kingfield Days Committee.

“There’s no reason, in my mind, why we’re flat-funding Kingfield Days and (Kingfield) Pops and, later on, the Sno-Wanderers,” said resident John Goldfrank.

He explained that tax-increment financing funds from the town’s development program could be used to cover the expenditure. Any money coming from the TIF account, Goldfrank said, would not affect the tax rate.

“We were trying not to spend the money for a year or so until we got a better handle on how much money was coming in and how it would be spent,” Selectman John Dill said.

Resident Donald Tranten said that because of the recession, it was even more important for Kingfield to have its own identity with unique cultural events such as Kingfield Days and Pops. Voters approved the full $3,000 request for Kingfield Days and $2,000 for Kingfield Pops. The Budget Committee had recommended $1,000 for the Pops.

In the race for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen, Mervin Wilson defeated Raymond Meldrum 78-63 on the second ballot. The first round of voting saw Meldrum get 67 votes; Wilson, 49; and Scott Hoisington, 34. Wilson will replace Dill, who is stepping down after 12 years of service.

The Kingfield Water District also held its annual meeting on Saturday. Michael Kankainen defeated incumbent A. Joseph Ray 61-21 to gain a seat on the water district’s Board of Trustees.

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