OXFORD – Voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting will be asked to approve a $3.2 million budget and make the fire chief’s position an appointed post.

Action on the 36-article warrant begins at 10 a.m. June 13 in the Oxford Elementary School on Pleasant Street.

Voters will be asked to approve the 2009-10 budget, which reflects a 1.4 percent decrease from last year, Town Manager Michael Chammings said.

The budget does include money for road repairs and merit pay increases of up to 4 percent for employees.

Cuts were made in areas such as the vehicle replacement program.

Chammings said if cutbacks were made to road repairs it would mean putting out more money later.

He said the budget was helped this year by the reduction in some major debt and locking into heating fuel at a rate half as much as the town paid last year.

The budget includes $237,828 for the Fire Department, $203,791 for rescue, and $474,170 for the Police Department account.

Officials are asking voters to approve $232,848 for the transfer station account and $446,283 for the administration account.

Voters will be asked to approve $393,00 for the capital improvements account, which will be used largely for road improvements.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” said Chammings of this year’s budget. “Everyone knew times are tough.”

Voters will also be asked to make the fire chief position an appointed post.

“It’s a popularity thing as it is right now,” said Fire Chief Scott Hunter, who won re-election at Tuesday’s town election.

Hunter said Oxford is one of the few towns, along with Norway, that still elect its fire chief. “Those days are gone,” he said.

“I don’t care which way they go. The guys wanted it appointed. That’s fine,” Selectman Dennis Sanborn said.

Voters will also be asked to approve amendments to the town’s flood-plain management procedure. The vote simply approved amendments to update its ordinance to keep it in line with state mandates. The move will allow the town to keep its flood insurance.


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