RUMFORD —  In a 60-minute public hearing and vote Thursday night, selectmen approved 2014-15 budget recommendations for police and fire departments.

“It went pretty smooth, actually,” Town Manager John Madigan said.

He said the board voted 4-0 to approve the Fire Department’s request for $644,481. Selectman Jolene Lovejoy was absent.

Selectmen also unanimously approved the department’s Emergency Management Agency budget of $6,893.

But with the Police Department’s request, it took two tries and selectmen chose the higher amount, Madigan said.

Selectmen voted 1-3 against the department’s request of $729,342, because Chief Stacy Carter had been asked at a previous budget meeting to determine what the cost of adding a detective was and include that, he said.

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“So (Carter) presented that as $779,342 and that was voted ‘Yes,’ 3-1,” Madigan said. Selectman Frank Diconzo was the dissenter.

Selectmen unanimously agreed to recommend funding of $23,647 for the Animal Control Office budget, which is part of the Police Department budget.

Madigan said the next budget meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, March 17, for a public hearing and vote on initiated article requests.

Selectmen had to cancel their final public hearing and vote on the rest of the department budgets, which was set for Thursday, March 13, because Rumford’s charter said that must be held in the fourth week of March. Additionally, two selectmen couldn’t make it to the March 13 meeting.

The board decided to schedule its last public hearing and final vote on the remaining department budgets at the same time as the last public hearing and final vote on initiated articles requests. That will be at 6 p.m. Monday, April 24.

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