FARMINGTON — When voters gather for the annual town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Community Center, they will consider proposed budget articles totaling $5 million.

The amount, recommended by the Board of Selectmen, represents an increase of $90,514, or 1.84 percent, over last year’s total, according to a printed overview that will be available at the meeting.

Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at the Community Center. Three candidates are seeking two seats on the Board of Selectmen: Incumbent Dennis Pike, former Selectman Stephan Bunker and Andy Buckland.

There are three school board positions available, two for three years and one for two years. Claire Andrews is seeking re-election to a three-year term. Kenneth Charles is running for the two-year seat, Town Clerk Leanne Pinkham said. There is no candidate for the third position so a write-in candidate, with even just one vote, could accept the seat, she said.

During the meeting, voters will consider increasing the Fire Department’s budget from $317,342 last year to $380,055. The department request includes hiring one additional per diem worker, to make a total of three.

Like other fire departments, Farmington’s is feeling the crunch of fewer volunteers and fewer people available to leave employment for calls during the day.

The amount also includes $24,211 for the Fire Equipment Reserve Account and a 1.56 percent increase in stipend, wages and salaries.

The Police Department seeks an increase of nearly $20,000 over last year’s appropriation. The department is asking for $1,193,565 to cover 1.56 percent pay increases, half of a 4 percent increase in health insurance costs and expenses related to building operation and maintenance.

Maintaining and improving 120 miles of roads represents a part of the Public Works Department’s request for $1,053,087 this year, up from the $1,005,066 last year.  The amount also includes personnel costs for eight full-time and two seasonal employees.

The board and Finance Committee agreed on all budget recommendations except an article pertaining to funding the Farmington Public Library.

Most Budget Committee members agreed to raise the $138,771 requested by the library by $5,000 for a total of $143,771 to help the library “address several capital needs involving building maintenance and security,” according to the article.

Since most town departments reduced their budget requests, some selectmen recommended no increase over last year’s appropriation of $135,938.

The difference between the board and committee recommendations is $7,833.

Town reports are available at the Town Office and several local businesses. The report is dedicated to Lloyd Smith for his “countless hours of volunteerism.”

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