Sabattus is hoping to reboot its annual town meeting.

After years of dwindling attendance — once even forcing a wait while folks could be rounded up to meet the 25-voter minimum — the town has moved the meeting to a weeknight and condensed parts of its scheduled warrant in hopes of making the meeting easier to attend.

The meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Town Office at 190 Middle Road.

“This year is uncharted water for us,” Town Manager Andrew Gilmore said Tuesday.

As with most years, he doesn’t know how many people might show up or how long the meeting may last. As always, that will be up to townspeople. But he’s confident that more people will attend.

“It’s been diminishing year after year,” Gilmore said. “It’s really difficult for people to give up a Saturday in June.”


Last year, the meeting drew about 40 people and lasted about three hours, he said.

There will be little controversy to draw bigger crowds. This year’s budget proposal includes no large purchases and no increase in staffing for the town.

The current $1.5 million municipal budget would go up about 7.2 percent, according to the Budget Committee proposal, and by about 10.7 percent under the selectmen’s proposal.

The school budget is forecast to rise about 10.8 percent, from $3.4 million in 2014 to $3.7 million next year.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee were almost unanimous in their recommendations.

Among the warrant’s 39 articles, the two elected groups agreed on all but two. In one, the Budget Committee recommends spending about $2,500 less on the administration’s $282,501 budget. In another, selectmen recommend setting aside $75,000 to be deposited into the Fire Department Capital Equipment Reserve Fund, an account that would be used to fund a future replacement of firetrucks and other vehicles.


Other financial items — all agreed upon by the two boards — include $479,467 to operate the Police Department, $136,810 for the Fire Department and $54,052 to fund emergency dispatch services.

The boards are both backing a plan to set aside $21,000 toward the purchase of a new police cruiser and using $125,000 in municipal savings to offset property taxes.

According to a still-rough calculation, full adoption of the Budget Committee proposal would see a tax rate increase of $1.34 for each $1,000 of valuation. The selectmen’s proposal would raise the tax rate by $1.51.

The increases are uncertain, though. Assessing is still being completed. Selectmen will set a final tax rate in July.

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