PERU — The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to increase the amounts for several budget items on the June ballot.

An article asking residents to raise and appropriate $3,700 for street and traffic lights was increased to $5,200.

Chairman Lee Merrill said, “We don’t like the increases any more than you guys, but some of these things, we can’t control.”

Selectman Larry Snowman questioned why the town is responsible for paying for the blinking yellow traffic light at the intersection of Route 108 and Main Street.

“I’ve always wondered why we’re stuck with footing the bill for that light,” Snowman said. “I’d like to get to the bottom of that, because that’s a state road, but we’re somehow left paying for it.”

Selectman Jim Pulsifer said, “You’re more than welcome to go down to the (Maine) Department of Transportation and argue with them about it.”


Snowman smiled and said, “I can do that.”

Selectmen also voted to increase the amount of money requested for the cemetery account from $3,300 to $4,000.

Merrill explained that the increase is to pay for trimming trees and brush that are encroaching on several of the cemeteries.

“I’m not sure how much $700 is going to do, because we have a good amount of cemeteries, but I was thinking that we could ask our sexton to take that $700 and use it to maintain the worst of the cemeteries,” Merrill said. “He may only be able to fix two of them, but at least we’ll get started on it.”

Another increase selectmen approved was for the annual assessing maintenance account.

Board Secretary Angela Barkhouse said the $5,000 the town pays annually for maintaining assessing records will be increasing 5 percent during the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“I figured that we’d increase it to $5,500, just to make sure we budget enough,” Barkhouse said.

The board also agreed to place an article on the ballot that asks if residents wish to take $70,000 from surplus and $200,000 from excise taxes to reduce the town’s tax commitment.

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