CANTON — Town meeting voters will pay less in taxes this year, thanks to a proposed municipal budget that came in lower than last year’s budget and a reduction in the school assessment, Administrator Scotty Kilbreth said Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11. A 14-question referendum election will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. Both venues will be held at the Town Office.

There are two proposed budgets, because the Budget Committee and selectmen made different recommendations. The committee recommends $1.33 million and selectmen recommend $1.35 million. Both include 30 cents that remain to be paid for the Staples Hill road project, Kilbreth said.

Last year’s approved budget was $1.38 million.

Kilbreth said the difference between the two proposals came in after the committee had finished working on the budget.

Selectmen are recommending raising and appropriating $7,000 more for the Town Office to reconstruct its parking area so that rain flows away from the building and to pave the parking lot. Additionally, he said it was recommended that parking lot traffic flow around the Town Office, so that will be paved as well.

There is also a $150 difference for phone service for the transfer station and highway garage, and selectmen disagreed with the Budget Committee on what to raise and appropriate for reserve accounts. The committee recommends $40,000; selectmen recommend $55,000.

Kilbreth said the committee didn’t put anything into road reserves and selectmen recommend adding $15,000 to it.

Among new items are raising and appropriating $9,500 to archive all of Canton’s historical documents, which is in Article 6; accepting all funds, assets and land owned by the Pine Grove Cemetery Association Inc. to take over operation of the cemetery; repealing the skateboard ordinance and the ordinance promoting public peace, safety and health; and enacting a winter parking ordinance.

The proposed municipal budget includes the Regional School Unit 10 assessment, which he said dropped by $35,000 from last year, and the county tax assessment, which increased from $41,000 to more than $43,000.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, residents are to elect a moderator and cast ballots on a referendum election that features standard municipal matters, such as transferring overdrafts and balances to surplus.

The last question, Question 14, asks if residents favor withdrawing from RSU 10 and authorizing the Withdrawal Committee to take $10,000 from surplus funds and spend it for this purpose.

The only municipal office races are uncontested. Incumbent Selectmen Chairman Donny Hutchins is seeking re-election to a three-year term and Brian Jordan is seeking a three-year term on the Budget Committee. 

Town Clerk Kathy Walker said no one took out papers to run for one five-year term on the Planning Board and a trio of three-year terms on the Budget Committee. Kilbreth said that if no one is elected at the town meeting, selectmen would have to fill vacant positions by appointment.

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