CHESTERVILLE — Fiscal restraint was the theme at Monday’s annual town meeting, as roughly 50 voters approved a budget of $842,999.52. The amount is less than last year’s $885,999.52.

Cuts were made in the Public Works and roads budgets to bring the total of $385,111.04, compared to $437,826 last year.

Resident and former Road Foreman Conley “Bud” Gould III said no money was allocated for a new backhoe or excavator, which he said the town needs.

Selectmen Chairman Guy Iverson said when problems arose with the Town Office boiler, the boiler took priority over other equipment purchases.

As it turned out, the boiler only needed minor repairs. An article was included on the warrant in case it needed to be replaced.

“I’m concerned with the roads in town as well, needing to get them done,” Gould said. He wanted to make sure the town was still looking to buy a backhoe or excavator in the future, he said.

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Road improvements scheduled for this year include Zions Hill Road (north end), Chesterville Hill Road and Borough Road. Iverson said the roads will be shimmed.

“That will at least level them out, and then we’ll go back the following year and chip seal them,” he said.

Culverts will be replaced if needed before repaving is done, he said.

Voters approved $48,433.44 for the Fire Department. Edward Hastings IV, the outgoing fire chief, said this wasn’t the budget he recommended to selectmen and the Budget Committee because raises weren’t included for employees.

“They cut the budget down essentially to what it was last year,” he said.

“We didn’t give any raises to employees across the board,” Iverson said.

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Voters OK’d $141,698 for administration. Salaries were not changed, and town office hours were left as is, Iverson said.

Hastings said a petition was circulated among residents requesting that Town Office hours not be cut. He asked selectmen to bring any potential reductions in hours in the future to residents for discussion and a vote.

“It was rumored we were going to cut it down to two days a week,” Iverson said, noting selectmen had looked at cutting the Town Office hours, but not that drastically. “We were going to cut six to eight hours.”

The Town Office is open 34 hours per week.

The meeting was also a chance to honor longtime firefighter Harland Clemens, who was presented the 2015 Firefighter of the Year Award. It was announced that the Chesterville Fire Department will be renamed the Harland Clemens Public Safety Building.

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