MINOT — Town meeting voters on Saturday approved a $1.78 million municipal budget that is $27,000 more than the previous fiscal year’s spending.

Tax-wise, “that’s pennies,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Steve French said.

The mill rate of $15 per $1,000 of property value won’t change much as a result of the municipal budget, but the change from the school budget won’t be known until summer, Selectman Lisa Cesare said. 

The Budget Committee and selectmen heavily scrutinized spending proposals, so there was “very little fluff,” according to committee member Matthew Callahan. 

“We’ve been tasked to figure out needs and wants and what we can live without right now,” he said. 

A request for $45,000 to pave the Town Office and central fire station complex passed by a vote of 39-31 on a written ballot.

Town Administrator Arlan Saunders said the lot was paved 18 years ago, and it was just a base coat. The driveway between the office and the fire station is in dire need of repair.

“That’s part of our emergency ops plan,” Saunders said. In the event of a mass evacuation, buses would have to be able to drive through there. 

A request for $20,000 to pave the Orchard fire station lot on Death Valley Road was soundly defeated.

A request for $38,798 to replace the fire department’s forestry truck was also defeated. Retired Fire Chief Dean French said the truck has a little bit of life left but will need to be replaced soon. 

Voters approved the purchase of a new Freightliner plow truck at a cost of $136,500. 

The current snow plow was purchased in 2002 with a life expectancy of six to seven years. It’s been in use for over 15 years and is “really starting to wear out,” Saunders said. 

The town also voted to change the fiscal year from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31 to Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. 

Saunders said with the fiscal year ending so close to the town meeting, there’s a bottleneck of work. With the change, there will be more time to put everything together, he said. 

This year’s town meeting was dedicated to Eda Tripp, a longtime resident and a dedicated civil servant who died late last year. 

In local elections Friday night, Daniel Callahan Jr. and Lisa Cesare were re-elected for three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen, with 71 and 68 votes, respectively.

Brittany Hemond was elected to a two-year term as selectman with 79 votes. Nicholas Farris received 2.

Lisa Dulac and Michael Downing were elected to three-year terms on the Regional School Unit 16 board with 61 and 31 votes, respectively. Karen Nichols had 22 and Chuck Buker got 2.

For a one-year term on the school board, Laura Hemond was elected with 51 votes. Karen Nichols got 24 and Mike Downing had 2.

Minot Town Administrator Arlan Saunders speaks on a proposal to raise money to pave the Town Office and Central Fire Station Municipal Complex at town meeting Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Minot resident Peter Kelliher asks a question during town meeting Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Minot Deputy Registrar of Voters Candi Gilpatric votes during town meeting Saturday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

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