MECHANIC FALLS — Town Manager Koriene Low has announced that Mechanic Falls will hold a special town vote Thursday, June 28, for five warrant articles that did not pass in last week’s town budget vote.

Not including the RSU 16 school budget, this year’s town budget of $2.5 million consisted of 34 ballot questions, 29 of which passed. Last year’s budget was $2.4 million.

The five articles that failed included the town clerk/elections budget, the town manager’s budget, the tax assessor budget, the auditor budget and the Androscoggin County tax.

“These numbers aren’t going to change. There is nothing I can adjust,” Low said.

Three of them — the assessor, the auditor and the county tax — are set costs, Low added, “and we have no control.”

As for the town cvlerk/elections line, which was $1,777 less than last year’s budget, is “the funding that keeps the town office open for business and covers election costs such as ballots.”

The town has recently hired a new manager, Zakk Maher, who will begin in August, “so that budget can’t change,” Low said.

The margins of defeat were slim for the five articles. The auditor lost by two votes, town manager was three votes shy, the county tax assessment lost by seven, town clerk/elections lost by nine votes and the assessor was defeated by 34 votes. A total of 457 ballots were counted, representing a 27% voter turnout.

After a recount of ballots was tabulated last Friday, town council members voted electronically to hold the special vote on June 28, to assure that the town is financially stable by July 1.

According to a press release handed out by Low, “The items not passed are critical to the town’s ability to continue to run all departments.”

If the second vote fails to pass the five articles, those expenses will still need to be met in the new budget, which could affect other budget articles that were passed.

According to state regulations and the town’s population, voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 12 noon only. Absentee ballots are available for the special vote. The special town vote will cost approximately $2,000.

The town council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday to elect a new chairman and co-chairman, and to appoint town residents to serve on various committees and boards.

In other matters from last Tuesday’s election, a new fireworks ordinance was passed that requires a permit fee of $25 for each use of fireworks, and will apply to this year’s July 4th celebrations. Copies of the ordinance, permits and a list of 26 streets on which fireworks are not permitted are available at the Town Office.

In election results, Wayne Hackett and Nicholas Konstantoulakis will serve on the Town Council. School Committee members elected were Scott Lessard and Travis Ritchie. Sanitary District trustees voted in were Randall Plummer and Hackett.

The town approved the Regional School Unit 16 budget by a 341-151 vote.


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