CHESTERVILLE — Town meeting voters have approved a $1.05 million budget that doesn’t include county or Regional School Unit 9 commitments.

At the Chesterville town meeting Monday, voters approved a lease-purchase agreement for a new plow truck. The vote was 21-17. {Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

Treasurer Erin Norton said the budget was $31,857 under the state’s tax-levy limit.

Voters on Monday, March 11 amended the amount raised through taxation for capital roads from $75,000 to $100,000. They also appropriated an estimated $40,980 from Local Roads Assistance Project funds.

“We purposely cut in half the amount raised for roads,” Budget Committee member Kathy Gregory said. “The rest is going towards truck purchases. We wanted to find a way for taxpayers to afford better equipment.”

Voters approved raising $70,000 from taxes and appropriating $45,000 from surplus to buy used equipment for Public Works.

Public Works Administrative Assistant Jack Moultrie said the town has a 2001 International wheeler that won’t pass inspection. The fleet also includes 2000 and 2004 GMC single-axle trucks, a 2002 International wheeler and a 2005 F-550 Ford one-ton truck.

“The 2002 has 265,000 miles on it, is in fair condition. The 2004 is in good condition but needs a dump body,” Moultrie said.

Selectman Edward Hastings IV said if approved, the plan is to get two decent used trucks and a new one.

Selectman Allan Mackey said doing so should reduce maintenance costs.

Moultrie said last year the department spent $12,000 more on maintenance than was budgeted. Most was for trucks.

The crew does most repairs but would have to send out work on new equipment.

Outgoing Selectman Maitland Lord Jr. said a lot of things break on new trucks.

“With $115,000 we can get two $60,000 trucks,” Lord said. “Our town can’t afford four or five breakdowns on new equipment.”

Voters approved 21-17 a lease-purchase agreement on a new plow truck. The total amount is not to exceed $200,000 plus fees and interest with approximate annual payments of $45,000 over five years.

The question was called with little debate. Resident Scott Gray felt people didn’t have enough information to vote. His attempt to recall the question failed by a vote of 13-22.

Much discussion centered on approving a 3 percent discount for timely payment of taxes.

“Some people really love it,” Gregory said. “Some can’t afford it.”

Deputy Town Clerk Rachel Heseltine had determined 62 percent of taxpayers qualified for the discount. Central Maine Power received a $1,600 discount.

Budget Committee member Kim Lessard said a $1,000 tax bill yields a $30 discount. Of that, $18 goes toward the discount.

“You get $12 that came from the other 40 percent who couldn’t pay taxes early. It’s a redistribution of wealth,” Lessard said.

Hastings said without the discount he would not pay his taxes early.

“I expect CMP will hold on, too,” he said. “You’re going to lose that sense of urgency to get taxes paid.”

Resident Erin Dyar said she pays her taxes late every year because of her income’s timing.

“I work with senior citizens,” Dyar said. “They budget. The 3 percent is a thank-you to say we appreciate paying early. We shouldn’t feel guilty some are getting the discount.”

Also approved:

$35,000 for the tax discount.

  • Three amendments to Chesterville’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.
  • Selectmen researching the closing of Webber Road.
  • An additional $1,000 for Chesterville Days.

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