OXFORD — Voters at the town meeting Saturday morning approved a $5.76 million municipal budget, and approved amendments to the sewer, mass gathering and zoning ordinances.

About 100 voters turned out at Oxford Elementary School to handle 36 of the 37 warrant articles in less than two hours.

An attempt to reduce the $119,441 recreation budget, as recommended by the Board of Selectmen, was overturned after lengthy discussion. The board’s recommendation included salary and benefits for a full-time recreation director.

The Budget Committee had recommended $101,866, which would keep the director’s position at part time.

“I’m trying to make it so our recreation department can be functional and I am volunteering my time to do that,” said Director Patty Hesse. “I don’t think it is appropriate for a director to put in volunteer hours.”

Revenues from activity fees go into the general fund, according to Town Manager Butch Asselin.

One resident said if the town is looking to expand its tax base, more social  offerings are needed.

“It’s time that Oxford has a full-time director,” said Sharon Jackson. “We have a nice center that serves children, adults and seniors.”

While the director’s hours would increase, the hourly pay rate would not, Asselin said.

Voters reduced the proposed budget for the transfer station account, from $291,509 to $288,169; the recycling operation account from $75,405 to $73, 625; and the water water treatment account, from $301,200 to $298,959.

The amendments reflected the board’s recommendation, which includes an adjustment made for a correction to health insurance rates. The correction came in after the Budget Committee had made its recommendation, Asselin said.

The 2019-20 municipal budget came in at about 2.25% more than current spending. It does not include school or county taxes.

The meeting will reconvene Tuesday morning for the final order of business. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 701 Main St.

Selectmen Caldwell Jackson and Floyd Thayer face opposition from Sharon R. Jackson, Roger K. Wulleman and Amy L. Wuori.

SAD 17 Directors Stacia Cordwell and Ronald K. Kugell are running unopposed, as is Water District Trustee Thomas Kennison.


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