LITCHFIELD — Residents approved a $2.2 million spending plan Saturday at Town Meeting for the budget year and authorized the purchase of a new firetruck.

Fire Chief Stan Labbe, center, and other residents raise hands to vote Saturday during the Litchfield Town Meeting at the Litchfield Sportsmen’s Club. Firefighters left in the middle of debate about their annual budget to respond to a report of a traffic accident. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

The town-approved municipal budget will be $2,556,522, a $68,223, or 2.6%, decrease from the 2018-2019’s approved budget of $2,624,745.

The projected revenue accepted by the town is $1,129,648, which is $151,080, or 15.4%, more than the current year’s anticipated revenue of $978,568.

What this will mean to the property tax rate is unknown because the town is in the process of having a revaluation completed.

Litchfield’s property tax rate is $16.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The taxes on a property valued at $100,000 would be $1,615 before any exemptions are taken into account.

While residents brought up proposed amendments, the budget was approved as presented.

One amendment was suggested by Richard Lane, a Road Committee member, who proposed appropriating $600,000 for capital road improvements, but voters rejected the amendment.

Selectman Mark Russell told fellow residents that he did not think it was a good idea to approve that amendment because the town was in the middle of a revaluation, after which residents probably will see their tax rates change.

He suggested looking into the increase for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and the town approved spending $400,000 on capital road improvements, as presented.

All articles passed, including spending $22,467 for library services.

The new fire engine will replace a vehicle that is 32 years old.

“We plan to replace firetrucks every 25 years,” said Jack Samson, the Fire Department’s safety officer.

To buy the firetruck, voters approved moving $100,000 from the town’s unassigned fund balance into the fire equipment reserve fund, and they authorized the Board of Selectmen to secure a five-year loan and purchase the truck for no more than $604,000.

 

 


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