STRONG — Selectmen agreed Tuesday night to a 50-cent per hour raise for employees who have worked for the town at least six months. The wage increase will start Jan. 1, 2020.

The board agreed that raises based on a salary percentage rewarded higher-paid workers and was unfair to those paid less per hour.

The money for raises will be included in the 2020 budget, which covers January 1 to Dec. 31.

As for setting the budget, which requires knowing balances left from this year, town Treasurer Sandra Mitchell said she could not provide final amounts in each account until sometime in January.

“Things can drag on and on until the middle of January,” she said.

For example, she said new flooring this month in the Forster Memorial Building may not be billed this year. She also hasn’t received a bill from NorthStar Ambulance or the Franklin County Animal Shelter for the town’s share of each organization’s operations. And credit card statements for December will arrive in January.

Mitchell said she will be able to provide firmer figures when selectmen meet in January.

In other matters, Selectman Andy Pratt said he arranged the purchase of a new plow truck from the Daigle & Houghton dealership in Bangor. The town can take possession of the 2020 Western Star 4700 wheeler truck this month.

At the March town meeting, voters approved paying up to $31,000 a year for up to six years.

The six payments of $29,337 per year are based on a 3.8 percent interest rate and include the trade-in of the old Volvo truck. The dealership financed the purchase.

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