NEW SHARON — Voters overwhelmingly decided to lower this year’s tax commitment by appropriating $26,929 from unappropriated surplus. The tally was 109-2 in balloting at the annual Town Meeting referendum March 12. It was one of 24 articles on the warrant.

The article to increase the property tax limit, currently $636,847, passed 72-37.

Voters approved $273,233 for administration. Excluding the newly acquired debt service on the Fire Station/Town office, it represents a 1.56% increase from the previous year. Other departmental budgets approved were:

• $531,611 for Public Works, 11.96% increase.

• $112,500 for solid waste disposal, 2.27%.

• $19,000 for insurance/workers’ compensation, 11.76% increase due to increases in wages and premiums; and $10,500 for social security, 5%.

• $124,350 for Public Safety, 7.93% decrease.

• $31,397 for Jim Ditzler Memorial Library, 26.83% decrease.

In municipal elections, Selectperson Travis Pond and Road Commissioner Edward John Pond were reelected to three-year terms. Write-in candidate Alvin Harris was elected to a five-year term as a water district trustee.

Judith A. Kaut won a three-year term on the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors. Vice Chairman Jeffery Harris did not seek re-election, Deputy Town Clerk Melissa Letarte said.

“I feel kind of sad I decided not to run,” Harris said. “We were just getting things straightened out again.”

Time constraints factored into his decision, he said.

Harris is president of the Kennebec Valley Board of Realtors, serving Franklin, Somerset and Kennebec counties representing more than 500 realtors. His day starts at 2:30 a.m. to milk cows and often doesn’t return home until 9:30 at night, he said.


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