Roxbury Tax Collector/Treasurer Renee Hodsdon presents gifts to former Selectman John Sutton at Sunday’s annual town meeting in the Town Office parking lot. This year’s annual town report was dedicated to Sutton, who served the town for 39 years before moving to Embden last summer. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

ROXBURY — Forty-five mask-wearing residents held up red cards to vote at Sunday annual town meeting in the Town Office parking lot.

They approved all 76 articles, sometimes challenged to hear moderator Dave Duguay because of wind gusts and traffic along Roxbury Road.

With the pandemic continuing to restrict indoor gatherings, town officials opted for a meeting under heated tents Sunday, avoiding a conflict with the annual Roxbury Pond fishing derby on Saturday.

Tax Collector/Treasurer Renee Hodsdon said the 2021-22 budget is $671,809, about $4,800 less than last year’s budget.

The town report was dedicated to longtime Selectman John Sutton, who resigned last summer when he and his wife, Kathleen, moved to their new home in Embden.

Selectman Tim Derouche said Sutton served the town 39 years, including as a selectman from 2008.

“The girls in the office have all said you’ve been a voice of reason, a pleasure to work with,” Derouche told Sutton. “He will be greatly missed by all.”

In elections held during the meeting:

• Rodney Cross won a third three-year term as selectman, defeating challenger Mike Hansen, 26-12.

• Rob Leblanc defeated Matt Patneaude, 22-17, to complete the final two years of a three-year term vacated by John Sutton.

• Brittany Gaudet was unopposed for a three-year term as the town clerk. She replaces Doreen Stinson, who retired.

• Justeen Lapointe was unopposed to complete the final two years of a three-year term vacated by Kathleen Sutton.

Before approval of an article to appropriate $3,500 for spring roadside cleanup, several people questioned the timing.

Derouche said the cleanup typically takes place the second week in July so that a large group of seasonal residents can use that benefit.

Several residents said they would like to see a June cleanup when seasonal residents could still participate and before the Fourth of July.

Derouche said it will be taken under advisement by selectmen.

Voters approved an article allowing the town to pursue buying two acres near Roxbury Pond.

“We want to get permission from the residents to pursue possibly purchasing that to put a walking trail in that area,” Derouche said. “We do have a local resident who has indicated that he has some interest in continuing the trail on his piece of land, too.”

While there is no trail yet, he said, “The idea is that they have an issue in the summer with people walking near vehicle traffic because it’s such close quarters down there.”

Derouche said the land is off the road, between the old fire station to the campground road.

Resident Gordon Gamble clarified that Wagner Forest Management does not own the land but manages that parcel for a client, and the town approached them with the idea.

“We’re not asking for any money,” Derouche said. “This is more about researching to find out what it’s going to cost and then coming back next year, unless we can find a grant somewhere.”

At the end of the 2½-hour meeting, Derouche thanked the Fire Department for its assistance at the event, as well as the Roxbury ATV Club for setting up the tent and the Knotty Moose Cabin and Tavern for use of two heaters.

Mike Worthley casts a ballot for selectman Sunday at the Roxbury annual town in the parking lot of the Town Office.  Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times


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