POLAND — Voters at Friday’s annual Town Meeting approved a nearly $5.1 million municipal budget recommended by town officials. It’s a 3.3% increase over last year’s budget. 

Townspeople won’t know the property tax rate until June, when a referendum is scheduled on the school budget. 

The meeting marked the second consecutive year voters have cast ballots at the polls instead of gathering indoors. The decision was prompted by Gov. Janet Mills’ emergency order that places restrictions on the size of groups that can safely congregate indoors due to COVID-19 infection concerns. 

Townspeople also voted to approve other warrant items by either absentee ballot or in person at Town Hall on Friday. 

In addition to the town budget, voters approved $837,581 for the Capital Improvement Plan, an amount higher than normal because the town didn’t contribute to the fund in its last fiscal budget. 

Voters also endorsed an increase in law enforcement coverage from 16 hours a day to 24 hours daily by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for an increased cost of $156,562 a year. 

They also approved adding two full-time firefighters to the Fire and Rescue Department will cost $165,225. 

Voters also approved the sale of roughly 10 acres of town land known as the Sadie Jackson lot off Estes Way. The proceeds will go to the Conservation Commission. 

In other matters, Nathan McNally and Jane Pentheny were elected to the Board of Selectpersons.

Christine Downs was elected to the Regional School Unit 16 board of directors. Emily Rinchich was also elected to the board as a write-in candidate.

Lionel Ferland was elected to the Budget Committee. Voters also wrote in Walter Gallagher for a second open position on the Budget Committee, but it was not clear Friday night if he would accept the position.


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