Farmington held the Annual Town Meeting by referendum ballot vote Monday, April 26. Resident Lynn Hallett is seen feeding part of her 3-page ballot into the voting machine after making her choices. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser Buy this Photo

FARMINGTON — By a vote of 130 to 125, Gloria McGraw was elected to serve a three-year term on the Regional School Unit 9 Board of Directors. The position was contested by University of Maine Farmington freshman Brandon Reed.

The term had been held by school board member Dennis O’Neil who chose not to seek reelection.

In uncontested races, incumbent Matthew Smith was elected to another 3-year term on the board of Selectpersons with 216 votes while incumbent J. Wayne Kinney received 225 votes for a 2-year position on the RSU 9 board.

As of 1:30 p.m., turnout was light with only 130 voters, counting those who submitted absentee ballots, Deputy Town Clerk Bonnie Baker said.

Voters passed all articles on the warrant with the resolution urging federal elected officials to enact national cash-back carbon pricing being the closest. The vote was 201 to 75 in support of the measure. For all other articles, votes in opposition ranged from a low of 11 to a high of 48.

At the March 22 Chesterville Town Meeting, a similar article on carbon pricing found 16 in support and 26 opposed.

The grassroots effort to add the Carbon Cash Back resolution on town meeting warrants, a move supported by the national nonprofit Citizens’ Climate Lobby, has taken off throughout Franklin County. With the affirmative vote, the resolution requires the town’s selectmen to send letters of support for nationwide carbon-pricing legislation to federal and state representatives.

By a vote of 227 to 45, a resolution requesting Franklin County commissioners reverse its policy on not funding economic development and social service agencies was adopted.

In 2017, Franklin county commissioners eliminated or reduced funding for nonprofits and social service agencies that had traditionally been funded.

The article authorizing selectmen to accept federal financing assistance for the Walton’s Mill Dam removal and park improvement project passed 238 to 37. A similar article to accept funds for the project from Maine’s Natural Resource Conservation program and protect the property from uses other than conservation passed 230 to 42.

Discontinuing Stinchfield Road passed with a vote of 230 to 22. The 750-foot loop off Route 4, north of the Fairbanks bridge, serves one residence. The new owner requested the road be discontinued as he plans to gate each end and maintain it.

All articles pertaining to the 2021 $6.85 million budget also passed handily. The budget is up 12.1% primarily because of workers’ compensation increases.

“While this budget is up, it gives me a great deal of comfort to say there is absolutely no reason for it to result in a tax increase this year,” Town Manager Richard Davis said during an April 13 meeting on the referendum.

“Despite the pandemic, the town’s revenues remain strong. We added more than $600,000 to the unassigned fund balance, which now stands at more than $3 million.”

 

 

 

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