CANTON — The fire station looked a lot different Thursday evening as the fire trucks were moved outside to make space for twenty-six Canton residents, who sat in folding chairs for their annual Town Meeting.

While there, residents approved all 45 articles up for a vote and a $1.13 million municipal budget for 2021-22. That amount is $18,899 less than last year, Selectman Chair Russell Adams said earlier in May.

Before regular business began, Selectwoman Carole Robbins presented the award for Citizen of the Year posthumously to Mike Maxwell, who was a dedicated member of the town’s volunteer fire department and the department’s safety officer until his passing on April 18.

“He did a tremendous amount of work for the food pantry with picking up and delivering food; he would take food out to people that couldn’t come out to the pantry because of COVID reasons or transportation (reasons),” Robbins said. “He was the safety officer for the fire department for numerous years and he volunteered to do the traffic control at our Truck or Treat event. He was a shining example of ‘community first.'”

Other nominees for the Citizen of the year award were Diane Ray, Loretta Blancato, and Don and Faith Hutchins.

Among articles that were approved by residents on Thursday were $10,000 in support of the town’s bicentennial celebration event to take place on August 5 through 8. The town is planning several events including a parade, a street dance,  a ‘founders’ dinner’ and fireworks.

Also approved at Town Meeting was the Canton Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, which now matches the town’s ordinance to the state’s and the Housing and Minimum Lot Size Ordinance, which will now include an appeals process.

Another approved ordinance, the Planning Board Ordinance, changes members’ terms of office from five years to three years and allows selectmen’s spouses to be members.

Also of note, a $12.97 million Regional School Unit budget for 2021-22 was approved by referendum vote in Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru on Tuesday. The tally in each of the towns was: Carthage 27-8, Dixfield 120-35, Canton 84-34 and Peru 123-86.


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