FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted unanimously at a special meeting Thursday to move the annual Town Meeting from April 25 to May 9 so they can reconsider this year’s proposed $8.5 million municipal budget.

The 24.6% increase from last year’s $6.5 million concerned many of the 30 people attending the meeting.

Resident Bill Crandall asked what this year’s overall increase would be if the spending plan was approved. He provided data showing the municipal budget has risen 50.67% over the past 10 years.

Smith said this year’s increase is 24.6%.

“That’s five years in one year,” Crandall said. “That’s my concern.”

“We’re approving the (2022 annual meeting) warrant from the numbers we approved,” Selectman Michael Fogg said.


The $8.5 million covers the fiscal year Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

“In fairness to those here tonight, you do deserve an explanation,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said. “Our costs for municipal services have gone up each year.”

He noted four areas:

Employee salaries raised so they are in line with towns similar in size to Farmington.

• The condition of the Community Center roof.

• The condition of town roads.


• The need to replace another fire truck.

“Inflation is hitting us pretty hard,” Selectman Scott Landry said. “You have to figure that in. We’re in a good financial position.”

Less than half of the overall increase is for employee raises, said Town Manager Christian Waller, who had been asked by selectmen to do a comparison with other towns and factor it in this year.

The average is 18.9% on top of the 7.3% cost of living adjustment, he said, adding that the increase would have been 1.5% to 2% if it was spread over several years.

“The fix doesn’t have to come in one year,” Farmington business owner John Moore said. “Do it over time, in stages. I know the budget had to increase, did it have to be all or nothing?

“Compromise,” Moore suggested. “Have a couple more meetings. There’s time to really vet this, get more input.”


“Give ourselves two weeks to do due diligence, get input from department heads and the Budget Committee,” Bunker suggested. “There will be greater success of having it passed at town meeting.”

Informational meetings on the budget will be held before the town meeting, Smith said.

The board voted 3-2 to postpone approving the annual meeting warrant. Selectmen Joshua Bell, Stephan Bunker and Scott Landry were in favor; Selectmen Michael Fogg and Matthew Smith opposed. That vote is rescheduled for their March 8 meeting.

The vote to move the annual Town Meeting followed advice from Town Clerk Leanne Dickey, who said she needed 60 days’ notice if it was changed.

“Tomorrow is the 60th day,” she said.

Selectmen will hold an executive session March 2 to discuss personnel issues.

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