WALES — Voters will decide at Saturday’s annual meeting on a $1.33 million municipal budget that’s 27% more than this year’s $1.05 million.

The meeting begins 9 a.m. at the Town Office to consider 39 articles on the warrant.

The proposed municipal budget is $287,000 more than this year’s.

If the proposed school and municipal budgets are adopted, property owners can expect to see an estimated property tax increase of $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. That rate means the owner of a property valued at $100,000 would see an increase of $120.

Residents will be able to approve, amend or reject spending articles, some of which have three suggested amounts.

The increase in the municipal budget is primarily due to rising costs for public works, according to Sharon Siegel, town treasurer and office manager.

Advertisement

Paving costs have risen by 20 to 30% this year, she said. And $25,000 of the proposed municipal budget is earmarked to cover an overdraft for paving from this fiscal year.

The budget for Public Works is proposed to increase by $75,147, construction by $50,000 and capital expenditures by $5,000. The town has also budgeted $40,000 to start a bridge reserve fund to renovate the Turtle Bridge on East Road.

Municipal operations are budgeted at $26,700 more than for 2021-22. Siegel said it’s due to rising costs in fuel and salary.

There are no new capital improvement projects up for consideration, Siegel said, only continuing projects at the Municipal Center.

The town is also aiming to increase its contribution to its property revaluation reserve, from $10,000 annually to $30,000 for the upcoming year. Siegel said officials expect to conduct a property revaluation sooner than previously anticipated due to rising real estate costs.

The last revaluation was conducted 15 years ago.

Advertisement

ELECTIONS

One three-year selectman position is up for election. The position is held by Eric Gagnon, who has been on the board for more than 10 years. He intends to run for reelection.

Siegel said she was unaware of any other candidates running for the position. Nominations occur at the meeting.

Residents will also elect a Regional School Unit 4 director for three years. The seat is held by Scott Fyfe, who was appointed by selectmen last August.

“My goal has always been and will continue to be getting the community and families involved in the education process,” Fyfe wrote on Facebook. “I’m big on transparency and would love to implement a more open-door approach in RSU 4.

“I’m anticipating some big topics to be brought before the board in the next two years and I think when these issues come up it’s important that I bring that much needed balanced vote to the board,” he added.

Advertisement

Hanna Dietrich announced on Facebook that she will challenge Fyfe for the position.

“I’m running for the school board seat in Wales because I care about not only my children’s future, but all our children’s future,” she wrote. “I care about our teachers as some of them were even my own.”

In addition, the town will look to fill two three-year and two two-year Planning Board positions, two three-year Budget Committee positions and two three-year Board of Appeals positions.

SOLAR ORDINANCE

Wales has a solar moratorium which expires this week, according to Siegel.

The proposed ordinance outlines which zones solar farms are allowed in, setback requirements and screening requirements.

The purpose of the ordinance is to establish clear standards for solar farms and minimize any adverse effects of development on surrounding land use.

Copies of the ordinance are available at the Town Office and will be provided at the meeting.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: