CANTON — Residents will decide on a $1.20 million municipal budget at Town Meeting this Saturday. The amount is an increase of $72,648 from last year’s $1.13 million budget, according to recently hired Town Clerk Angela Varnum, earlier this week.

The town’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Varnum and Heidi Bennett, the new deputy clerk, were hired in May following the resignations this spring of Carol Buzzell and Nicki Girard.

Residents will vote on 43 separate articles, among them the decision to purchase a fire truck for a cost of up to $300,000. On Wednesday, Select Board Chairman Russell Adams said the current fire truck that the town has “is unreliable because of electrical issues. It was sent out to two major incidents this past spring and both times when it got there it wasn’t operable in assisting in the fire,” Adams said.

At a prior selectmen’s meeting in May, Fire Chief Jason Vaughan gave selectmen an update on a 2007 pumper/tanker truck to be purchased by the town if residents approve it. The cost is $230,000, Vaughan said, and although it’s owned by a fire department in Alabama, it’s at a garage in Syracuse, New York.

Vaughan indicated the town will need, among other things, to add its lettering to the truck body. “The heater that we had installed in the pump on Engine 4, when we got it; we want to do it to this one as well,” he said.


Adams said that most of the increases in the 2022-23 municipal budget derived from increases in fuel and heating oil prices and for operating highway trucks.

He also said that an increase in wages for town personnel was also a factor in the budget increase and that some employees, such as the highway department’s helper, had hours raised to full-time, as was the town office’s deputy clerk.

The overall budget cost for the town’s highway department for this fiscal year was $229,000 and the amount requested for 2022-23 is $292,150, Adams pointed out. Fuel, wages for town employees and road salt were some of the most significant increases in the budget.

“We tried to do the best we could with the increases and (general) cost of living to keep (the town budget) as manageable as possible for everybody,” Adams said. The town has been limiting expenses or “watching expenses closer” and they have worked to maintain the roads and general highway equipment better, he said.

Besides decisions on the expenditures for the town, residents will be asked if they will accept amendments made to three town ordinances: a street and sidewalk excavation ordinance, an emergency preparedness ordinance, and a recycling and solid waste ordinance.

According to Planning Board Secretary Diane Ray, the amendments to the recycling and solid waste ordinance include updates on the types of materials that can be brought to the transfer station and what is not authorized to drop off.


“This ordinance needed to be updated as recycling regulations have changed, and our ordinance reflected the time (when) we still had a physical landfill,” Ray said.

The emergency preparedness ordinance amendments were made to address document format changes and to provide some clarification as to where emergency funds are drawn from when there is an emergency.

“We have a reserve for just this purpose and that had not been identified in the previous ordinance,” Ray said.

The street and sidewalk ordinance amendment was prepared mostly due to document formatting changes, she said.

The Town Meeting will be held Saturday in the Town Office meeting room at 9 a.m.

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