CANTON — Twenty-five residents approved a $1.2 million budget for 2022-23 at Town Meeting on Saturday, agreeing with each of the 43 articles on the warrant and awarding Sherri Vaughan their 2022 Steve and Lisa Wills Memorial Citizenship Award.

The amount is an increase of $72,648 from last year’s $1.13 million budget.

The Steve and Lisa Wills Memorial Citizenship Award was originally named the Citizen of the Year award, but the name was changed in honor of Steve and Lisa Wills, who were given the 2020 award.

“Together they became the driving force behind the Canton Food Pantry where they made everyone feel welcome and valued,” according to the town’s 2022-23 municipal report. Steve and Lisa Wills passed away this winter, Selectman Carole Robbins said.

Robbins presented the award to Vaughan, saying that she was described as an “unsung hero” in the letter recommending her nomination for the award.

“(Vaughan) has served on several boards in town and is actively involved with the fire department, has volunteered at fundraisers and does many other behind-the-scenes deeds, all without looking for the limelight. She just considers she’s doing her part,” Robbins said.


Other nominees for the award this year were Prudy Adams, Robyn McClintock, Paul McKenna, Michelle Stevens and Brian Keene.

State Rep. Richard Pickett served as moderator of the meeting. Most of the 43 articles voted on during Town Meeting were approved without much discussion but a few did generate questions from residents. Resident Gary Dougherty questioned the selectmen about “… the large increase (in wages) to the town clerks.” Robbins answered his question, saying that “the previous staff had worked only 32 hours (a week); the current staff will be working 40 hours a week. The town clerk’s salary was $43,272 this fiscal year and was approved at $59,000 for 2022-23 while the deputy clerk’s salary was $28,000 and was approved at $42,000.

Selectman Brian Keene spoke up about the rising costs in the fire department budget and explained why the budget committee requested $1,200 less than the selectmen’s $61,950 in the article regarding the overall fire department’s budget.

“The selectmen went through (the budget) and with the rising costs of fuel, heating and (Central Maine Power Co.) costs … all those (items) got increased by the selectmen just to make sure there was enough there to cover the forecasted increases in those (items),” Keene said.

The town’s highway department budget showed an increase from $229,000 in 2021-22 to $292,150 for 2023.  These were “due to fuel increases and overall cost increases in the highway department,” Keene said, adding that the foreman helper position would increase in hours from part-time to full-time with the proposed budget.

Another vote approved at Town Meeting was the purchase of a firetruck for a cost of up to $300,000.


“For those that don’t know, (our current tanker is) a 1989 that we bought probably seven years ago now. That truck was $30,000 when we bought it. We’ve had several issues with it over the last two or three years that were kind of pricey; most recently electrical issues,” fire Chief Jason Vaughan said at the meeting. Sherri Vaughan is married to Jason Vaughan.

The 2007 pumper/tanker truck to be purchased for $230,000 is owned by a fire department in Alabama, although it’s currently at a garage in Syracuse, New York, he said.

Residents also approved amendments to three town ordinances for street and sidewalk excavation, emergency preparedness and recycling and solid waste. Planning Board Secretary Diane Ray said that some of the ordinances “hadn’t been updated in 30 years.”

Canton resident Sherri Vaughan received the town’s Steve and Lisa Wills Memorial Citizenship Award for 2022 at Town Meeting on Saturday in Canton. The selectmen seated behind Vaughan, from left, are Kristi Carrier, Carole Robbins, Chairman Russell Adams and Brian Keene. Selectman Scotty Kilbreth did not attend the meeting. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Canton fire Chief Jason Vaughan, standing, explains the need for a new firetruck at Town Meeting on Saturday in the Town Office Meeting Room. The town approved the purchase of a fire truck for a cost of up to $300,000. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times


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