BUCKFIELD — Residents will head to the polls Tuesday to vote on a $2.4 million municipal budget, elect a pair of selectmen and decide whether marijuana businesses can operate in town.

Voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Municipal Center at 34 Turner St. and will be in lieu of an in-person annual meeting.

For the past few years, residents have chosen to vote on the annual financial, electoral and governmental issues at the polls. One question on the ballot asks if they want to continue that.

There are 37 questions on the ballot.

The biggest increase in this year’s budget comes in Public Works with nearly a $200,000 jump for  paving summer roads. Estimated costs are 30% higher per mile than the previous budget.

Town officials were originally planning to cover the paving costs with a bond, but Budget Committee Chairman Glenn Holmes recommended putting the amount in the regular budget to save money in the long term.

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Assessing costs are up nearly $18,000 due to the plan contract a professional assessor to help maintain the books and the tax map, which has been an ongoing struggle for the past year.

The debt service budget has dropped $20,000 following the final payment made for the TRIO software package for the Town Office computer upgrade.

The public safety budget features a slight drop from last year’s budget.

Voters will be given an option whether to spend $297,000 over the next 10 years to purchase a new squad truck for the Fire Department or spend $10,000 to repair the nearly 30-year-old vehicle that was never designed to serve as a squad truck.

Two openings on the five-member Select Board will be filled Tuesday. Robert Hand is running for reelection against challengers Azalea Cormier, Sandra Fickett and Kyle McCafferty. The top two finishers will serve three-year terms. Board Chairman Cheryl Coffman is not seeking reelection.

A third vacancy on the board occurred a couple of weeks ago when Cameron Hinkley resigned to become interim town manager. His seat will be filled in November.

Michelle Casey is seeking reelection to the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors for another three-year term. Challenging her is Allison Long.

Voters will decide on a new adult use and medical marijuana ordinance. There are no restrictions on the number of marijuana businesses in town, but they cannot be within 500 feet of public schools or preexisting private schools.


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