Canton Selectman Kristi Carrier, center, speaks during the selectmen’s meeting Thursday night at the Town Office. Selectman Michelle Larrivee is seated at left. Selectmen Don Hutchins, Russell Adams and Carole Robbins were also present. Town Clerk Angela Varnum is seated behind Carrier at right. Marianne Hutchinson, Rumford Falls Times

CANTON — Residents approved spending $400 for utilities for the town’s boat launch in fiscal year 2022-23 during a special town meeting Thursday. The town’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Selectman Carole Robbins explained to the residents that the need to have the vote on the boat launch utilities was due to “an oversight” that occurred as the selectmen prepared the warrant for Town Meeting in June.

“We were a little rushed and a little short-handed and it was an oversight on the Select Board. We had (approved it) at budget meetings and then forgot to include it in the warrant,” she said. The town expended $200 for boat launch utilities during its 2021-22 fiscal year.

Following the vote for boat launch utility expenses, the selectmen held their regular business meeting. Animal Control Officer Richard Burton attended the meeting and told the selectmen that he was very angry when he heard that they had decided against paying their share of the cost for an $864 bulletproof vest for him during their meeting on Aug. 11.

Burton is employed by both the town of Canton and the town of Livermore and he originally asked the selectmen at a meeting in February 2021 if they would split the cost of the vest with Livermore.

“I want one of these selectmen to tell me the town of Canton doesn’t value my life for $500 and I don’t want any arguments on this because that’s what you’re telling me,” Burton said.


Both Selectmen Robbins and Kristi Carrier responded to Burton’s complaints, with Robbins saying that they had approved money for the vest last year but since they were not notified by him that he still wanted it they had canceled the vest.

Carrier told Burton that the selectmen would reconsider his request because she “had not realized that you were in dangerous situations all of the time. I guess it would have been nice if you were here for the last meeting too and explained these things to us,” Carrier said.

After much discussion among the selectmen and Burton the Select Board voted to spend up to $450 of the American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay their share of the vest.

In other business, the select board voted to deny a request from Med-Care Ambulance for 15% of the town’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, set to be dispersed this year.

Med-Care Ambulance in Mexico provides emergency medical services to 11 member towns including Canton, Rumford and Dixfield. According to a letter dated Aug. 8, which the organization sent to its municipalities, it is “not eligible to receive any direct funding from the State or Federal Government, meaning Med-Care received zero funding from the first disbursement and will be dependent on our member towns for the second disbursement.”

The letter from Med-Care goes on to state that its services have been “impacted by the pandemic in a variety of ways. The financial impacts are numerous.”


Selectman Chair Don Hutchins told selectmen that he felt the organization “needs to get their budget under control” and that “a totally different approach is needed before I agree to give them any more money.”

Selectman Michelle Larrivee added, “They need to renegotiate their rates with insurance companies is what they need to do.”

Robbins said, “they know what a budget cycle is. Come at us when it’s appropriate; not in the middle of the (darn) year.”

In another matter, the Select Board reviewed applications for the town’s deputy clerk position during an executive session following their meeting Thursday. Aug. 16 was the final day on the job for Heidi Bennett, who was hired in May as deputy clerk.

“We parted ways on a mutual (basis),” and she did not write a resignation letter, Hutchins said of Bennett’s departure.

In other business, the selectmen worked with Planning Board Secretary Diane Ray to decide on fee amounts for a wide range of town permits for buildings and services. One reason for their discussion on the fees was due to inconsistent or nonexistent fee information, Ray told the Rumford Times on Friday.


Included in the lengthy list was the cost of a building permit set at $50, whereas an after-the-fact building permit is $250. Ray said on Friday that the prior cost of a building permit was $30.

Other fees set at Thursday’s meeting were $2,500 for an auto graveyard application and $1,000 for an auto graveyard renewal application. Gravesites for one person or three cremations were set at $125 and a two person or six cremations is $350. A junkyard application fee was set at $2,500 with an annual permit fee of $1,000.

Also listed is a marijuana sales permit application set at $500, with an annual renewal fee of $100.

In other news, the selectman gave permission to Canton Trail Riders ATV Club member Brian Jordan to hold the 26th annual ATV Toy Run on Sept. 10 at the field on Route 140 across from the sewer department pump house.

The Western Maine ATV Club, Canton Trail Riders and Brettuns Wheelers ATV Club are sponsoring the event. For more information contact Brian Jordan at 357-4460 or Bob Dalot at 897-2926. Registration is required for the event.


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