STRONG — Voters passed the entire 41-article town meeting warrant Saturday, a $750,543.62 budget, and elected eight candidates to public office Friday.

In one of the bigger decisions of the meeting, residents agreed to enter into fire protection service agreements with Franklin County and the town of Avon. Voters also approved $29,500 for fire protection, the same amount as in 2022.

David Catino and Joel Doyon were elected as selectmen and Rebecca Croteau and Jessie Stinchfield as board members for Maine School Administrative District 58, all for three-year terms. Susan Pratt was elected to a one-year term on the MSAD 58 board. Rodney Cook, Lawrence Curtis and Alan Smith were elected for six-year terms on the budget committee. All candidates ran unopposed.

Voters approved using $300,000 in surplus funds to reduce new tax appropriations to $450,543.64. The property tax limit was raised to $488,218.89.

Public safety accounts were increased 2.6% over last fiscal year, for a total of $140,958.92. That total includes $18,768 for ambulance service, $32,027 for fire hydrants, $9,000 for streetlights, $4,300 for animal control, $75,663.92 for insurance, and $1,200 for a health officer.

Highway accounts saw the largest increase, about 12.6%, with $178,305 compared to $158,305 last year. The winter roads item was increased $6,000, or 6.9%, up to $93,750, and roads and bridges saw a $13,000, or 18.2%, increase to $84,555.

Voters supported $137,500 for general government accounts, which included $92,000 for administration, $31,000 for town charges, $9,000 for assessing, $2,000 for legal fees and $3,500 for code enforcement. The amount was a 5.4% increase over 2022 appropriations.

Voters supported a 10.6% increase to boost public works to $73,000, and appropriated another $25,000 for rebuilding and repairing the department’s grader.

Voters also supported transferring $100,000 from surplus to the Tarvia account, which deals with road repair materials; $35,000 for the fire department truck reserve account; $32,000 for the Forster Building account and $4,000 for building maintenance; $22,692.80 for unclassified accounts; $10,500 for health and sanitation; $10,000 for the library; $6,750 for recreation; $5,000 for the dedicated technology account; $5,000 for the Johnson-Cox Post 78 Real Estate contract; $2,500 for community events; $3,500 for Christmas lights; $2,500 for economic ministry; and $2,500 for Faith Works Food Bank.

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