FARMINGTON — At annual Town Meeting Monday, March 27, voters will decide a number of budget issues, including the number of new staff to add to Public Works.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in Bjorn Auditorium on Mt. Blue Campus on Seamon Road.

Annual elections will take place at the Community Center on Middle Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Two three-year seats on both the Select Board and RSU 9 Board of Directors will be decided.

Polls will close promptly at 5 p.m. to give time for ballots to be counted and clerks to be available to sign in voters before the meeting Monday night, Deputy Town Clerk Twila Lycette said.

Selectmen and Budget Committee members agreed on all budget lines except Public Works. Selectmen recommend adding a new foreman to oversee the volume of new roadway construction, snow removal and other projects. Three additional staff – what Public Works requested – are in the Budget Committee’s proposal which would add $98,730 more to the department.

The Public Works Department has had the same number of employees for the past 40 years, James Kiernan, supervisor for Public Works, said in a meeting Jan. 18. He stated three extra employees are needed. He is concerned about safety for the employees and the public when drivers are out plowing for 30 hours because they can’t leave in the middle of a storm [such as the one on Jan. 17], yet the safety limit is 16 hours.


The 2023 budget proposed by Selectmen is $8.39 million, an increase of $785,505 or 10.3% above the current spending plan of $7.61 million approved at Town Meeting last year. The Budget Committee’s proposal would mean an increase of 12.9%

New this year, voters will be asked in a separate article what sum of money will be raised and appropriated to be transferred to reserve accounts. If the proposed amounts for the 12 accounts are approved, it will total just under  $1.09 million. “In prior years, the transfers to the reserves were incorporated as part of the departmental operations budget,” Marc Roy, an accountant with the firm hired to take over treasurer duties when LucyAnn Cook resigned, wrote in an email. “The [t]own switched to showing them as separate this year because it makes the budget more transparent as far as what is actually budgeted to be expended during the fiscal and what is being budgeted, set aside for reserves and expended in the future  – i.e., not necessarily just the current fiscal year.”

Also to be considered is reducing the amounts authorized to be raised in taxes from previously approved articles by $3.8 million. “The $3.8 million is the sum of all estimated non-tax revenue for the year – e.g., excise taxes, town clerk fees, CEO licenses and fees, PD fees and fines, state revenue sharing, homestead reimbursements, BETE reimbursements, LRAP funds, recreation program charges, bulky waste fees, interest income, etc.,” Roy noted.  “These non-tax revenues offset how much the town will need to raise in order to fund the approved appropriations for the year. In addition to these revenues, the board will also decide how much to use from existing fund balance to further reduce the overall tax levy.”

Voters will also be asked to approve amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to include definitions and other details regarding homeless shelters. The amendments were originally to be approved at a special Town Meeting in October but could not be approved due to unmet procedural requirements.

Procedure requires ordinance changes go through a public hearing through the Planning Board and one with the Zoning Board, Selectman Byron Staples said then. The hearing with the Zoning Board was held but one with the Planning Board wasn’t, he added.



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