ANDOVER — Residents turned out for the annual town meeting on Saturday to discuss and vote on the 2024-25 warrant items during a four-hour meeting at Town Hall attended by 67 people.

The budget for the coming year is $2.7 million, which is about $600,000 more than this year, Selectman Justin Thacker said.

One vote that failed was asking residents whether they would vote to change the annual town meeting date to March beginning next year, rather than in June when the meeting is currently held.

Thacker spoke on the issue, saying one reason to change the date to March is because the bidding process for town road repair “is very difficult” if the town waits until the municipal budget is approved in June.

“Because with this set up, when you guys approve projects, most of our (road construction) companies are booked out until the end of the year already,” Thacker said.

Several residents, including Planning Board Chair Sidney Pew, said the town’s fiscal year should be changed to the calendar year, rather than the current July 1 to June 30, to better accommodate the town’s budget process and town meeting date. That amendment failed following much discussion.


Another idea, discussed by Dick Merrill, was to have town meeting in September when all the town department budgets would be completed for the year. “Our books would be closed; it (town meeting) wouldn’t be here in the middle of June when a lot of people are on vacation,” Merrill said.

Another article that failed was to spend up to $147,000 to update and repair the town’s tennis court and playground area on South Main Street.

The project was originally planned as part of a federal grant application for a larger park, to include work on the upper and lower fields of Grimaldi Field,  but the committee planning the project needs more time to prepare the $170,000 to $200,000 grant application, which is due by June 28, committee members said.

With the vote rejecting town monies for the tennis court and playground, those upgrades will be added back as part of the grant application request to be completed in June 2025.

Residents approved the formation of a committee to research options for hiring a town manager. The committee will include no less than five people and their findings and recommendations will be brought to the voters at next year’s town meeting.

Selectman Chair Brian Mills said he believes the town needs a town manager because “Most selectmen have another job and do not have the time to devote to all the work that needs to be done to run a town efficiently and effectively.”

Andover Selectmen Justin Thacker, left, Joe Luce and Chair Brian Mills discussed town meeting articles and voting at the town meeting on Saturday at Town Hall. Sixty-seven residents attended and voted during the four-hour meeting.  Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times


Sixty-seven residents attended and voted during Andover’s town meeting at Town Hall on Saturday. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times) Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Town Clerk Melinda Averill, standing, discusses a warrant article during Andover’s town meeting at Town Hall on Saturday. Moderator Bob Duplessie stands at the podium and Town Treasurer Amber Cooper is seated beside Averill. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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