CANTON — Residents will vote July 8 on a proposed $1.2 million municipal budget and a solar farm ordinance at the annual town meeting July 8.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Office.

The budget for 2025 fiscal year is $53,344 less than this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Regarding the ordinance, Select Board Chairman Brian Keene said, “Basically, a ‘no’ vote indicates that you don’t want any regulations on solar arrays in the town. And a ‘yes’ vote in favor of putting the ordinance in place, would mean that you want some restrictions on solar arrays.”

If it’s approved, it will limit the amount of large-scale solar arrays — from 6 to 30 acres — to five in town.

Canton has one large-scale solar array on Edmunds Road, Keene said.


“I personally hope the ordinance will pass, because I think it will put some good regulations in place for limiting solar (farms) in town,” Keene said. “I’d like to keep our town looking the way it does now. I don’t want us to look like some of the other towns that are now … taken over by the view of solar panels instead of green space.”

Residents will be allowed to have solar arrays of less than a half-acre on their properties. There would no limit on the number of small-scale arrays, Keene said.

Regarding general government spending, there is an overall increase of $49,349 bringing it to $304,410.

“The major reason for that is staff changes,” Keene said, “having new employees whose compensation was different one way or another from our prior employees.”

The town will have a dedicated town treasurer so the clerk and treasurer are separate positions, with the treasurer working roughly 10 to 12 hours per month, Keene said.

Another reason for the increase is a mandatory software computer system upgrade, which has increased about $15,000, he said.

The overall Fire Department budget has dropped almost $6,000 to $64,900. The department’s self-contained breathing apparatus bottles budgeted at $10,000 this year were covered by a grant from the Stephen King Foundation.

The department’s utilities budget is separated into two lines: $2,500 for the department and $1,000 for the Canton Baptist Church Food Pantry that operates in the Fire Department building. At a Select Board meeting in April, Food Pantry Director Helen Martin asked the town continue to pay the pantry’s electric bills because of its needed services in the community.

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