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Andover faces $55,000 budget increase Saturday
ANDOVER- This town of less than 1,000 residents will be looking to cut funds, but at the same time keep their town operations at a respectable level when they gather at 9 a.m. Saturday for the annual town meeting. They have a lot of decisions to make this year, none of which are small ticket items.
The budget is up from $520,000 in 2010 to $577,841 this year.
In 2010, voters approved the hiring of a treasurer for ten hours a week, not realizing that the job would require upwards of 20 hours to be handled adequately. The town is now asking voters to allow an increase to 20 hours weekly for Barbara Simmons and to approve her annual salary of $13, 934.48.
Selectmen are asking the voters to approve $26,500 for the operation of their local public library, which has been providing literature to the town since 1795, first from an office located in the town hall and later, after having land deeded to the town, where the library currently stands rich in history.
Voters are being asked to raise and/or appropriate the third and final payment of $15,045 on the three-year fire truck note. That payment is due on February 13, 2012.
A controversial topic across the state currently is the discussion of wind turbines. Andover selectmen will ask the voters to allow them to make a statement that their community is not a supporter of commercial wind farms in the western mountains of Maine near Andover.
With the introduction of a firefighting course being taught at Region 9 School of Applied Technology, the town will be asking voters to authorize the Board of Selectmen to donate the 1982 E-One fire engine to the school to be used in their curriculum. If passed, Region 9 will have to vote to accept the donation.
As the result of a citizen request, the town will be asking voters to sell the town-owned property of Grimaldi Field located on Route 120 toward the South Arm Road. They would like to post the field as a multi-use Park and Ride area and to allow the town recreation committee to designate it with a sign to include the name “Andover Multi-Use Recreational Area.” There will also be a vote to see the property posted as a no hunting area.
The annual list of appropriated funding requests totaling over $13,000, of which citizens will have to decide which organizations they want to fund. Groups consisting of the River Valley Growth Council, Tri-County Mental Health, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, Western Maine Veteran's, Greater Rumford Community Center and Community Concepts will once again be faced with tighter budgets from towns and how much they will be allocated, if any at all.
While the town meeting is being held Saturday, voting will not take place until Tuesday, March 22 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Andover Town Hall.