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Rumford voters approve seven of eight budget articles
RUMFORD -- Voters on Oct. 8 approved seven of the eight municipal budget articles at the town's fourth referendum ballot in four months, according to Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde.
Bellegarde said all of the budget articles passed except for the unclassified accounts budget, which received a tie vote of 478-478.
The Oct. 8 votes were:
* $749,000 for general government, 514-444.
* $650,000 for public safety, 506-450.
* $716,000 for the Police Department, 510-448.
* $625,000 for the Fire Department, 528-431.
* $874,000 for Public Works, 516-441.
* $60,000 for General Assistance, 535-422.
* $358,000 for capital accounts, 531-422.
* $1,276,000 for unclassified accounts, 478-478.
The unclassified account measure failed despite wording with the article that indicated that no monies from this account were going to towards funding for Black Mountain and the Greater Rumford Community Center. This had been a question regarding this account during previous votes.
Meetings to determine recommendations on this account were made on Oct. 15 by the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., a special Board of Selectmen's meeting will be held to sign the Nov. 5 addendum warrant for the unclassified account. At 6:30 that evening, a public hearing will be held for the vote on the unclassified account.
The vote for the unclassified account will take place on Nov. 5.
Voters initially turned down all 12 money articles on June 11. They totaled $7.5 million. Selectmen cut $1 million from the next budget, which was presented July 23. The Finance Committee reduced the proposed budget to $7.2 million.
At the July referendum, eight of the 12 budget articles were rejected. Passed were funds for health and sanitation, the Rumford Public Library, public service and debt service.
In a third referendum Aug. 27, voters again shot down the eight remaining budget articles.
The current tax rate is $24.25 per $1,000 of valuation. Town Manager Carlo Puiia said he expects that rate to remain the same, or possibly to drop slightly. The final figure will be determined by the value of the NewPage paper mill.