TREMONT — Except for a brief musical interlude produced by a cell phone belonging to moderator Frank Gray, all 45 warrant articles at the town meeting here Tuesday passed with little discussion or contest.
Residents approved $1.87 million for municipal expenditures and $3.04 million for Tremont’s school budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019.
Blended with the Mount Desert Island High School and Hancock County tax assessments, the budget spells a 5.4 percent increase in town property taxes.
The approved school budget was $30,000 less than what was originally requested due to lower-than-expected health insurance costs, which were confirmed after the warrant was drafted, said Nancy Thurlow, business manager for the MDI Regional School System.
The 1988 wastewater disposal ordinance was repealed and replaced by a new holding tank ordinance, which spells out requirements for properties planning to use holding tanks for first-time wastewater systems.
Amendments to the subdivision ordinance and the zoning ordinance, mostly related to changes in the state laws, were approved.
Some of the 75 authorized voters who attended the town meeting expressed interest in possibly raising wages for the Board of Selectmen.
Entertaining a question from the audience about when the payment was last changed, Town Manager Christopher Saunders said he didn’t know the history of that. Selectman McKenzie Jewett said it had been about 10 years since the last increase.
Residents asked how such a change could be proposed, since selectmen can’t propose increasing their own compensation. Gray confirmed that residents would have to propose the change before the warrant is drafted next year.
Currently, the chair earns $50 and the rest of the selectmen $45 per meeting, for up to 26 meetings per year. The sessions last about an hour and a half on average, said Selectman Kevin Buck, but selectmen also spend substantial time outside of meetings on town business.
Buck was re-elected to the Board of Selectmen on Monday with 141 votes. Mike Mansolilli claimed the other open seat on the board, with 111 votes. Steve “Spiff” Carter garnered 80 votes.
School Committee incumbents Jennifer Horner and Heidi Lawson received 112 and 108 votes, respectively, and will continue to serve for three more years. Benjamin Jacobs received 70 votes.
Keri Hayes, who ran unopposed in her bid for another three-year term on the Mount Desert Island High School Trustees Board, claimed the seat with 173 votes.