Budgets pass with little dissent

TREMONT — What the open town meeting here Tuesday lacked in drama it more than made up for in expediency with voters cruising through 49 warrant articles in 90 minutes.

About 34 voters attended the meeting and gave their approval to a $1.86 million municipal budget and $2.59 million for the Tremont Consolidated School will little or no discussion.

The final warrant article carried with no discussion shortly before 8 p.m. The town meeting, however, technically has not ended. Town officials announced the meeting would be in recess until Tuesday, June 14, at 8 a.m. The need to continue the meeting stems from unresolved issues concerning the election of a School Committee member and three members of the high school Board of Trustees and was done on the advice of the Maine Municipal Association. No candidates were on the ballot for these positions, and time is needed to process the high number of write-in votes cast. June 14 also is the day of the state primary elections, so polls will be open if a run-off election is needed, officials said.

All funding articles for the Tremont Consolidated School passed handily with no discussion. There was no opposition expressed during voice votes and there was disagreement only in a written ballot vote on an article to raise and appropriate $1.23 million in additional local funds above the state’s essential programs and service allocation model. One opposing vote was cast.

The $2.59 million approved reflects an increase of $107,000, or 4.32 percent, from the budget for this school year.

On the municipal side, the $1.86 million municipal budget approved by voters is an increase of about $11,200, or .6 percent.

The budget includes $559,000 for administration, $529,100 for public works, $232,700 for contracted law enforcement, the fire department, dispatching, animal control and the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Nursing Service.

Nearly $53,400 in funding was budgeted for the Bass Harbor Memorial Library. Almost $27,000 was approved for recreation purposes.

Voters also approved $12,297 in funding requests from community service agencies. The requests include $3,000 each for the Island Explorer bus service and the Campfire Coalition, $1,600 for Downeast Horizons and $1,500 each for Island Connections and the Bar Harbor Food Pantry.

Seven articles were designed to set up reserve accounts for cemeteries, the fire department, Bass Harbor Memorial Library and landfill remediation. All seven met with approval after Town Manager Dana Reed explained the purpose of various funds in the town’s accounts.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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