Fewer than 50 residents pass $31.4M budget at Yarmouth Town Meeting

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YARMOUTH — About 50 of the town’s nearly 6,900 registered voters attended Tuesday’s Town Meeting to approve the school and municipal budgets.

They approved 26 articles on the meeting warrant by a show of hands, including a $19.8 million school budget and $10.7 million municipal budget.

In the only written-ballot decision, residents voted 39-4 for an article allowing the town to exceed the Essential Programs and Services funding cap by $3.5 million.

The total budget for fiscal year 2012 is $31.4 million, an increase of $525,000, or nearly 1.1 percent, from this year. The tax rate is $20.29 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 49 cents, or about 2.5 percent.

After the 27 articles were passed, the meeting was adjourned until 7 a.m. next Tuesday, June 14, when voters will elect three town councilors, two School Committee members, two Water District trustees and decide whether to ratify the school budget.

Voting will take place at the AMVETS Hall on North Road from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At Town Meeting, Councilor Jeff Darrel was honored for his six years of service on the council, and Ed and Sue Ferrell were named Latchstring Award recipients.

The Latchstring Award was established in 1980 to recognize citizens who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and citizenship. The recipients are selected because they embody the spirit of Yarmouth’s Town motto: “Our Latchstring Always Out.”

The Ferrells, owners of the Down East Village Motel & Restaurant, were honored for their service to the community, their hospitality, and their involvement in the Yarmouth Rotary club, Yarmouth Historical Society, Village Improvement Society, Maine Innkeepers Association, Red Cross and the annual Trek Across Maine fundraiser for the American Lung Association.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.