Voters OK North Yarmouth municipal budget

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The annual Town Meeting on May 30 provided few surprises, with voters approving all proposed ordinance changes and a $2.3 million fiscal 2010 municipal budget.

Westcustogo Hall held a gathering of approximately 60 people at its early-morning peak, with numbers dwindling to under 30 after the lunch break.

There were several items on the warrant that provoked debate before eventually being approved by majority votes:

• Parking fines will be established ranging from $30 to $200, and will be enforced by volunteers appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

• The establishment of a property tax assistance program for residents 65 and older. The program was allocated $5,100 in the budget, with tax rebates in the amount of $300 to be given out on a “first come-first serve” basis.

• The Tax Lien Property Ordinance, which gives the town a protocol for acquiring property for non-payment of property taxes, was passed after being voted down at last year’s Town Meeting. After last year’s meeting, it was discovered that the defeated ordinance was actually identical to a previously existing ordinance that was passed in 1998.  Last year’s confusion with the ordinance was discussed at length, and was chalked up as a result of having a new town administrator and three newly elected selectmen.

• Purchase of a new, 2010 Freightliner plow truck for $165,000 was debated at length before being approved. Selectman Mark Verrill opposed the acquisition.

Other approved purchases included a 2009 pick-up truck for $29,000 and a $30,000 heating system boiler and hot water system for the fire station.  

“We looked hard at our reserve funds, and are very happy that there is no tax increase this year for residents,” Selectman Anne Graham said.

Voters in North Yarmouth and Cumberland must still approve a budget for School Administrative District 51. A proposed $28 million school spending plan failed in a tie vote on May 26 and is scheduled for a second vote on June 16. The school budget would increase taxes in North Yarmouth by 8.2 percent.   

The inaugural edition of the North Yarmouth Business Directory was also distributed at the meeting and can be found on the town’s Web site. A limited number of print editions are available at the town office.

Heather Gunther can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 115 or