6/19/2013 2:00:00 PM Dresden Voters Quickly Approve Reduced Town Budget
Outgoing Second Selectman David Probert (left) shakes Third Selectman Allan Moeller's hand while holding a plaque given to him for his service as a selectman and for contributions to the town's recycling center and other community initiatives. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
By Dominik Lobkowicz
It took less than 90 minutes for Dresden voters to get through the 49 remaining articles on the warrant when town meeting reconvened on June 15. Annual town meeting began with municipal elections on June 11.
A municipal budget of $635,353 was approved, a decrease of $65,898.60 or 9.4 percent over the current year. The approved budget fell between the $640,892 and $633,553 recommendations of the Board of Selectmen and Budget Review Committee, respectively.
The biggest chunk of savings in the budget came from reductions in the highway budget, including $25,000 less for road repairs and $20,000 or 50 percent less in the sand and salt line. The town's sand and salt shed is still half full from last winter and the roads are in good shape because of improvement efforts in recent years, First Selectman Phil Johnston said previously.
Other savings include over $16,000 for the Dresden Elementary School nurse and librarian which has been taken over by Kennebec Intra-District Schools RSU 2 this year, and $3000 for a once-planned but never formed first responders group that was removed. No money for capital improvements was included in this year's budget, down from $12,000 last year.
Voters went with the Dresden Budget Review Committee's recommendations on keeping Administrative Assistant Trudy Foss's salary flat and raising and appropriating only $101 to add to the town's legal fees account balance of $9899 to cap it at $10,000. The selectmen had recommended a $3640 or 10 percent salary increase for Foss, and recommended $2000 for the legal account with a goal of eventually capping it at $15,000.
Voters did follow recommendations from both the selectmen and the budget committee on approving a $500 or a 16.6 percent increase for Animal Control Officer Terry MacGregor.
The selectmen will have a little more leeway in the coming year in regard to repairs to town buildings. Voters approved $7500 for a new building repairs and maintenance account, which will allow the selectmen to make necessary unanticipated repairs to town buildings without bringing the issue to a special town meeting.
At the end of the meeting, outgoing Second Selectman David Probert was recognized and given a plaque for his outstanding leadership and service on the Board of Selectmen and his work with the Dresden Recycling Center and other community initiatives.
Incoming Second Selectman Gerald Lilly was also given a plaque and recognized for his outstanding leadership and service as chief of Dresden Fire and Rescue from 1982 to 1991 and from 1996 to 2013.