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Smyrna, Merrill residents hold town meetings

MERRILL, Maine — Residents of Smyrna and Merrill gathered this past week to elect officials and conduct municipal business at their annual town meetings.

On Tuesday, March 5, a small group of 19 voters turned out to cast ballots for one selectman position. Long-time selectman Thomas Goff decided not to seek re-election this year, ending a 40-year career of service to the community.

“We wish Tom all the best and happy retirement,” said Town Manager Candy Nevers. “Tom has served his country and community since he was 18, serving in the Vietnam War and after coming home, has been on the Board of Selectmen for Merrill for most of his adult life. We appreciate his commitment to service.”

Ralph Bartman III was elected to the board for a three-year term replacing Goff.

The town’s budget passed as presented. The municipal spending plan of $201,900 is an increase of $5,787 (0.02 percent) over the 2018 spending plan.

“The mill rate should remain flat at $21.00 per thousand, as we have other income to reduce the amount raised by taxation,” Nevers said.

Nevers added she was pleased with the turnout and that many of those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting wished to express their appreciation for the job that local contractors have done to remove snow during this challenging winter.

“Many of those present wanted to express their appreciation to the local plowing crews and the fine job they have done this winter, especially to Ralph Bartman IV, snow plow contractor for Merrill and the MDOT crew out of Oakfield for the great job on Route 212 this winter,” she said.

On Monday, March 4, a small group of about a dozen voters turned out to cast ballots for seats on the town’s board of selectmen and municipal budget. Perry Lilley and Kevin Brannen were each re-elected to a three-year terms on the town board. Andrew McCluskey was elected to fill a two-year term for selectmen, filling an unexpired term belonging to Ross Crandall. Crandall had served as a selectman for nearly 40 years, but resigned from the board after moving to neighboring Oakfield.

“We greatly appreciated all that Ross had done for the town Smyrna over the years,” Nevers said.

The town’s budget of $238,980 was passed as presented. According to Nevers, the new spending plan will result in the same mill rate for taxes as last year at 18.50.”

The budget is up just $2,700 from last year.  Revenues are also up slightly at $138,360, to offset that increase, Nevers said.

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