2019-20 budget work starts next week

Woolwich town meeting set for May 4

Posted:  Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 7:15am

Woolwich’s annual town meeting will held be Saturday, May 4. Selectmen set the date Monday night, Jan. 7, their first meeting of the new year. They’ll begin work on the town’s 2019-2020 budget next week.

The meeting at the town office started with David King Sr. being re-elected chairman and Dale Chadborne as vice chairman. King encouraged other select board members to take a turn chairing a meeting in the year ahead.

Road Commissioner Jack Shaw gave the board his 2019-20 budget requests. The paving line will reflect a $10,000 increase over the previous year. “We’ve got to start moving forward or we’ll never get caught up,” said Shaw.

Bruce Engert, code enforcement officer, said he issued 62 building permits in 2018. “It’s been a very active year, about a 30 to 37 percent increase over 2017,” he told the board. Engert noted 20 of the building permits were for new homes.

Since the board last met in December, the fire department has responded to 11 calls. Fire Chief Mike Demers said three calls were motor vehicle related and one was a structure fire. He said the department answered 160 calls in 2018, 15 more than in 2017. Demers told selectmen his proposed 2019-20 budget would show an increase for payroll and fuel. The department has applied for grant funds to buy emergency air packs this year but Demers said he’d ask for monies to buy them in case the funding doesn’t come through.

EMS director Brian Carlton received the board’s approval to spend $1,800 to buy online continuing education software for in-house training of EMS personnel.

In the year ahead, the board might consider having the town’s website maintained by its office staff.

The town will begin advertising for bids for a required annual monitoring of the former landfill.

The next regular meeting of the board is Monday, Jan 22.