DRESDEN

Dresden’s town meeting is Saturday at 9 a.m. at Pownalborough Hall, where voters will consider 49 articles including a $849,756 municipal budget proposal.

The spending plan represents a $140,787 increase in total appropriations over 2017.

Many spending requests are unchanged or have changed little from the previous year.

There is a request for an additional $105,789 for the highway accounts for roads, snow removal, paving and capital improvement, sand and salt.

Selectmen and the budget review committee recommend using $80,000 from the surplus account to help reduce the tax commitment.

Voters will be asked to spend $15,600 more for a town administrative assistant, given the current administrative assistant is retiring. Health insurance for the new hire will be approximately $7,000. The person currently in the position will receive $1,000 in lieu of benefits for the six months she will remain in the position.

There is also a request for $7,500 for an assessor to perform the annual assessment of properties. The certified assessor now conducting that work is retiring.

There is also a proposal to switch ambulance service and for the town to enter into a three-year contract with Wiscasset Ambulance instead of Gardiner Ambulance. The request is to appropriate $6,000 for the first year contract payment. Selectmen note on the warrant that Wiscasset Ambulance offered a rate of $6,000 for the first year, $6,500 for the second year and $7,000 for the third year, with no cost to the town for uncollected fees.

“Their response time is a little quicker to most areas of town and the services are equal to what we had with Gardiner Ambulance,” the warrant note states.

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