DURHAM — The first in-person town meeting since 2019 is set for April 2 at 9 a.m. at the Durham Community School.

Select Board Chairman Kevin Nadaeu said of the $4.26 million municipal budget, $1.67 million would be raised through property taxes. That translates to a roughly $448,000 more than last year’s $3.8 million municipal budget.

“This year is pretty much what I would call a maintenance budget, there aren’t any big new initiatives or big new requests for spending,” Nadaeu said Tuesday. “Inflation and upward pressure on wages are certainly among the biggest factors. We’ve also increased capital expenditures, both in terms of current projects, and building reserves for future projects. That is an area we cut back on during the pandemic, but feel we need to start building back up.”

One new proposed expense, Nadaeu said, includes appropriating $242,000 for a new plow truck, $21,911 of which would be raised through taxes.

The tax rate is $20.70 per $1,000 of property value. A preliminary estimate based on the proposed budget would raise the rate 28 cents. A resident with a $200,000 home would pay $56 more than last year.

Election of officers will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 1 at the Durham Eureka Center. There are openings for two selectmen, three Budget Committee members and one Regional School Unit 5 director.


All positions are for three years.

Joseph Tomm is the only candidate on the ballot for the Select Board. Marc Farrin and Rob Pontau are not running for reelection.

Tomm said Tuesday that he is interested in working on the budget and getting residents involved in and educated about the process of town government.

“I think that the town is struggling with the fact that it’s a bedroom community for the surrounding area – there isn’t a lot of industry/business,” he said, adding “it’s hard to offset tax, your tax base, if you don’t have business. I’m not pro-business at all in that regard, but again back to the education, if you want to keep it at it as a bedroom community then you know, unfortunately, the taxes kind of follow a certain path at that point.”

Tomm has served on the Planning Board for eight years and serves on the Capital Improvement Committee.

The Regional School Unit 5 board of directors seat is being sought by incumbent Michelle Ritcheson, who is finishing her third term and is the chairwoman.

Ritcheson said Tuesday that she hopes to work alongside the new superintendent and continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of bringing a greater sense of normalcy to the district’s students.

Jill Gastonguay is the only candidate for the Budget Committee.

RSU 5 serves Durham, Freeport and Pownal.

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