Voters cut proposed 2010-2011 expenses in nearly every area in a move to avoid exceeding the state tax levy limit at the annual town meeting March 9.

Between 30 and 40 people attended the meeting, which lasted three and a half hours.

Townspeople slashed proposals by the board of selectmen, stating taxpayers cannot afford increased municipal expenditures in these shaky economic times. Selectmen had recommended $846,000 in total, which according to an audience member was a $216,075 increase from the current year. Selectmen did not dispute this figure.

If passed in whole, Selectman Brian Thompson said the tax rate would have been increased by $3 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Currently, Swanville’s tax rate is $16.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Residents had a hearty discussion on most every question in the 35-article warrant and cut expenditures to keep from spending more than $277,893, which is the LD1 limit, and not to allocate more than $150,000 in anticipated revenue from excise taxes.

In addition, townspeople also authorized selectmen to spend up to $77,000 from working capital (which town officials said was not surplus) to fund town road maintenance, general assistance, animal control and a portion of cemetery costs.

Residents cut $21,040 from the municipal officers’ salary line to raise a total of $42,505, which represents a 5 percent increase from the current year. They also voted to pay the tax collector a $25,000 salary, compared to 2.25 percent of taxes collected, which amounted to $33,978 last year, and to keep the hours the same as the Town Office.

Townspeople voted to raise $45,000 for administration costs to the town. Selectmen had recommended $70,000 and $60,000 was raised at the 2009 town meeting.

It was voted to spend up to $50,000 from working capital accounts and to carry forward $11,259 for maintenance and improvement of town roads.

Thompson said Curtis Road and Oak Hill Road were in desperate need of repair and selectmen had proposed raising or allocating $189,000 for roads. Though voters did not approve the total amount requested, they did give selectmen the green light to finish work on Webster Road.

Residents agreed to raise $144,888 for snowplowing, compared to the selectmen’s recommendation of $184,000. A total of $28,816 will be carried over from this year.

It was voted not to appropriate any money for the social services budget. Various agencies had requested a total of $24,578. Selectman Craig Riley suggested instead including a list of agencies with residents’ tax bills and people could donate as they wish to the organizations of their choice.

Residents also chose to take no action on a question asking to place $200,000 in a cash reserve account.