Northport residents dispensed quickly with their town warrant June 5, approving municipal and school budgets without making any changes.

Before the meeting began, several town and school officials were recognized for their service. Suellyn Fleming, who was not in attendance, was recognized for more than 17 years of volunteering at Edna Drinkwater School. Also recognized was Superintendent Judy Lucarelli, who is departing her post. Lucarelli was thanked for her work helping the town make the transition to running its own school.

Longtime Deputy Clerk Robin Coombs received a plaque recognizing her for more than 20 years of service to the town. Denise Lindahl, who is serving her final term as a selectman, was also recognized at the meeting for her 15 years of service to Northport.

After the presentations, residents made quick work of the articles on the warrant, with few drawing much discussion from the nearly 50 voters in attendance. However, Article 20, which asked residents to set the interest rate charged on unpaid taxes, prompted one resident to question whether a 7-percent interest rate might be too steep for people struggling to pay their bills.

Town officials said the suggested interest rate is what is recommended by the state. They also noted that in the event people are struggling to pay their taxes, they can meet with officials to discuss the matter.

Ultimately, residents approved charging a 7-percent interest rate on unpaid taxes.

Residents also approved using $150,000 from undesignated funds, money left over in various town accounts, to reduce the 2017-18 tax commitment.

There was a new article on the warrant this year that asked voters to authorize selectmen to create and transfer vital records revenue funds to a records preservation special reserve fund. That fund would pay for costs associated with preserving and restoring the town’s historical and vital records.

Town Administrator Barbara Ashey wrote in her annual report the town has many records that are tattered and in disrepair. Town Clerk Jeanine Tucker has been researching companies that can help preserve and restore those records, but the town also needs to replace its vault, which Ashey notes is technically not a vault because it isn’t fireproof.

“If you repair a record and place it in an unprotected area, you have not accomplished much,” Ashey wrote in her report. "While the clerk works on a preservation schedule, and the logistics of building a true vault, we can be funding the records preservation fund to get started on keeping the records of the town safe for many years to come.”

All of the other articles on the warrant were approved as a printed.

School budget

Residents also approved a $3,073,317 school budget for next year. That figure represents a 1.6-percent increase over the current year’s budget, which Superintendent Lucarelli attributed to hiring an eighth-grade teacher, the first principle payment on the school renovation bond and increases in insurance rates.

The district also had its state subsidy decreased to about $57,000 from $76,000, Lucarelli said.

Included in the school budget warrant was an article that allows the school committee to use any additional state funds the district receives after its budget is approved. That money could be used to cover an unanticipated expense, Lucarelli said, or carried forward into the next year to be used to offset taxes.

The school budget is subject to a final referendum vote June 13.

Election results

Michelle “Shelly” Patten was elected to a three-year term as a selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor. Mark Lynch was re-elected to a three-year term on the Northport School Committee, and Amon Morse III won re-election to a two-year term as road commissioner.