About 15 residents huddled in their cars and listened to the annual town meeting on their radios March 15. The windswept meeting was one of the coldest in recent memory, with temperatures hovering around 10, and the first to be conducted outside drive-in style at the Town Hall parking lot.

The meeting started a little after 6 p.m. after some initial technical difficulties with the signal dropping and extraneous noise. Moderator Amber Poulin, speaking through a wireless microphone, kept the meeting moving swiftly, finishing all 19 articles in just over 45 minutes.

All articles were approved by residents waving paddles from their vehicles with little or no discussion.

Sharon Reed-Hall was reelected first selectman and Suzette Harford and Wanda Pinkham were elected second and third selectmen, respectively. Fire Chief/Fire Warden Ron Harford II was also reelected.

The municipal government budget amounted to $231,700, an increase of $16,900 from last year's number. Of the budget total $212,083 was raised, $10,311 carried over from last year and $9,304 appropriated.

The largest line items in the government budget were $83,000 for town officials' wages and $43,000 for an account labeled "Employee Cost," which covers employee benefits and taxes.

Residents approved spending $494,795 for Public Works which, according to the town report, was a $138,950 decrease from last year's amount. Of the total Public Works budget, $207,567 will be raised, $29,752 carried over from last year, and $257,501 appropriated.

The biggest line item was "Capital Improvements," at $250,000, followed by $112,000 for winter road maintenance and $60,000 for curbside trash service.

Selectmen said road repair and maintenance was a big focus last year; specifically a portion of Back Belmont Road from the Belfast town line to Art's Canvas. They anticipate completing the rest of the road this year.

In a letter to residents, selectmen said curbside trash collection continues to be an issue with increasing tonnage causing a rise in the cost of the program. They recommended putting only household trash out for collection and using the zero-sort program for recyclables. The recycling program picks up on the last Tuesday of every month and a complete list of items accepted is available on the town website or by calling the office.

The Public Safety account was approved at $73,700, a $6,000 increase from the previous year. The biggest items were $15,000 for building repair and maintenance and $11,000 for the equipment fund.

A letter in the Town Report from Belmont Fire Chief Ron Harford said that with most people spending their time at home due to COVID-19, "our calls were way down." In all the department had 36 calls, one structure fire and multiple car accidents.

The Health and Welfare accounts increased by $300 from last year, to a total of $9,418. All social programs received less than requested, with selectmen recommending a 25% increase across the board. These agencies and amounts include $28 for New Hope for Women; $1,187 for Waldo Community Action Partners; $25 for Game Loft; $115 for Spectrum Generations; and $62 for Waldo County YMCA.

Toupie Rooney is the new code enforcement officer and licensed plumbing inspector for the town, having started in October 2020. She can be reached at 342-5722 or by email at ceo@belmont.org. Since October, Rooney has issued eight plumbing permits, six building permits, reviewed ordinances, organized records and worked with the Planning Board.

Taxes will be deemed delinquent after Nov. 1 and will accrue interest at an annual rate of 6%. Also, the tax collector/treasurer can accept partial payments of current year taxes in advance and partial payments of liens not involved in foreclosures.

The town clerk recorded nine births, nine deaths and seven marriages.