STOCKTON SPRINGS — Nearly 50 people gathered at the Town Hall June 18 and approved the Town Warrant during their annual meeting, implementing changes to the Land Use and Harbor Use ordinances.

Residents approved each article with little discussion during the meeting. Town officials proposed significant funding increases for some Warrant items compared to last year.

Residents approved a $118,055 Fire Department budget request, a $25,652 increase over the amount approved last year. Town Manager Mac Smith said the increase stems from the increased cost of fuel and other expenses.

Residents also approved a $398,240 request from the Ambulance Department this year, which is $152,557 more than last year’s $245,683 line item. The funds will allow the department to increase its coverage in town to 24 hours per day, according to Smith.

The department does expect to have some revenues coming in and it is renegotiating a contract with Prospect, from which it expects to receive more revenue, a member of the department said. The department is also doing more non-emergency patient transports to increase revenue, another member of the department said. The department handles transport calls only when there is coverage at the department.

Residents voted to approve amendments to the Land Use Ordinance and the Coastal Waters and Harbor Ordinance. Smith said the changes will not affect the business most people do in town.

Land Use Ordinance changes will allow property owners to do two different things their property is zoned for, whereas at present a property owner can only do one thing the property is zoned for, Smith said. The Harbor Use Ordinance changes are not expected to impact the general public but will have some impact on floats the town uses for its dock system. Those ordinance changes go into effect July 1.

Town officials recommended residents approve only a $300 donation to Friends of Sears Island instead of the $500 it recommended as a way to support the organization but not its efforts to advocate against industrial activity on Sears Island, according to Smith. Voters approved the $300 donation.

Stockton Springs increased the amount raised through taxation for the town’s budget by 20.8% this year compared to last year, going from $1,566,588.50 to $1,892,234 this year. Residents voted to use $905,665.5 from anticipated non-property tax revenues to reduce the tax burden this year, a 55.4% increase compared to the $582,910 approved last year.

Darren Shute was reelected to the Select Board for a three-year term and Vern Thompson was reelected as fire chief for one year.

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