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Morrill discusses program funding, taxes at town meeting

By Kendra Caruso | Jun 29, 2020
Photo by: Kendra Caruso About 20 residents gather at the Morrill Fire Department for their town meeting June 27.

Morrill — Despite some mistakes on Morrill’s town warrant and a new moderator confusing the procedural order at times, its town meeting June 27 did not elicit much discussion on funding topics. Taxes and program funding were the most discussed issues among the 20 residents in attendance.

One resident made a motion to allocate $0 to Spectrum Generations, Waldo Community Action Partners, New Hope for Women and Mid Maine Community Action Game Loft unless there was a representative to speak about how the town benefits from the programs.

Clerk Mindy Rowlands said the town asked representatives not to attend because it might overcrowd the meeting.

A resident representing WCAP was in attendance and discussed housing assistance the organization provided to residents last year. She said the $4,727 the organization requested is about 2.5% of its operational costs. WCAP has a budget of $10 million and employs over 150 people.

Rowlands said the amount requested far surpassed what the town gives the organization.

Residents voted down the motion to eliminate funding completely and voted to fund all five programs, costing $6,250.08 combined.

Another resident questioned the town’s foreclosure procedure on properties that owe three years of taxes. He suggested that when the town sells the property it should take what is owed in taxes then give the remainder back to the resident that it foreclosed upon. He was concerned that someone could outbid the homeowner at auction and the homeowner would lose their property.

One selectman said the town does all it can to work with the homeowner to repay taxes over the three unpaid years to keep people in their homes. He said the town participates in a special program to keep elderly individuals’ homes out of foreclosure.

Municipal costs rose marginally this year by only $1,449. Last year’s town costs were $490,453 and this year’s approved budget is $491,902.

In elections, Gary Sheldon was elected to be a town selectman and residents voted to allow the Board of Selectmen to act as the three road commissioners. The town voted to contract with a licensed assessor at $6,300 to assess properties in town. Pat Scribner was elected fire chief.

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