Turner elections Thursday, town meeting Saturday

TURNER – Residents will elect officers Thursday and vote on a $3.2 million municipal budget Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Leavitt Area High School cafeteria.

Polls will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Town Office. Besides voting on two questions addressing on-premises sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, voters will choose one selectman for two years, two selectmen for three years, one School Administrative District 52 director for two years and two directors for three years. They will also choose three Budget Committee members for two years and three for three years.

Saturday’s town meeting will be the first since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than gathering in April 2020, officials decided to operate under a budget identical to the previous year.

According to selectmen, the 2021 budget of $3.2 million is slightly higher than the past two years. A major increase is the Fire Department, which is seeking to budget for two firefighters to man the station during daytime hours Monday through Friday. That’s when “virtually all of our volunteers are out of town at work,” according to a statement from selectmen.

Other departments seeing an increase include road paving and construction, and the Revaluation Reserve account.

One department seeing a significant decrease is the Code Enforcement Office, from $58,507 to $29,700. Selectmen explained in a letter to residents that the office saw major changes in how permitting and inspections are done, resulting in a scaled-down role for the code enforcement officer.

Residents will also vote on an ordinance to allow adult-use, recreational marijuana operations, according to Town Manager Kurt Schuab.

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