Nobleboro voters approved all 23 articles on the ballot during their annual town meeting by referendum Friday, July 17.
Article 10 gave voters a choice between two amounts for the town’s contribution to Skidompha Library: $20,000 and $16,400. Voters chose the lower amount, 48-22.
The larger sum reflected a request from the library in December 2019, while the selectmen and budget committee recommended the smaller sum.
Due to the coronavirus, the library later told the selectmen it would support the $16,400 sum, according to Nobleboro Town Clerk Susan Pinnetti-Isabel.
According to Pinnetti-Isabel, a total of 76 voters cast ballots.
Through Article 7, voters approved a transfer of $50,000 from surplus for repairs to fire trucks.
According to Nobleboro Fire Chief Richard “Moose” Genthner, the sum will allow the department to keep an engine at the Damariscotta Mills Station and catch up on overdue maintenance on its existing fleet.
Nobleboro shifted away from an open town meeting this year due to coronavirus concerns.
Voters passed both the education and municipal budgets.
The 2020-2021 education budget totals $3,877,699.76, up $367,801.41 or 10.48% from the previous year.
A rise in special education costs is the leading factor in the hike. The category of special education totals $771,890.84, up $186,587.82 or 31.88%.
The regular instruction category totals $2,007,001.37, an increase of $161,029.64 or 8.72%.
The transportation and buses category totals $294,683.18, an increase of $43,620.08 or 17.37%.
Dick Spear, chair of the board of selectmen, had said he expected an increase of $0.50 in the property tax rate if the budgets passed as proposed. The current rate is $11.95 per $1,000 of valuation.
The expected increase would bring the rate to $12.45 per $1,000, or $1,245 for a property assessed at $100,000.
According to Spear, the municipal budget includes an increase of $44,068 in administrative costs, which total $351,322. He attributed most of the increase to rising health insurance costs.
Another increase is in the fire department’s operations budget, up to $120,000 from $89,990. Spear said $15,000-$18,000 of the increase will go toward new protective gear for firefighters.
Additionally, the town’s contribution to the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service rose from $16,000 to $27,250.
The budget for paving is $150,000, up from $130,000 last year. Spear said the biggest paving project in town this year will be on Belvedere Road.
Though Spear did not have an exact figure for the municipal budget, he said it is up about 3-4% from last year’s adopted budget of $927,422.
Voters elected three town officials in uncontested elections.
Selectman Richard Powell received 68 votes and Great Salt Bay Sanitary District Trustee Robert Whear got 70 to win reelection. Newcomer Rhea Butler received 69 votes to win a seat on the Nobleboro School Committee.
Butler replaces Briceson Henny, who did not seek reelection.