Whitefield voters passed all but one of the articles on the warrant at annual town meeting, Saturday, July 18.
Jeffrey Frankel moderated the meeting, which drew about 20 voters to the Whitefield Elementary School gym. The voters were spread out to comply with guidelines for physical distancing amid COVID-19.
The only article that did not pass was Article 43, which asked if voters would authorize the board of selectmen to include the town in the RSU 12 solar farm.
In March, the RSU 12 Board of Directors approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Sundog Solar LLC to cover the school district’s electricity needs. RSU 12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle said at the time that RSU 12 towns could participate in the solar farm, but would have to enter separate contracts with Sundog.
Articles 4 through 11 were condensed into one vote and Articles 12 through 40 were condensed. Article 46 was amended to remove a duplicate $4,000 line item.
The 2020-2021 municipal budget is $1,117,412, a decrease of 18.64% from last year’s budget. The selectmen cut more than $330,000 from an earlier draft of the budget, deferring several nonessential projects for a year due to concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Whitefield’s new town clerk and administrative assistant, Yolanda Violette, was introduced at the meeting. She was previously the town clerk in Mercer, a town in Somerset County. Her first day working in Whitefield will be Monday, July 27.
Selectman Charlene Donahue said the 2020 Spirit of America Award will go to the Whitefield Fire and Rescue Department.
“Volunteer firefighters have to hold themselves to the same standard as professional fire departments, but they have to do it on their own time,” Donahue said. “They are the ones who put their lives on the line.”