Dorchester – Town Meeting voters on Saturday unanimously approved a $434,000 spending plan but rejected a separate $10,400 appropriation that would have paid for extended office hours by the town clerk.
The budget for the current year, which is about $3,000 lower than the 2014 budget, was approved after the Selectboard issued a report saying that it was “a little apprehensive as we enter 2015” due to a tax increase tied to a Mascoma Regional School District bond issue that is paying for school renovations and due to rising school operating expenses.
The inclusive property tax rate in Dorchester is $19.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $4,788 on a property valued at $250,000.
The town also recorded, in a 36-3 vote, its opposition to the siting of electricity-generating wind turbines within its boundaries.
However, the voters, by a 31-6 vote, rejected a resolution calling for the town to adopt a “community bill of rights ordinance” with a stated purpose of wrestling away from the state the power to review applications for such projects.
The discussion of wind turbines came after the Selectboard reported that it had learned that Dorchester would be the site of two of the 29 wind turbines in a project being developed by a Portuguese company.
Other towns near Mount Cardigan, including Orange, have also expressed apprehension about the project.
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