Milo residents pass over budget articles at town meeting

MILO — With the municipal audit awaiting completion, over a dozen articles on the warrant for the 2024 annual meeting were not voted on by the two dozen residents gathered in the Ed Wingler Auditorium upstairs at the Milo Town Hall on the evening of March 11. These items will now be decided at a special town meeting later in the spring – the date will be determined — after attendees approved a motion to pass over 15 monetary articles.

Moderator Steven Wagner said it has been brought to his attention that the warrant did not list the final expenditure figures from 2023 to compare to the 2024 proposed totals for articles 2-16. These instead were “open ended budget articles.”

“I understand the reason for that is the audit has not been completed yet due to some labor shortage issues on the audit accounting firm,” Wagner said. “That audit will be complete in April at which actual figures can be provided for 2023.”

Town Manager Robert Canney said a new auditing firm had been hired and the town switched to QuickBooks software from the previously used TRIO. Canney said the firm lost an account manager and then another to fall behind.

“The issue is simply our auditor didn’t have enough time to go through all the data,” Canney said. The auditor was set to come back the following day to start work to have everything ready for next month.

He said the town did switch back to TRIO as of Jan. 1 and does not anticipate software problems happening this year.

“Unlike last year where they were concerned with what was posted where, this year it’s just the two data systems Trio vs. QuickBooks,” the town manager said.

One year ago residents also voted to pass over budgetary articles at the March town meeting. At the time verification of the correct posting of invoices to the correct account was on-going, such as fire department expenses not being posted in the proper department account.

Residents approved a motion to pass over articles 2-17 with the 17th concerning an increase to the tax levy limit. 

Town officials were also authorized to spend an amount not to exceed 3/12ths of any budget category from March 11 to June 11 to keep municipal operations running until a special town meeting on the financial items is held.

At the day’s ballot former select board member Paula Copeland and incumbent Susan Libby each won 3-year terms on the select board with respective vote totals of 54 and 49. The other two candidates were Tony Hamlin with 22 votes and 19 for Mike Conley.

Mary Lynn Kazyaka was reelected to a 3-year term representing Milo on the SAD 41 School Board with 75 votes.

Denise Hamlin was reelected to a 2-year seat on the school board with 24 votes.

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