MONTEREY -- Residents have approved a $3.72 million budget that will keep operating expenses nearly flat, reflecting a 0.1 percent decline.

Annual Town Meeting approved 21 of the 22 warrant articles with minimal changes, rejecting only a citizen-petitioned article filed by Jonathon Sylbert.

Voters rejected Sylbert's article requesting the Friends of Wilson McLaughlin House be exempt from receive town funds in its efforts to turn the house into a community center. The group has raised $110,000 toward a goal of $225,000 -- with $55,000 coming from the town according to Joseph Baker, president of the volunteer nonprofit group.

In the warrant, the largest purchase was a $117,000 for a Ford F-550 truck for the Highway Department. Other department purchases include a salt shed, a new grader and a fire department rescue vehicle and hydraulic tools.

Fourteen percent, or 84 of 601 registered voters, were present at the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, a five-article warrant was approved at one of two special town meetings. The warrants included the transfer of $58,172 for overrun costs in the sand and snow account and a tax-exemption program for firefighters 60 and older with more than 15 years of experience. The rest of the articles related to fund transfers.

The other special town meeting resulted in a correction of the zoning bylaw, decreasing the frontage in the business district from 200 feet to 100 feet.