NEWS
(from the
April 2005 Maine Townsman)

Camden: Selectmen agreed to ask Summit Environmental Consultants to assist in preparations to demolish town-owned tannery buildings. Summit’s work is to include soliciting bids for contractors to demolish the buildings, then assisting the town in the selection of a suitable contractor. The town intends to sell the tannery property.

Waldoboro: Uranium levels in the town’s public drinking water are four times the standards established by the EPA. The town will switch to new wells that meet the national standard, and a new facility that will house a distribution system will be constructed this summer.

Cornville: Residents voted March 12 to authorize selectmen to buy 1.7 acres of land and a house next to the town hall for $105,000. This purchase could provide Cornville its first town office with running water.

Harpswell: On March 13, residents voted 949-429 to reject a proposal to establish a charter commission.

SAD 51: Chebeague Island School is to receive about $19,000 in extra state education aid under Maine’s new school funding model. The island residents have recently been battling a proposal in the new school budget to cut one teacher in order to save $48,000. The loss of one teacher would necessitate sending fourth and fifth graders to the mainland to attend school. At a meeting March 10, the board agreed to drop the proposal from the 2005-06 school budget.

Willimantic: Results of a recent state audit done on the town’s property tax records show that property values have been assessed fairly, despite some residents’ allegations of unfair and inequitable taxes. County commissioners had requested the audit because residents had filed more than 10 abatement requests.

Southwest Harbor: Voters approved the construction of a new fire station, at a total cost of $1.3 million. Compared with the tight quarters of the current fire station, the new structure will be able to accommodate all the fire department’s vehicles.

Wiscasset: The projected operating budget of a new regional jail due to begin operation in October 2006 faces potential constraints under LD1, enacted in January and set to take effect at the end of June. The spending limitation process under LD 1 will apply to Sagadahoc County this year. Sagadahoc is the only one of the 16 counties that operates on a July-June fiscal year.

Newfield: At the annual town meeting, residents voted to spend $70,000 to replace a bridge that spans the Shapleigh-Newfield town line. The bridge has stood for over 100 years.

Porter: Voters adopted the town’s first commemorative town seal at town meeting March 19. Included on the seal is the likeness of an historic bridge as well as an old town meeting house that still stands. A bicentennial event is scheduled for 2007.

Fryeburg: A revaluation of all taxable properties in town has been approved by voters. The cost will be $168,750. The town’s last revaluation was performed in 1989.

Montville: The proposal to hire a contractor to perform a town-wide property revaluation was approved by a 83-69 vote. The revaluation contractor will be paid $31,500.

Washington: Residents agreed to change the town clerk’s position from an elected position to one that is appointed by the board of selectmen. Selectmen felt that an appointment will enable them to interview candidates to find the person best suited for the position.

Freedom: Voters agreed to contract with a new ambulance company. The former ambulance company asked $1,000 for its services. The new company charges the town no fee, has a paramedic on each unit dispatched from Waterville and Augusta, and has staff working 24/7.