NEWS
(from the
June 2005 Maine Townsman)

Oakland: An article to join area towns in a regionalized airport proposal was defeated 39-37 in a second vote. The first vote had been deadlocked. Waterville had proposed that Fairfield, Winslow and Oakland share in the operation and costs of a municipal airport in the city.

Farmington: The Kingfield Fire Dept’s fire subsidy has been cut by 80 percent by Franklin County, effective June 1. As a result, its Fire Department will no longer be the first provider called upon to assist neighboring unorganized townships.

West Forks: State officials report that tests of groundwater show that the Caratunk/Forks/West Forks (CFWF) landfill is leaking contaminants. This landfill, along with Greenville, was designed without a liner system.

Warren: The town must continue to respond to ambulance calls at the Maine State Prison, following a ruling issued by the Maine Emergency Medical Services Board in May. The town’s rescue fills in when the local contracted ambulance is not available to transport inmates to the hospital.

Bath: The Sagadahoc County sheriff’s department will return to the County Courthouse (in Bath), with anticipated taxpayer savings of $600,000 over the next 10 years. The department had moved out of the courthouse five years ago because of space constraints, and began a lease in a building elsewhere.

SAD 37: The school board voted to combine some classes within Columbia Falls Elementary School and Milbridge Elementary School this coming fall, due to impending cuts in state subsidies. Directors say the cuts come as a result of the state’s new Essential Programs and Services funding formula.

Jay: A power plant which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November has paid the town approximately half of the nearly $2 million in personal and real estate taxes it owed for 2004-05. After the bankruptcy proceedings are settled, the town should receive the other half of the money owed.

Waldoboro: Selectmen voted May 10 to form a committee to study the possibility of replacing the police department with coverage by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Dept.

Saco: a group of buyers who had shown interest in the Saco Island mill complex has decided not to buy, as reported by the city’s Economic Development Director. Five acres of city property abut the mill property.

Lewiston: Councilors adopted the City Administrator’s $80 million spending plan for 2006 on May 17. They agreed to collect $39.6 million in taxes and set the property tax rate at $27.35 for each $1,000 in value, confirming a significant reduction in property taxes.

Tremont: In a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen in May, a contract was signed with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department to provide at least 30 hours per week of police protection. The town is currently without on-site police service.

Machias and Calais: More than half of the towns in Washington County have expressed interest in participating in the upcoming collection of household hazardous waste on July 9 and 30. The drop-offs will take place at the respective towns’ transfer stations. For households that pre-register, the participating towns will be covering the collection costs.

Arundel: a resident who filed suit against the board of selectmen in January has been denied a trial by jury and a trial of facts in York County Superior Court. The resident had requested appointment to the comprehensive plan committee, and was denied by the board.

Pleasant Point: The Passamaquoddy Tribal Council voted 4-3 May 19 to allow the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal on the tribe’s reservation. The project will require additional approvals, both federal and state, before going forward.

Belfast: The city council is considering increasing various fees in order to fund the budget for the coming year. Targeted for increased fees are pay-per-bag trash disposal, and possibly sewer fees. Building permit fee increases are also being considered. The city planner reports that fees were last changed in 1990.

Caribou, Limestone, SAD 20: Officials from these three school systems agreed in mid-May to form the Mid County Collaborative, created to enhance educational opportunities for students in the three communities.

Augusta: The planning board gave preliminary approval May 24 to a plan by a Massachusetts developer to build a $6 to $7 million Stop & Shop supermarket on the site of the former Joseph Kirschner Co. In other economic development news, Augusta residents voted on June 14 to uphold city council decisions to sell the site of the present Cony High School (new school to open next year) to Hannaford Bros. for a supermarket development and to allow a rezoning of land near I-95 to pave the way for a large commercial development, anchored by a Lowe’s building supply store.

Minot: Selectmen authorized their road manager May 23 to negotiate a plan with the town of Hebron in which Minot will oversee road repairs to a road shared by both towns, and will later bill Hebron for a portion of the overall repair costs incurred. Minot currently plows and sands Hebron’s section of the road.

Alfred: York County sheriff’s department and state police will soon share patrol duties, as a means of providing more efficient and effective rural law enforcement services.

Paris: At a meeting of the board of selectmen, the parks and recreation director presented the board a resolution that, if adopted, would prohibit the use of tobacco products in its parks and recreation areas.

Franklin: Code Enforcement Officer Jim Haskell is recommending to the planning board that the town triple its fee on anyone who starts a building project before getting the proper permits. A public hearing on the proposal was to have taken place on June 16.