Residents voted down a warrant article to rebuild part or all of Mitchell Road at a special town meeting June 19.

Almost every seat in the Dirigo Grange Hall was filled Wednesday evening with more than 75 residents turning out to decide whether to raise additional tax money to fix Mitchell Road.

The condition of the road has been at the center of a contentious argument that has polarized the town. While some argue the state of the dirt road this spring was a safety issue when it was closed down for seven weeks because it was impassable, others say it is part of life during mud season for those living on a dirt road in Waldo County.

The battle came to a head with recall petitions presented to Selectmen Steve Bennett and Ron Price, which leveled several charges of wrongdoing. On June 11, residents voted against recalling both men. The vote to recall Bennett was 64 yes to 184 no; to recall Price, 66 yes to 183 no.

At the special town meeting June 19, several residents agreed the road needs repair but said a special town meeting was not the proper forum to make a decision.

"It should be budgeted and presented at the annual town meeting," one resident said.

Another resident said, "I don't want to talk about how much it's going to cost. I don't think we should do anything right now.

"It's ridiculous it was closed for seven weeks. I'd like to see it fixed, and fixed properly. I don't want my taxes going up hundreds of dollars either. Let's do it right and do it next year."

Price pointed out, "It's not in our strategic plan to spend a lot of money there."

He said selectmen are trying to be fair, but no one lives on the stretch of Mitchell Road near Goosepecker Ridge Road, and therefore the board does not feel as much urgency to fix the road.

"We have other roads that people live on that we need to work on," Price said.

After several motions to limit debate were taken, townspeople voted by secret ballot; 65 did not want to raise any additional funds and just 10 were in favor of the measure.