Town meeting

Not many takers for Planning Board

By Fran Gonzalez | Jun 05, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Monroe residents at the annual town meeting June 3.

Monroe — About 50 residents made quick work of 46 articles at Monroe's annual town meeting Monday.

Voters approved all but one article  as written. The one amended article had to do with how much to fund social services provided by Waldo Community Action Partners. The $5,000 selectmen recommended was amended to the original asking amount of $8,195.

Selectman Jackie Robbins defended the board's lesser recommendation by saying the requested amount has gone up drastically in the last few years. A spokesman for the agency said the cost projections are to keep pace with the increased number of town residents using the services.

In elections, Robbins was re-elected as selectman and assessor for another three-year term, but no one stepped forward when it came time to fill two seats on the Planning Board.

One member of the Planning Board spoke about how there usually is little on the board agenda but said "it's good to be proactive, because all of a sudden something big can come along."

"It is an important job," Robbins added, and said if no one stepped forward the town could call a special town meeting later to fill positions.

Joyce Hillman said her husband was on the Planning Board, and thought marijuana-growing would fall under board's jurisdiction, which she said could potentially be a hot topic.

After some deliberation, Nancy Durand Lanson and Matthew Mayo were nominated and elected to the Planning Board with 11 and 12 votes, respectively.

Ken Clements was re-elected as fire chief with five votes and both Mario Tribuzio and Kassandra Shute were re-elected to the recreation committee.

Speaking on behalf of the Fire Department, Clements asked for volunteers and recommended any unspent money from the department budget roll over into a capital equipment fund. He noted a firefighter's jacket and pants, known as turnout gear, costs $2,000.

Robbins said in her time as a selectman since 1988, the town has not had a re-evaluation. Article 16 dealt with appropriating $15,000 to start a reserve account for future property re-evaluation.

"At some point it's going to be needed to be done," Robbins said, "and it will be costly."

One resident asked about an article dealing with timber harvesting on town-owned property. Robbins said the town owns more than 2,000 acres and there are no plans to harvest this year. She said town officials will consult a forester before harvesting timber.

All big-ticket items had to do with roads, including $150,000 for road construction, $75,000 for road maintenance and $244,000 for winter roads. Selectman Holly Emerson said they hope to pave Back Brooks Road and a mile of Dickey Hill Road.

Robbins, talking about road maintenance, said the town is trying to save the appropriated money until spring, "in case we have a disaster like we did this spring."

Tax bills will be sent out Aug. 31 and the 9% legal maximum interest will start on Oct. 15 for the first half of unpaid taxes; second-half payment interest will start Feb. 15, 2020.

 

 

 

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