Tag Archives: local government

New Gloucester town report dedicated to rescue service founder — Sun Journal

NEW GLOUCESTER – Selectmen on Monday evening dedicated the 223rd annual town report to Avis Thurston Ford, a founding member of New Gloucester Rescue in 1975 and longtime community volunteer.

“Avis is truly a gift to New Gloucester in so many ways,” New Gloucester Historical Society President Beverly Cadigan said during the dedication ceremony. “In the early 1970s, there was no New Gloucester Rescue. Avis was one of the 12 residents who took classes and qualified to become a basic EMT responder.” Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ piece in the Sun Journal.

Big budget increase expected in New Gloucester

The town’s Budget Committee said Tuesday night municipal spending could increase significantly for 2019-20 — perhaps by as much as 26%.

During a budget hearing that drew about two dozen residents, the committee said the proposed municipal budget is $4.95 million, up by $552,093 — almost 12.6% — from current spending. Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ piece in the Sun Journal.

Town Government – Who Makes the Rules: Why You Might Consider a Town Charter

By Penny HiltonB

For towns without town charters, there are very few laws that address how town government shall run. These laws  are scattered throughout various Maine State Statutes, and difficult for the average person to find.  This means that whoever is in elected office in such a town is free to set – and change – rules and protocols.

A town charter is a legal document that sets, in one place, the rules and protocols for the town’s operation. These rules are established by the voters, and may only be changed by the voters. That means that the town operates by the same rules, no matter who is elected, and that voters can refer to these rules and hold elected officers accountable to them.

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Board of Selectmen Considers Budget, Reviews Warrant, Sets Special Meeting/Public Hearing for April 16

Deep into hour three of their April 8 meeting, the Board of Selectmen discussed the FY19 NG Fire and Rescue budget to be given to the Budget Committee for its April 11 meeting, and shed light on possible changes ahead for the department.  The Fire and Rescue budgets, now combined in a single “Public Safety” account, #117, have remained uncertain as the board considered options—and costs—for providing 24/7 emergency response coverage.  The board had previously set a placeholder amount of $700,000 while it deliberated.  The new FY19 figure will be $643,112.  The Fire and Rescue budget this year was $380,000. 

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Town’s Spring Newsletter Is Out

Updates and info from town staff, introductions of new staff, upcoming events, and more can be found in the spring 2019 edition of New Gloucester Town News. Read the full newsletter here.

You can also sign up to receive town newsletters by mail. Just send an email to smyers@newgloucester.com with “Subscribe me” in the subject line.

New Gloucester Comprehensive Plan Update Committee on Track, Seeks Community Input

New Gloucester resident Anne Maurice recently sat down with Town Planner Scott Hastings to discuss the town’s ongoing Comprehensive Plan Update, why it matters, and how citizens can get involved.  Here’s Anne’s report. – eds.

Back in January of 2018, the New Gloucester (NG) Plan Update Committee was seated.  Since then, they have been working through the Comprehensive Plan process with the guidance of Scott Hastings, NG Town Planner.  Maine first enacted a requirement for comprehensive planning as the basis for zoning in 1943.  In 1988, Maine adopted the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act, building on long-established law.  The NG Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 1990; you can find it here on the Town’s website.  The town has undergone dramatic changes since then.

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Board approves facility rental fees

The Selectboard unanimously approved rental fees for town facilities and fields Monday night, “a great resource that can be utilized to the full potential both for the community but also people outside of our community.”

According to Parks and Recreation Director Morgan Rocheleau, “This is a very common practice in parks and recreation in general.” Keep reading Jane Vaughn’s report in KeepMeCurrent.

NG Planning Board Orders Public Hearing for Sabbathday Shores Application, Approves New Residence in Historic District

At their March 5 meeting, the planning board considered a request by Sabbathday Shores developer Allen Hamilton to change a portion of its approved subdivision plan from “passive recreation” to “active recreation” use.  Town planner Scott Hastings explained that the applicant intends to seek permission to install a dock on Sabbathday Lake, and the change in permitted use from passive to active recreation is a necessary first step.  The board ordered a public hearing on the request, now scheduled for April 2 at 7 p.m.  In other business, the board gave final approval to revised plans by Julie and Michael Fralich for a new residence with possible short-term rental in the Village historic overlay district.

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Will a Charter Benefit New Gloucester?

Opinion by Peter Bragdon – Board of Selectmen Candidate

As you have probably seen there is a push in New Gloucester by a group of citizens to form a Charter Commission.  I am involved in this diverse group which includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents, a retired town employee, past selectmen, current selectmen, retired Maine Municipal leaders and a retired town manager.   I want to share why I think a Charter will benefit the town.

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New Gloucester budget process on hold

The budget process has been put on hold because of ongoing deliberations over compensation for the town’s fire and rescue department. Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ article in the Sun Journal.