Voters signed off on the coming year’s budget at the annual town meeting in New Gloucester Monday night, but not without some renewed debate over Selectboard term limits and firefighter compensation.
The $4.4 million fiscal year 2019 expense budget will result in an estimated 3.6 percent increase in the municipal portion of the tax rate over the current year, according to budget materials provided by the town for the May 7.
Coupled with expected SAD 15 and Cumberland County tax increases, the town projects the overall tax rate will increase 4 percent in 2019 from $15.60 per $1,000 valuation to $16.30. Keep reading
Voters at last Monday night’s annual town meeting approved all articles, including $142,560 for portable air packs for the Fire Department and $150,000 for a dump/plow truck.
Other expenditures authorized were $30,000 for a second exit for the library, $35,000 for bridge and dam engineering at Stevens Brook, and $37,500 for improvements to the Rowe Station Road tennis courts.
Voters rejected an amendment to the Management of Tax-Liened Property Ordinance, 26-47, which would have eliminated a payment plan for delinquent taxpayers. Keep reading
Serenity Klotzle, 7, who belongs to the New Gloucester Public Library’s 4-H group, covers the root ball of a newly planted Liberty Elm tree that she named “Elmie” on April 29. Her 5-year-old sister Haven looks on.
Liberty Elm takes root
The image of majestic elm trees arching over the streets of our hometowns changed significantly in the 1930s when Dutch elm disease decimated the elm population. Because of efforts by the nonprofit Elm Research Institute, disease-resistant trees have been developed. They have been given the moniker of the American Liberty Elm — named for the “Liberty Tree,” our country’s first symbol of freedom. The institute established its Liberty Tree Society program in 2009, and of the hundreds of thousands elms they have planted, 99 percent have survived.
New Gloucester Public Library purchased an elm from the Liberty Tree Society in Keene, New Hampshire. Trustee Robb Cotiaux traveled there to pick up the tree for planting, and he along with library 4-H member Serenity Klotzle installed the sapling on April 29. “Elmie” can be visited behind the gazebo and swing set.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-142/
Voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting will decide on buying a plow truck, building a second exit for the library and improving tennis courts.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial School, with voter registration at 6:30 p.m.
Among the spending proposals are purchasing self-contained breathing apparatus for the Fire Department, construction of a second exit for the New Gloucester Public Library, buying a dump/plow truck and making improvements to the Rowe Station tennis courts. Keep reading
The Planning Board will continue deliberations on a site plan for a proposed residential drug treatment facility for boys and men ages 14 to 20 at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.
Townspeople have expressed concerns about safety, neighborhood compatibility, well water drawdown and the interpretation that the facility matches use standards in ordinance language.
Day One propose to close its Hollis location and open a 12-bed facility at the 934 Intervale Road home and former law office with 6 acres. Planning
A youth substance abuse treatment facility proposed by non-profit Day One is heading back to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
One of the nearby residents objecting to the planned 12-bed facility at 934 Intervale Road in New Gloucester has now filed a request asking the Board of Appeals to reconsider an April 10 decision that denied several appeals to the project. Keep reading
The warrant for town meeting has been posted on the town’s website.
New Gloucester’s town meeting for 2018 will take place on Monday, May 7th at 7 PM at Memorial School on Intervale Rd. Voters are asked to arrive at 6:30 to check in.
Please review the warrant before the meeting, it’s your opportunity to participate in our local legislative process.
These volunteers are getting ready for a day of sprucing up the grounds at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village during an annual Spring Work Day hosted by the Friends of the Shakers. This year’s work day is scheduled for Saturday, May 12.
Shaker’s spring work day
Brother Arnold and Sister June invite you to put your hands to work and give your hearts to God because Spring Work Day is just around the corner. Join the Friends of the Shakers on Saturday, May 12 at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road.
Lend a hand working at various tasks suitable for all ages and abilities, including sweeping away the winter sand, cleaning out the hay barn, helping in the herb department, prepping the Shakers’ gardens, clearing brush, and so much more. Work days bring lots of hard work as well as much fellowship, too. Everyone shares the noon meal, conversation and laughter.
Participants are asked to bring a potluck dish or dessert and drop it off at the registration check-in table located on the lawn at the back of the Brick Dwelling House. Chores start at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. All necessary tools and supplies will be furnished but if you have a favorite pair of work gloves, feel free to wear them. Pre-register at www.friendsoftheshakers.org or by calling 926-4597.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-141/
(Note: This is the section of Matt Junker’s story that pertains to New Gloucester.)
By Matt Junker
In New Gloucester, there are three candidates on the ballot for two Selectboard seats: Council Chairwoman Linda Chase, board member Stephen Hathorne and Budget Committee member Karen Gilles.
Chase was initially set to be termed out under an ordinance passed at last year’s town meeting, but the Selectboard recently voted 3-2 to find the ordinance is legally invalid. Chase voted to overturn the term limits ordinance and Hathorne voted against the measure.
Town Manager Carrie Castonguay said Gilles is the daughter of Selectboard member Lenora Conger, but there is no prohibition on a mother and daughter serving together on the board.
New Gloucester also has two available SAD 15 school board seats. Jason Hart is the only candidate on the ballot for a full three-year term, and Laura Sturgis is the only candidate for a partial term. Water District Chairman Dan Bannon is the only candidate for the water district’s one available seat.
Ice out in the Pineland Pond can’t come quickly enough for these mallards enjoying a brisk swim alongside a frozen slab on April 5. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen
“Fueling Our Schools”
Customers of the Circle K convenience store at 255 Shaker Road in Gray are invited to a special Fuel Up Night to kick off Circle K’s annual “Fueling Our Schools” fundraising campaign. The ongoing campaign invites customers to purchase fuel at specially marked pumps, with Circle K donating one cent of every gallon of fuel purchased to Gray-New Gloucester High School, up to $2,000. The school will use its donation to address different areas of need, such as technology, resources, teacher incentives and more.
On Thursday, April 19, a special Fuel Up Night, customers will have an opportunity to make an even greater impact. From 3-8 p.m., 10 cents of each gallon of fuel sold at pumps seven and eight will be donated to Gray-New Gloucester High School.
“Circle K is passionate about giving back to the neighborhoods where we work and live,” said Jeff Burrell, vice president of Global Fuels. “Through this unique fundraising program, we are helping to address critical needs and enabling educators to make a difference in the classroom and beyond.”
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-140/