2017-03-15 / Front Page

Carrabassett Valley passes $2.5 million budget

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Resident and non-resident taxpayers filled the main room at the Outdoor Center Wednesday, March 8 for the annual Town Meeting. Voters made quick work of approving a $2.5 million budget which included $16,000 for maintenance at the Information Center on Route 27. Of that, $10,000 will be used to construct a sealed vault privy to replace the rented port-a-potty.

Pat Mitchell made a motion to amend the article to install a septic system instead of a privy. He pointed out Maine’s High Peaks volunteers have done a lot of good for the town and the area. He also stated the town already had another privy within a half-mile of the Information Center.

Other residents pointed out the porta potties get a lot of use around the clock; the information center is run by volunteers and open limited hours. A sealed vault privy would be available to the public when the building is locked up. The other privy is at the multi-use trailhead parking area and is not visible or easily accessible to Route 27 traffic.

Richard Fotter of Stratton spoke on behalf of those that volunteer at the information center. He said the bathroom in the center was not heated adequately and suggested planning for a new system in the future.

The motion was defeated and the article passed as it was written.

Voters approved a $200,000 capital improvement project at the Sugarloaf Golf Course. The project includes re- construction on the practice range, purchasing greens covers and improvements to golf cart paths. It is anticipated the town will borrow the capital for the project over a five-year period. The town is expected to provide $30,000 a year for the bond payment. Sugarloaf Mountain Corp. will provide $10,000 and interest costs will be paid out of the Golf Course Reserve Fund.

John Ober was alone in voicing an opinion about the project. “There are 120 golf courses in Maine; I have played at 60 of them. There is no practice facility better than what we have at Sugarloaf. I see no need to mess around with our practice facility at the Sugarloaf Golf Club,” he stated.

The majority of voters were in favor of the article but Ober was vehemently against it.

During elections held earlier in the day, Selectman John “Jay” Reynolds, Sanitary District Trustee Robert Briggs, and School Committee members Earle Morse and Kim Kearing were re-elected to three-year terms.

With this budget, expenditures are up $30,000, or 1.2 percent, over last year but it is anticipated the new School Budget request will be approximately $100,000 less than last year. Town Manager Dave Cota reported the tax rate should remain at about .0066 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation.

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