Kingfield Select Board requests move to Town Manager form of government

Public Hearing Jan. 3 to hear request to change town's form of government


Maine Beer Shed owner Kate Ray, left, was on hand to answer questions regarding the $60,000 CDBG grant the business received.  (Sue Davis photo)

 KINGFIELD — Vice chair Wade Browne opened the Select Board meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec,  19 and turned to a public hearing to discuss a $60,000 CDBG grant (Community Development Block Grant) for Maine Beer Shed. Owner Kate Ray was present to answer questions.

The money will be used to buy kitchen equipment for the Beer Shed’s expansion of its café and market. Currently the Beer Shed has five separate refrigerators each with its own compressor. This grant will finance a single refrigeration unit with one condenser along with other kitchen equipment. The Rays themselves are covering the cost of the construction of the addition.

Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett explained that this grant came from remaining funds from the State Economic Development Program. The Maine Beer Shed had applied for the program in 2020 but the funds were diverted for Covid Relief. When the Beer Shed re-applied the next year, they missed the deadline, then reached back to the State for essentially the same program but with a later deadline. The State earmarked some of their un-used funds for this grant.

Public Hearing and Special Town Meeting warrant to change to a Town Manager administration

The Board signed a warrant for a special town meeting to change town governance from Administrative Assistant to a Town Manager system. They approved holding a public hearing preceding the Tuesday, Jan. 3 Select Board meeting. The Special Town Meeting will be held preceding the next Board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Each meeting begins at 6 pm.

Labor policy earned paid time off

The Select Board discussed the current earned paid time off labor policy, which allows earned vacation time to accumulate. After much discussion, Board members agreed to cap the hours at 120 and that they not to accrue at the end of the year. The Board discussed paying off the accumulated vacation time that had not been taken, with no resolution. They will address this question at a future labor policy work session.

Wednesday’s Labor Policy work session postponed

All agreed with Wade Browne’s request to postpone the Dec. 19 labor policy work session meeting because of the immanent Christmas holiday. The Board voted to reschedule it to follow the Jan. 3 Select Board meeting.

Roads inventory

The board was impressed with Robert Lightbody’s presentation at the Dec. 14 roads work session. He proposed doing an independent scientific engineering inventory that would rate most of Kingfield’s roads, including gravel roads, on a current-conditions scale. The board voted to hire him to do the assessment at the estimated cost of $12,000.

Parking signage

In response to Select Board member Polly MacMichael’s query about adding a public parking sign to the Depot Street signpost, Targett reported that the DOT does not allow that. They allow separate signs that direct the public to parking areas or a parking lot.

Equipment breakdowns

One of the Town’s pickup trucks is in Dixfield for repairs. Town crew managed to get the back-up truck working. The snowblower is stuck on the Centennial Bridge with electrical problems, although it managed to clear all other sidewalks in Town. Special notice was made of the success plowing the narrow sidewalk beside the stone wall on the hill going south on Rt. 27.

The Board then adjourned with holiday greetings to everyone.

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