BROOKSVILLE, Maine — Developing access to Walker Pond will be on the agenda again for the annual town meeting next week.
Voters will go to the polls from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, March 2, at the Public Service Building to vote for municipal officers. They will gather at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at the elementary school to tackle the remaining items on the warrant.
The town has been working for some time to develop access to Walker Pond and last year agreed to work with the town of Sedgwick, which already owns a 28-acre parcel with about 600 feet of frontage on the pond. The town purchased a half-interest in the property and borrowed $80,000 for the purchase. According to Selectman John Gray, voters will be asked to approve the first $40,000 payment on that loan.
In a related article, voters also will be asked to allocate $15,000 toward the continuing effort to develop access to that property.
The town also will seek additional funding for the snow removal account. Gray said the town had a $43,000 deficit last year in that account and this year is about $28,000 in the hole. The selectmen have proposed increasing the snow removal account by about $60,000 to $250,000.
The school budget for the town this year totals $1,695,265, an increase of $14,784 or less than 1 percent, according to Superintendent Art Wittine. Wittine said the budget was developed anticipating that the state will impose a penalty on the school department because the town rejected the proposed school consolidation plan.
Budget increases were offset by a decrease in the secondary tuition account of about $36,000 because there are fewer high school students, and a decrease in the transportation account through the elimination of one bus run. If the budget is approved, there will be a budget validation vote on Monday, March 9. The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Public Service Building.
In municipal elections, Darrell Fowler is the sole candidate for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. The seat was left vacant by the death of longtime Selectman Clifford “Kip” Leach. In the only contested race, Rhoda Clifford and Yvonne Redman are vying for the post of tax collector.