Sedgwick to decide on tower moratorium

Posted March 05, 2009, at 11:29 p.m.

SEDGWICK, Maine — Voters at the annual town meeting this weekend will decide whether to impose a six-month moratorium on the construction of towers in town.

The polls will be open for municipal elections from 1 to 6 p.m. today at the Town House. Voters will tackle the rest of the warrant articles beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, also at the Town House.

Town officials have been discussing the possibility of a moratorium on towers for several years now, according to Selectman Nelson Grindal.

“We had a cell phone tower go up on the Ridge Road a couple of years ago,” Grindal said. “And there have been rumblings of the possibility of another one and some wind-power generators. The planning board and the code enforcement officer asked us to do a moratorium to give us time to develop an ordinance to keep a control on it.”

If approved, the moratorium would become effective immediately and would prohibit construction of structures more than 50 feet high anywhere in town.

The rest of the warrant is nearly the same as last year, Grindal said. There is a slight increase in the municipal budget. The major factor in that increase is an increase in the town’s state valuation, which resulted in a hike in the county tax. The selectmen also increased the allocation for the highway maintenance account from $55,000 to $75,000 to cover an increase in paving costs.

The proposed school budget is $1,720,870, an increase of $26,817 from last year’s budget. The budget includes the anticipated state subsidy penalty, which may be imposed based on the town’s rejection of a proposed school consolidation plan.

There are no contested races in municipal elections this year. Selectman Tom O’Connor, who passed away in February, is the only candidate for the three-year seat on the board. Grindal said he believes that O’Connor will win the election. If that is the case, he said, the remaining selectmen will schedule a special election after the town meeting.

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