Houlton voters approve road bond

Posted March 25, 2009, at 8:52 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11 a.m.

HOULTON, Maine — The town will move forward with an effort to fix roads and sidewalks now that voters have approved a $1 million bond to pay for the project.

A special election was held Tuesday so voters could consider the question.

Town Clerk Cathy O’ Leary confirmed Wednesday the vote was 231-91 in favor of the bond.

The town has tried for years to stay ahead of road and sidewalk repairs, but the increasing costs of asphalt and other materials have thwarted its efforts.

A few months ago, the town decided to ask voters to approve a $1 million bond to be used specifically for road repairs. The bond is expected to be paid off over 20 years.

Town Manager Douglas Hazlett has said the town would put the project out to bid, and local contractors would benefit if they were hired to do the work.

Normally, the Town Council sets aside the equivalent of 1 mill of the town’s annual budget for road repair and reconstruction. This year, they did not put any money into the roads account because officials were hoping to secure the bond.

The council and the board of budget review supported passage of the bond.

Some residents, however, spoke out against the move, saying they believed the town should continue its past practice of setting aside 1 mill of the budget for road repairs. Others expressed fear that in today’s economy, $1 million would not fix a lot of roads and sidewalks.

The town is expected to secure bids for the repair work in the coming weeks.

jlbdn@ainop.com

532-9257

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