Mount Desert to vote on tower moratorium

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted May 01, 2009, at 7:23 p.m.

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — Voters are expected to decide whether to adopt a moratorium on communications towers and whether to adopt a new comprehensive plan at the annual town meeting next week.

The meeting is to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, May 4, when polls open at the fire station in the village of Somesville. Polls close at 8 p.m. Monday.

The open session of the meeting begins at 6 p.m. the following day at the elementary school in the village of Northeast Harbor.

In February, selectmen voted in favor of pursuing a moratorium on communications towers after receiving several inquiries from people interested in erecting cell phone towers in Mount Desert.

Town Manager Michael MacDonald said at the time that town officials want the moratorium because the town does not have ordinances for regulating communications towers.

As for the local budget, MacDonald said Friday that the cost of municipal operations is expected to increase $240,000, or 4.5 percent, from $5.35 million to nearly $5.6 million. Much of that increase, he said, can be attributed to debt payments stemming from a decision last year by voters to build a new $6.5 million wastewater treatment plant in Somesville.

Voters also will be asked to approve the purchase of a $659,000 ladder truck for the Fire Department. The town would have to borrow $300,000 to buy the truck and would repay it over five years in annual installments of approximately $67,000.

School expenses are expected to increase more than $35,000 to $5.185 million, and Hancock County taxes are slated to increase $13,000, to $756,309. The town’s mill rate is expected to increase from $5.71 for each $1,000 of a property’s value to $5.83.

Marilyn Damon is challenging incumbent Patrick Smallidge for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Laura Hendricks, Sumner Rulon-Miller and incumbent Gail Marshall are competing for two three-year terms on the school committee.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/05/01/news/hancock/mount-desert-to-vote-on-tower-moratorium/ printed on October 20, 2014