RIPLEY, Maine — About 30 residents set the course for the town Saturday by adopting a 2010 municipal spending plan of $267,784 at the annual town meeting.
Residents were told there is $63,802 in the highway block grant fund for road resurfacing and an additional $23,000 is expected to be added to the account this year.
Since paving costs have been reduced because of the economy, residents thought it best to do as much as possible with the available tax dollars. Instead of the $30,000 proposed to be used from the highway block grant fund, residents voted Saturday to use up to $80,000. Town officials said Water Street and a section of North Road are in need of work.
Residents approved a handful of housekeeping changes to the shoreland zoning ordinance and the town’s building ordinance.
Gordon Canning, planning board chairman, said the board has been working hard to clean up the discrepancies between the shoreland zoning ordinance and the town’s building code.
Approval was given to relax one provision in the shoreland zoning ordinance. Residents agreed to allow recreational vehicles, tents or similar structures on a site for more than 90 days before the owners must meet the requirements for residential structures which includes the installation of a subsurface sewage disposal system. Previously, the ordinance allowed only 60 days.
In other action, voters agreed to raise $3,000 to update assessments records. The funds will provide for a new computer and TRIO software.
Residents were told by John Parola, SAD 46 board chairman, that the new district school in Dexter is on budget despite some rumors that the project is over budget.
Rep. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, apologized to residents for the condition of Maine’s roads. “We’re putting water in a bucket with holes and we need to fix the holes first,” he said of the state’s road work. Thomas also said the Somerset County Jail is probably the reason taxes have increased in Ripley. The mill rate for the new jail is 10 times as much as other counties, he said.
He also noted that the county was in the middle of changing the county’s charter to increase the board of commissioners from 3 to 5. Somerset County residents are expected to vote on the change in the future, he noted.