June 24, 2018
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Height of buildings in industrial zone on warrant of Searsport town meeting

Downtown Searsport
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

SEARSPORT, Maine — The town meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Searsport High School cafeteria.

Residents will vote on a proposed comprehensive plan ordinance change which, if passed, would alter the definition of buildings in the industrial zone. A principal structure would be defined as a building where people could live, and the maximum height of such an edifice would remain 60 feet tall. But a structure used solely for the storage of goods and property, including a bulk fuel distribution facility, would have a maximum height of 150 feet.

Additionally, accessory structures such as cranes or silos could stretch as high as 175 feet. Right now, they are limited to 125 feet.

Voters also will decide whether to accept a revision of Searsport’s subdivision ordinance, which would be modeled off the Maine State Planning Office’s standard.

“It’s really going to give some better documentation for the town,” said Searsport Town Manager James Gillway.

Residents also will vote on what to do with a parcel of land on Old County Road — whether or not to keep it, and if not, if they wish to give the parcel to Habitat for Humanity.

Also on the warrant is a change to the town’s shellfish ordinance, which would make it impossible for an applicant to get a recreational permit if the person has had a commercial or local license suspended in the last five years.

Gillway said that the town’s proposed operating budget, after incorporating a small amount of revenue from the ambulance fund, will be about $6,500 less than the $1.875 million it was the previous year.

That figure does not include the school or county tax, he said.

While Searsport’s share of the Waldo County budget has decreased, school costs are not known yet.

During the ballot elections on Tuesday, voters re-elected incumbent selectmen Richard Desmarais with 98 votes and Doug Norman with 90 for two open positions. Write-ins Arthur Koch Jr., with 11 votes, and Joshua Sylvester, with three votes, were not elected.

Although there were no candidates on the ballot for one seat on the RSU 20 board of directors, write-in candidate Darren Philbrick won with eight votes.

Eight people were elected to the town’s budget advisory committee: Ben Crimaudo, Ralph Harvey, John Moran, Faith Garrold, Marjorie Knuuti, Ronald Cook, Charlie Plourde and Charles Yahrling. One of three write-in candidates who each received 2 votes — Roy Dakin, Dave Alling and Arthur Coach Sr. — will be contacted to see who might be chosen to be on the committee, Gillway said.

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