Trenton voters approve funds for park, sidewalk projects

Posted May 19, 2012, at 4:09 p.m.

TRENTON, Maine — Local voters decided Saturday to accept $1 million in federal grant money to build a new park by the seaplane ramp at the local airport and to build a sidewalk along the west side of Route 3.

Michael Hodgkins, chairman of the board of selectmen, said Saturday that the two Federal Transportation Enhancement projects were separated into two votes. The waterside park project, which is expected to cost about $200,000, was approved by a voice vote. The sidewalk project was decided by ballot with an approximate 2-to-1 ratio in favor of accepting the funds, he said.

The sidewalk project is expected to cost about $800,000. The sidewalk will extend from the intersection of route 3 and 230, which is expected to be rebuilt between this July and next spring, north toward Trenton Elementary School, which is about a mile away. How long the sidewalk is will depend on how far the project has progressed when the $800,000 grant runs out, according to local officials. Work on the waterside park and the sidewalk are expected to begin later this year.

Hodgkins said voters also approved an overall 2012-2013 budget of approximately $3.2 million. That figure includes $2.7 million for educating local children from kindergarten through grade 12, he said, and about $474,000 in noneducation expenses.

Hodgkins said the town’s education costs in 2012-2013 will be lower than they are this year, which will help to reduce slightly the town’s overall taxes. The town’s tax rate of $11 for each $1,000 of a property’s value is not expected to change significantly, he added.

In elections, which were held Friday, Kevin Hallett won a contested race for the local school board. According to results posted in the town office door window, Hallett received 102 votes in a three-way race, finishing second to incumbent Susan Sargent, who received 108. Elizabeth Hudson received 84 votes, which was not enough to win one of the two available school board seats.

In the local assessor’s race, former town clerk Janet Muise ran and won as write-in candidate, defeating incumbent Dorothy Young. Young, whose name was printed on the ballot, received 88 votes but Muise received 108 votes from people who wrote her name in.

Richard Vander Zanden and incumbent Carlene Hanscom won uncontested races for two seats on the Board of Selectmen. Hodgkins said Vander Zanden will take the seat vacated by Jim Cameron, who decided not to seek re-election after having served as a selectman for 30 years.

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