April 26, 2018
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Bangor residents to decide school budget, library roof loan in Tuesday election

Brian Feulner | BDN
Brian Feulner | BDN
The fate of the Bangor Public Library’s copper roof replacement bond is one issue Bangor voters must decide on Tuesday. There are three major questions voters must answer on this year's June ballot.
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor voters will cast ballots inside the Cross Insurance Center for the first time on Tuesday to decide the fate of Bangor Public Library’s copper roof replacement bond and the city’s $42 million school budget.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 18 at the new arena, 515 Main St. Voters should enter on Dutton Street and park in the lot on that street. Overflow parking will be available in the Hollywood Casino parking garage and golf carts will transport people across the street to the polls.

There are three questions on this year’s June ballot.

The first issue is the Bangor School Departments $42 million budget, which the City Council approved during a June 3 meeting.

Superintendent Betsy Webb has called the budget “bare-bones” in a year when neither the school system nor city know for sure what severe fiscal challenges they might face when the state passes its own budget.

Question 2 asks whether voters want to continue to hold referendums on the school budget for the next three years. A yes vote means residents will continue to have to approve the school budget. A no vote means the City Council’s approval of the school budget will make it final without going before voters.

The final question is whether the city should take out a $3 million bond to replace Bangor Public Library’s failing 100-year-old copper roof. Officials say “Band-Aids” won’t work anymore.

For the bond to pass, a majority of voters in the election would need to approve the loan. However, if the total number of votes cast is less than 10 percent of the registered voters in the city, then the bond question will automatically pass, even if a majority of voters don’t approve.

The bond is one-third of a $9 million renovation and modernization project, according to library Director Barbara McDade. Stephen and Tabitha King have pledged $3 million toward the effort, but only if the bond passes and the library raises another $3 million on its own.

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