HOLDEN, Maine — Town leaders who want to help keep construction of the new Leadbetter’s store on schedule are holding a special meeting 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss signage, Town Manager John Butts said on Tuesday.
The 4,000-square-foot Leadbetter’s convenience store is under construction and replaces the former Sinclair’s Log Cabin General Store on Main Road.
Also on the Town Council agenda is the ongoing discussion over a proposal to build a new police-fire station, new state-mandated ordinance zoning changes and an ordinance on wind power generation.
Holden leaders would like to replace a modular building put in place in December 2006 to provide law enforcement with working space, Butts said.
“We’re still getting some prices to build it from the ground up or modular,” he said. “Everything is still in the planning stage.”
Councilors have asked that the building’s designs be created so future expansion for the Fire Department is included, he said. Butts said the council will decide whether the final project will be presented to residents at an annual town meeting.
Residents rejected a proposed $850,000 fire station building in 2007 and a $1.8 million combined fire and police station in 2006.
Public Safety Director Jim Ellis has stressed numerous times in the past four years that space is an ongoing problem, especially since the town decided to provide full-time law enforcement in January 2008.
While the rented space is an improvement over the 8-by-8-foot office police shared in the town hall basement, it is temporary space that is not designed for police use and was not to be used permanently, Ellis has said.
There is no bathroom and no plumbing in the modular building that is used by three full-time officers and nine part-timers, who provide coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
At the last Town Council meeting held April 13, a public hearing was held to discuss the budget, but no residents were in attendance, Butts said.
“The proposed [municipal] budget is $2,261,493,” he said. “That is $15,122 less than last year’s budget.”
No big changes have been made, and the tax rate is expected to stay the same “unless the school [budget] comes in and changes things,” Butts said.
The SAD 63 school leaders are expected to hold a public hearing on the budget in May and their annual budget hearing in early June. The school budget validation referendum is June 9 to coincide with local elections.