May 26, 2018
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Holden borrows money to pave Kingsbury Road

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

HOLDEN, Maine — The big discussion at Monday’s town council meeting was how to pave the Kingsbury Road when all of the funds set aside for paving projects this year are already dedicated to Eastern Avenue.

“I have a little Dodge Dart and I scrape,” said a Kingsbury Road resident who sat in the front row, one of 10 residents from the roadway at the meeting.

Town leaders discussed several options, including refinancing a current loan that is about to expire, using leftover reserve funds from other accounts, and bumping up the amount put into the paving reserve account for two years and then doing the project.

When Town Manager John Butts suggested a one-year note for the approximately $38,000 paving project that would not be due until next year, councilors jumped at the opportunity and voted 4-1, with Chairman Robert Harvey as the lone dissenter.

“You’re getting your road paved, folks,” Councilor Ralph McLeod said after the vote.

The money borrowed will pay for putting down a two-inch binder on Kingsbury Road, which “used to be an old stagecoach road,” McLeod said.

The roadway was abandoned by the town in 1948, but in the 1990s enough people had moved to the short dead-end street to put it back on the town’s books, according to data McLeod provided.

In other meeting news, town leaders also learned that SAD 63 has provided the town with two separate figures for the decreased amount required from taxpayers now that the state has finalized its budget, officials reported.

School board member Don Varnum, chairman of the budget committee, gave an update during the public comment portion of the meeting saying that the decrease was $68,225.

Butts said, however, that he got a notice from the school department earlier in the day that said the reduction was closer to $33,000, which he said surprised him.

Residents of SAD 63, which includes Holden, Eddington and Clifton, approved a $9.38 million budget and Holden’s share is about $2.7 million. The original increase to taxpayers was projected at $399,212 or 17.11 percent more than this year.

“We can’t set the mill rate until we have the school figures,” the town manager said after the meeting, adding that a special council meeting will need to be held later this month to set the property tax rate.

During the meeting, councilors also started a discussion about adding a handicap-accessible bathroom at the old 1873 town hall.

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