August 24, 2019
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Kennebunk becomes latest town to ban mass balloon releases

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A balloon sits tangled on the rocky coast after washing ashore in Biddeford Pool, April 25, 2019.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Voters on Tuesday approved an ordinance banning the outdoor display and release of balloons by a margin of 852 to 376.

The proposed ordinance, spearheaded by Kennebunk High School senior Will Jones, reads “no person will knowingly or intentionally release balloons or cause balloons to be released at any outdoor celebration, promotional activity, sporting or other event, or in any public building. No person shall cause or allow a fixed exterior display of balloons.”

Jones worked with the town’s ordinance committee to develop the ban, which he said is an important step in protecting the environment and marine life.

[You can no longer release a mass of balloons in this rural Maine town]

In a contested race for two vacant seats on the RSU 21 board of directors representing Kennebunk, Amanda Oelschlegel and Tim Stentiford defeated opponents Dick Morin and Annmarie Canas. Oelschlegel garnered 640 votes and Stentiford had 742. Morin had 552 votes and Canas had 252.

The $50.3 million RSU 21 budget was passed by Kennebunk voters with 896 votes in favor and 378 votes opposed. The budget represents a 4.61 percent increase over the current year.

Voters were also asked if they wanted to continue the process for each town to vote on the school district’s budget during municipal elections for the next three years. Kennebunk residents voted to continue by a 951 to 296 margin.

The town of Kennebunk’s $9.38 million net fiscal year 2020 municipal budget was passed by a 995 to 270 margin. The proposed budget allows for projects to improve a number of roads, including Port Road, Merrifield Drive, Barnard Lane, River Locks Road, Caly Hollow Road, Greenwood Drive, Wood Pond Lane, Pinewood Road and Wiggins Pond Lane.

[Maine among states moving to knock air out of festive balloon launches]

Residents re-elected Selectman Blake Baldwin to another three-year term with 914 votes. Frank Paul ran unopposed for the seat vacated by Chairman Dick Morin, who terms out this year. Paul garnered 689 votes.

David “Duffy” Cluff retained his seat on the Kennebunk Light and Power District board of trustees with 955 votes.

Wayne Brockway and Arnold Reim ran unopposed to retain their seats on the Sewer Board and received 702 and 537 votes, respectively.

Town Clerk Merton Brown said voter turnout was the lowest he had seen in recent years.

 



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