Articles by Alex Lear


North Yarmouth selectmen OK development vote ballot language

By Alex Lear on July 27, 2015, at 12:57 p.m.
The Board of Selectmen on July 21 unanimously approved special Town Meeting warrant language for a ballot question that will decide the future of the Village Center. Selectmen previously voted that North Yarmouth Memorial School – closed last year – will be redeveloped as a municipal …

Study: Morse High School in Bath not fit for renovation or expansion

By Alex Lear on July 16, 2015, at 8:37 a.m.
The Morse High School property is not suitable for replacement or expansion of either the school or its technical center, a site study has concluded. As a result, three other sites are being considered for a new school. The study of the school and the Bath Regional …

Bath council adopts strategy to rejuvenate housing

By Alex Lear on July 02, 2015, at 1:28 p.m.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted an analysis for housing revitalization in and around the city. The evaluation stems from a recent study into possible housing improvements, and areas of sustainable development within the city. Bath Housing – an organization focused on improving housing stability for …

Bath retirement home revises expansion plan

By Alex Lear on July 01, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.
Although it received city approvals for expansion in 2013, the Plant Memorial Home is now proposing a revised project that addresses neighborhood concerns. The 98-year-old Washington Street retirement community, which sits on a 28-acre riverfront campus, plans to submit its proposal to the Planning Board in August. …
Five condominium buildings are proposed along the Kennebec River in Bath, on the site of the historic and vacant "Coal Pocket" property.

Condo complex planned for long dormant Bath riverfront site

By Alex Lear on June 17, 2015, at 3:07 p.m.
The Bath Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the development of five condominium buildings along the Kennebec River, on the vacant site of the historic “Coal Pocket” property. JHR Development — which has projects that include Brunswick Station and the Mid Coast Medical Group center at 108 …

Maine attorney general seeks role in Payson lawsuit against Cumberland

By Alex Lear on June 17, 2015, at 9:26 a.m.
The Maine attorney general’s office hopes to help convince the state’s highest court to allow the heirs to a Foreside Road beach property to pursue their lawsuit against the town and Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust. The Payson property heirs recently appealed the dismissal of their Superior …

Bath area voters endorse $27 million school budget

By Alex Lear on June 10, 2015, at 10:47 a.m.
Regional School Unit 1 voters on Tuesday approved next year’s $27.3 million budget, 326-92, according to unofficial results. The spending plan passed 135-61 in Bath, 36-4 in Arrowsic, 62-8 in Phippsburg, and 93-19 in Woolwich. “We are very pleased with the budget vote,” Superintendent Patrick Manuel said …
Bath City Councilor Kyle Roagers announced Wednesday night that he would resign effective immediately because his job requires that he move to England.

Bath’s new $15.9 million budget will trigger tax hike; city councilor resigns

By Alex Lear on June 04, 2015, at 10:53 a.m.
The Bath City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $15.9 million budget. Near the end of the meeting, meanwhile, Councilor Kyle Rogers announced his immediate resignation because he is moving. Rogers served two terms on the Bath City Council from 2006 to 2012 and was re-elected last …
The Bath Middle School Band marches in a previous Bath Memorial Day parade.

Voters add funding for music, art to Bath-area district’s school budget

By Alex Lear on May 27, 2015, at 1:02 p.m.
A $27.3 million spending plan for Regional School Unit 1 passed the first of two public votes Tuesday at the district’s budget meeting. The meeting, held at Bath Middle School, ran about two hours and drew nearly 90 voters from the RSU 1 communities of Bath, Arrowsic, …

Topsham-area school district’s proposed budget cut by $1.2 million

By Alex Lear on May 27, 2015, at 10:58 a.m.
Voters at the School Administrative District 75 budget meeting approved a $36.9 million budget for fiscal 2016, $1.2 million less than the package approved by the school board on May 8. The difference was due to a revised state funding formula for charter schools that reduces school …
Rosemary Roy

North Yarmouth selectmen back controversial town manager

By Alex Lear on May 13, 2015, at 2:11 p.m.
The North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Tuesday, with one abstention, to continue employing Town Manager Rosemary Roy. The decision to negotiate a successor agreement to Roy’s current contract, which expires June 30, followed a two-hour executive session, board Chairman Steve Palmer said after the …

Special education, charter school costs drive rise in Topsham-area district’s budget

By Alex Lear on April 22, 2015, at 3:31 p.m.
School Administrative District 75 reduced its proposed budget for next year by about $400,000, and may present a $38.1 million spending plan to voters next month. Health insurance had been projected to increase about $183,000, but will actually decrease by about $66,000, resulting in a net reduction …

Cumberland-North Yarmouth schools find savings, pay for specialist

By Alex Lear on April 21, 2015, at 5:01 p.m.
With health insurance costs coming in lower than initially budgeted, School Administrative District 51 is planning to use the savings to hire a specialist for students with unique learning needs. The Cumberland-North Yarmouth district had expected an estimated 9 percent increase in health insurance costs, but has …
Clark Whittier

North Yarmouth selectman to resign after three decades of service

By Alex Lear on April 13, 2015, at 5:50 p.m.
With one seat on the Board of Selectmen already up for election in June, another will be vacant soon after voters go to the polls. Selectman Clark Whittier, whose service on town panels stretches back more than 30 years, announced April 7 at the Board of …
North Yarmouth Public Works Director Clark Baston answers a question during the April 11 annual Town Meeting. Behind him is Marnie Diffin, the town's former administrative assistant and interim town manager.

North Yarmouth voters OK budget, blast ‘sloppy’ warrant articles

By Alex Lear on April 13, 2015, at 5:41 p.m.
Town Meeting on April 11 approved a $2.7 million municipal budget and spending $100,000 for the purchase and preservation of undeveloped Knight’s Pond and Blueberry Hill. The town budget, down nearly $117,000 from current spending, by itself would allow the tax rate to drop 19.6 percent …
The Neighborhood United Church of Christ has a new home at 798 Washington St. in Bath, previously the Admiral Steakhouse. Pastor Bill Bliss, right, said the church has been welcomed to downtown Bath by many people, including Sarah Krajewski, left, residential services coordinator for the nearby Washington House.

Church moves into former downtown Bath steakhouse

By Alex Lear on April 08, 2015, at 11:08 a.m.
After a few months in a temporary location, the Neighborhood United Church of Christ has landed in a new home at 798 Washington St. The church fills the space occupied since 2009 by the Admiral Steakhouse, which closed last month. “With the purchase of our new facility …

Fired North Yarmouth firefighter files intent to sue town

By Alex Lear on April 07, 2015, at 2:46 p.m.
A former fire and rescue department paramedic has filed notice he intends to sue town officials for $400,000 or more unless a settlement is reached over his firing last December. Former Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services Bill Young was fired Dec. 1, 2014. He and …

North Yarmouth residents to vote on $2.7 million budget

By Alex Lear on April 07, 2015, at 11:29 a.m.
Town Meeting will vote Saturday, April 11, on a $2.7 million municipal budget for 2016, a decrease of nearly $117,000 from current spending. The town budget by itself would cause the tax rate to drop 19.6 percent, from the current $17.15 per $100,000 of property valuation, …
A Kickstarter website campaign is underway to raise funds for at least 30 city flags to be displayed around Bath.

Bath uses Kickstarter in effort to drape downtown in new city flags

By Alex Lear on April 01, 2015, at 12:10 p.m.
It started as a few, and by July it may be many. The Bath City Council in 2013 approved a flag design that reflects the city’s shipbuilding history. That flag hangs in the Council Chambers at City Hall, and outside the building. Only a few others exist. …
North Yarmouth Memorial School, shown here in a file photo from The Forecaster, could be closed if voters in the towns of School Administrative District 51 agree with a school board proposal.

North Yarmouth development vote to be postponed

By Alex Lear on March 31, 2015, at 12:12 p.m.
Unanswered questions and critical reaction will delay a town vote on a proposal to redevelop North Yarmouth Memorial School as a municipal and community campus. The Board of Selectmen’s development recommendation, discussed in four public meetings last month, was scheduled for a town meeting vote on …