Bangor voters turn out to determine fate of school budget, library roof bond

Posted June 18, 2013, at 9:20 a.m.
Stephen and Tabitha King were at the Cross Insurance Center polls in Bangor early Tuesday morning to support a $3 million bond for the replacement of Bangor Public Library's roof. The library hopes to undergo a $9 million renovation project. The Kings pledged $3 million toward that effort, but only if the bond passes and the library raises another $3 million on its own. The bond measure will pass regardless of the results if fewer than 10 percent of registered voters turn out for the election — that's about 2,200 people, which would be unprecedented in an off-year, June election, according to City Clerk Lisa Goodwin. Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci said he spoke with the Kings at the polls and thanked them for their $3 million contribution. The Kings then took a tour of Bangor's new arena, he said. &quotThis is why Bangor is Hometown USA," Baldacci said.
Photo courtesy of Joe Baldacci
Stephen and Tabitha King were at the Cross Insurance Center polls in Bangor early Tuesday morning to support a $3 million bond for the replacement of Bangor Public Library's roof. The library hopes to undergo a $9 million renovation project. The Kings pledged $3 million toward that effort, but only if the bond passes and the library raises another $3 million on its own. The bond measure will pass regardless of the results if fewer than 10 percent of registered voters turn out for the election — that's about 2,200 people, which would be unprecedented in an off-year, June election, according to City Clerk Lisa Goodwin. Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci said he spoke with the Kings at the polls and thanked them for their $3 million contribution. The Kings then took a tour of Bangor's new arena, he said. "This is why Bangor is Hometown USA," Baldacci said.
A voter casts his ballot at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Tuesday.
A voter casts his ballot at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Tuesday. Buy Photo
A voter marks her ballot with a child on her hip at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday. Bangor voters are voting on the school budget and library roof bond.
A voter marks her ballot with a child on her hip at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday. Bangor voters are voting on the school budget and library roof bond. Buy Photo
Voters mark their ballots at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday, they are voting on the school budget and library roof bond.
Voters mark their ballots at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday, they are voting on the school budget and library roof bond. Buy Photo
Voters arrive at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday to cast votes on the school budget and library roof bond.
Voters arrive at the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday to cast votes on the school budget and library roof bond. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Voters are heading to the new Cross Insurance Center on Main Street Tuesday to decide whether to validate the city’s $42 million school budget and whether to support a $3 million bond to repair the roof on the Bangor Public Library.

There are three questions on the ballot.

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

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.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and voters should use the Dutton Street entrance to the Cross Insurance Center. Overflow parking is available at the Hollywood Casino parking garage.

City Clerk Lisa Goodwin said Tuesday afternoon voters have been streaming in throughout the day.

Goodwin said as of 3:30 p.m., 1,200 people have voted, compared with the yearly average of 560 for a special municipal election.

“It’s the combination of the new building and the library roof fund,” she said. “We kind of expected it would go higher than normal.”

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