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Budget news in Mechanic Falls
MECHANIC FALLS —Elections in Mechanic Falls will see a significant turnover in town leadership, with a third position now open following a resignation.
Monday night's board meeting began with the resignation of Peter Ford Sr, who cited a need for time to pursue other interests as well as personal reasons. His resignation is effective June 30, 2011 leaving three seats now open to be filled by this year's elections, rather than two. Voting will be held in June for two three-year terms and the rest of Councilman Ford's term, which is two years. Running for these seats are, Lou Annance, Shawn Dostie, and incumbent Dan Blanchard. Anyone interested in running for a councilman position can pick up the nomination papers at the Town Office and they must be signed and returned by April 22, 2011.
Tree Harvesting has been done at the Transfer Station over the past few months, and the recent round of cutting produced more cash than expected. The second cutting had been previously estimated to bring in approximately $9,000. However, with the wood the town was able to harvest, the final total came to $14,078.
The Allen Hill Animal Shelter has closed its doors, leaving Mechanic Falls and surrounding towns needing to find another home for their strays. The two choices now become Androscoggin Human Society in Auburn or Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Fryeburg. Since mileage will have to be paid to the animal control officer, Robert Larrabee, it makes more sense for Mechanic Falls to go to Auburn, said town leaders. The sharp increase in expected costs are keeping town leaders looking for other options.
The roof on the Town Office was recently patched after having some leaking issues. The total cost of the patches were $355. Town Manager John Hawley said that he was very pleased with this result, which he noted was much less expensive than a new roof.
CMP has notified the town that it will be installing Smart Meters in the near future. These meters allow the company to read the meters via electronic radio waves rather than having a meter reader drive house to house. Those with concerns with these meters are asked to call Central Maine Power Company for answers.
Mechanic Falls resident and volunteer fireman Shawn Dostie was at the meeting with pictures of a truck that was donated to the fire department by Rowe Ford. The cab and chassis was donated one year ago and has been built into a truck that can be used for brush fires and traffic control, as well as other jobs the fire department needs. This truck will replace a 1965 army jeep that the department has been using up to this point. A total of $24,000 in parts and labor has been spent to get the truck road-ready. Dostie approached the council about taking $3,600 out of the apparatus reserve for a final round of work, which he said would allow it to be on the road by the time brush fire season begins in a month or so. This was unanimously approved by the council.
Wednesday, April 6 was the first municipal budget meeting for staff, administration, Council and Budget Committee. A zero-increase budget was presented by administration.
Route 26 from Poland Five Corners to the Oxford town line is going to be rezoned from Rural Residential to Highway Commercial pending a final approval from the planning board. Hawley stated that, in preparation of the coming casino, it only makes sense that someone can have the opportunity to sell their property to a commercial business if they want to. Taxes will not change as long as the property remains residential. Oxford has already rezoned the area from the Mechanic Falls town line to Welchville.