Dixfield selectmen unanimously vote to raise cemetery lot prices

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DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to raise the town’s cemetery lot prices from $200 to $300, effective March 1, 2015.

The board began discussing whether to raise cemetery lot prices after Town Manager Carlo Puiia asked sexton Todd Piper to look at cemeteries in the surrounding area to see how what they were charging for lots compared to Dixfield.

“According to the sexton, Farrington Cemetery in Mexico charges $400 per lot, St. John’s Cemetery in Rumford charges $550 per lot, and Demeritt Cemetery in Peru charges $250,” Puiia told the board at their Dec. 9 meeting, adding that the sexton recommended that the board raise their lot prices from $200 to $300.

Puiia said during Monday evening’s meeting that the board should consider allowing residents to purchase lots under the old price until a certain date.

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Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Belskis subsequently made a motion to approve the increased cemetery lot price beginning March 1, 2015.

In other business, Puiia told selectmen that he would attempt to schedule a workshop between the Planning Board and the selectmen to discuss the town’s Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

Selectmen voted 4-1 during their Nov. 26 meeting to send the Planning Board’s draft ordinance, with two selectman amendments, to a June referendum vote.

The vote came three weeks after the town voted to reject a previous amended draft of the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance by a 553-667 margin.

Puiia said that he had found some housekeeping issues with the Planning Board’s draft ordinance that should be considered for revision.

“They’re all really minor changes,” Puiia said. “There’s some sections where words should be removed, some sections where words should be added, a few typos and some corrections to references that were incorrect. I also got an email from Kristen Collins, the lawyer who has been helping with the ordinance, with some suggested corrections. They’re all basically minor changes. I don’t think that there’ll be any controversy with them.”

Belskis said that the meeting between the selectmen and the Planning Board would allow the town “to wrap this ordinance up and get it out of the way.”

“It’s not a rewrite,” Belskis said. “We’re just sitting down and going over the ordinance with the Planning Board.”

Puiia said that he would contact the Planning Board and see what day would be best for a joint workshop.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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