Government at a glance

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Government at a Glance

The Board: Mechanic Falls Council

Met: Monday

Police coverage

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Issue: The council is discussing whether having its own police department is the most cost effective way to provide Mechanic Falls with needed police protection.

The Scoop: The council asked Town Manager John Hawley to ask the Maine State Police, and the Androscoggin County and Oxford County sheriff’s offices, what they would charge the town to provide services equal to what the town now receives from its own police force. The council acknowledged its appreciation for the job the police department is doing but believes it must make sure they are getting all they can for the property taxpayers’ dollar.

Up Next: Councilors will review proposals it receives at its April 5 meeting. Alternatives for provision of police protection could be presented to voters at the May 15 annual town meeting.

Water District boundary

Issue: Most of Poland lies within the territory served by the Mechanic Falls Water District but there is no practical way the Mechanic Falls system can be extended to serve the area east and south of the hill at Poland Spring.

The Scoop: Councilors, acting as water department trustees, approved transferring the territory to the south and east of the causeway between Middle Range and Lower Range ponds to the Auburn Water District.

Up Next: This will allow the Auburn Water District to extend water lines out Route 122 from the area near the Poland Spring bottling plant to Route 26 for development projected in that area. Plans are also in the works for the Mechanic Falls Water Department to extend water lines down Route 26 from the high school to the vicinity of the Poland Town Garage.

Town audit

The Scoop: Councilors accepted the final audit of town accounts for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. The audit found the town books to be in fine health.

RSU request

The Scoop: RSU 16 officials asked that Mechanic Falls return $100,000 from the portion of the town’s fund balance that was originally deemed surplus school money from prior years. The town’s auditor, has determined that following the Union 29 conversion to RSU 16, the RSU has actually overspent what had been allocated for schools prior to June 30, 2009, and the RSU owed Mechanic Falls about $31,000. Councilors turned down their request.

Foreclosure

The Scoop: The council approved final foreclosure on 79 acres of land located off Lane Road, because of taxes owed. The council decided to hold on to the property owned by Eric Johnson of Winsted, Conn., at least until the fall.

Appointments

The Scoop: The council appointed Bob Belanger and Louis Annance to serve three-year terms on the town Budget Committee, which this week begins consideration of next year’s budget, which voters will be asked to approve on May 15.

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