KINGFIELD — Residents chose a well-known business owner on Monday night to fill a vacant selectman’s seat.
Residents packed into Webster Town Hall on the sweltering September evening to vote for a new selectman to take on the remaining term of former Selectman Heather Moody, who moved from the area earlier in the summer.
Walter Kilbreth was elected to the seat over Brad Orbeton, 54-20.
Kilbreth owns ARC Enterprises Inc., a welding and fabrication company he started in 1985. His recent bridge projects include the Lisbon-Durham bridge, Rumford Point bridge and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Over the past seven years, his son, Jake, has become more involved with leadership of the projects, leaving Kilbreth time to become involved in municipal affairs.
“I’m just looking forward to trying to help Kingfield,” Kilbreth said, after moderator Bill Gilmore announced the outcome.
Following the election, Gilmore asked for a vote on the proposed update to the 2011 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. According to wording of the state’s Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act, municipalities are required to adopt, administer and enforce local ordinances that regulate land use activities in the shoreland zone.
“The shoreland zone is comprised of all land areas within 250 feet, horizontal distance of the normal high-water line of any great pond or river; the upland edge of a coastal wetland, including all areas affected by tidal action, and upland edge of defined freshwater wetlands; and all land areas within 75 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of certain streams,” according to the statute.
Although Kingfield voted on an ordinance update in 2011, that ordinance currently does not meet state standards. The Planning Board had incorporated the new laws into their existing ordinance. The board can require its own ordinance to be more strict or adopt adaptations unique to the town’s needs, but the town would not be able to override state laws.
Code Enforcement Officer Tom Marcotte has advised the board on changes that would bring the current ordinance up to date. On Sept. 12, the board held a state-required public hearing to share those proposed changes, but only three citizens attended to ask questions, according to Marcotte.
At the Monday night town meeting, resident and former Planning Board chairman David Guernsey asked residents to table the decision and vote on the ordinance at the June 2018 town meeting. He explained that he was not against the ordinance, but he was concerned about an error and some language he thought was unclear. The residents should understand more clearly how these changes might impact them, he suggested.
“The burden is on you, the landowner, to show the town that you’re doing the right thing,” he said. “That’s a substantive change.”
Voters agreed, casting 51 votes to table the decision.