New Gloucester salt pile raises concerns

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NEW GLOUCESTER — Resident Dennis McCann told selectmen at their meeting Monday night that he’s concerned that a salt pile and truck-washing outside the town garage is leaching salt into the ground.

“I walked around (the town garage property) last weekend,” he said. “North of the salt shed is a drainage ditch that washes south over the hill to the west. The area branches out into the Royal River and nearby homes carrying salt.”

The salt is mixed with sand before it’s stored in the sand/salt shed.

McCann also referenced an assessment by Oak Point Associates of Biddeford that ranked the proposed location for a new town garage at 611 Lewiston Road as the preferred site.

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He said the current garage site in Upper Gloucester Village would not meet the town’s standard of a 30 percent impervious cover, based on wetlands, buffers and setback requirements.

Two selectmen have said they prefer building a new garage at the site current location in Upper Gloucester Village.

A special town meeting Monday, Oct. 16, will ask voters to approve building a new garage and salt shed at the 25-acre parcel, which includes the fire and rescue station. The 7 p.m. meeting is preceded by voter registration at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial School on Intervale Road.

Also Monday, School Administrative District 15 Superintendent Craig King and Business Manager Diane Boucher met with the board to further communication on issues affecting financing the education of nearly 2,000 district students.

King praised students who met or exceeded state expectations on the Maine Educational Assessment tests in English/language arts, mathematics and science.

“We should celebrate and acknowledge their success,” he said.

A budget history was presented, detailing how the state funding formula and local tax assessments for Gray and New Gloucester are used to develop the district budget.

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