New Sharon voters to consider 8 articles

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NEW SHARON —  Voters at a special town meeting Wednesday will consider allowing the Board of Selectmen to appoint a town clerk and tax collector and to set Town Office hours.

Residents will consider eight articles during the meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Office.

During the annual town meeting in March, voters chose to continue the tradition of electing town clerks.  

Under this setup, the elected official is allowed to set their own hours and conduct town business from any location, Chairwoman Lorna Nichols said. The board has no authority over other elected officials.

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More than half of the clerks in Maine are appointed, she said. 

The board also believes setting regular hours will ensure time for training and service to residents.

Disposal of town-owned property will also be considered Wednesday.

Granite blocks from the old iron bridge were given to the town when the state took down the bridge. The pile needs to be moved but there is currently no authority for funding to move them, she said. A deadline set for the end of July has been extended.

The former library building on Route 2 requires a continual sump pump in the basement and will need to be heated this winter. More work is needed to continue insurance coverage, she said. The building is currently not used by the town. The board proposed the sale of the property to help the town avoid any further costs.

Some articles at the meeting will deal with actions already taken but never formally approved by residents.

While voters approve roadwork for the ensuing year at the annual town meeting, the length of the contract has never been voted on. For the past several years, the board has contracted winter plowing, sanding and removal of snow on a three-year basis, she said.

The town’s contract is expiring but before the board enters into a new contract, the town attorney and Maine Municipal Association have both advised the town to vote on whether to continue the three-year contracts, she said.

“It’s already been done for several years, we just want to make it legal,” she said. “We’re trying to do good things for the town.”

Interest in renting a portion of the Town Office has been expressed but selectmen have no authority to do that without voter approval. Article 7 asks for that authority.

The board also recommends transferring a balance of funds appropriated for the now-dissolved New Sharon Historical Society to the town. Selectmen would oversee use as advised by the new Historical Committee. 

The warrant is posted on the town website at www.newsharon.Maine.gov.

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

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