Permit fee could stall field project

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MINOT – Taking $7,500 out of the budget for the town soccer field to pay for a state Department of Environmental Protection site location permit could delay work on the field by another year.

Selectmen are scrambling for an alternative funding source.

“We really don’t want to hold a special town meeting just for $7,500,” said board member Dean Campbell.

Last month, selectmen learned the DEP wanted the town to obtain a permit to allow further development of the 160-acre parcel of town-owned property where everything from the town garage, central fire station and town office to the school are located.

At the time, selectmen figured they could take the $7,554 needed to pay for the DEP’s permit and licensing fee from the $20,000 townspeople had approved at March town meeting for the new soccer field east of the Minot Consolidated School.

Town Administrator Rhonda Irish told selectmen Monday night the Recreation Committee had determined that the loss of the money would mean work on the field would have to be shut down somewhere short of seeding.

“Maybe we could ask the Community Club to up-front the $7,500 and be paid back later,” suggested Selectman Ralph Gilpatrick.

Gilpatrick noted that the Community Club and the Minot/Hebron Athletic Association have pitched in on special projects in the past.

Selectman Steve French’s call for a broader appeal for donations prompted Gilpatrick to suggest that Irish coordinate the effort from the town office.

Selectmen considered tapping the town’s legal account to pay for the permit but ruled that inappropriate. They doubted that the School Committee had any account that could be interpreted as covering such an expense.

In other business, selectmen signed a bond contract authorizing financing of the town’s new fire truck, awarded the bid for the town’s summer paving program to Commercial Paving and approved expanding the town’s insurance coverage to reimburse town employees for the cost of their deductible if they are involved in accidents while on town business.

Selectmen also decided to end the custom of routinely naming the town clerk and the town treasurer as constables. Selectmen did so upon learning that there is no real reason for being constables and that the Maine Municipal Association has ruled that the town must pay $293 for every constable it wants listed under the town’s liability insurance policy.

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