PHILLIPS — The annual town meeting Thursday will ask residents to decide on sidewalks, a property-maintenance ordinance and taking ownership of the former Skowhegan Savings Bank property.
The meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., will be held at the Phillips Area Community Center.
Selectman Lincoln Haines’ term is up this year, and voters can nominate candidates from the floor to fill that position.
Voters will elect two school board members to represent the town on the Regional School Unit 58 school board. Director Lynette Abbott has expressed interest in serving another term. Rebecca Garlick was elected in 2017, but resigned soon after. The seat has remained vacant.
According to Town Manager Maureen Haley, the town warrant proposes raising $1,299,709, an increase of $9,257 from current spending. That figure does not include the town’s local share of Regional School Unit 58 and Franklin County taxes.
Skowhegan Savings Bank has offered its empty building to the town, but voters must accept it at the town meeting. Haley noted it is a conditional’ gift, stipulating no other lending institution may occupy the building.
Voters also will be asked to approve a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance, which will allow farm-to-table sales of locally grown and raised products. Selectman Dave Vincent has been the driver of this ordinance, according to Haley.
The Planning Board is asking for approval of a Property Maintenance Ordinance, which has been revised after two public informational meetings.
Voters also will decide on a project proposal that began six years ago. Voters had agreed in 2012 to pay a required share of the costs to make the town eligible for federal funding to rebuild dilapidated downtown sidewalks. The Maine Department of Transportation could start the project as early as 2019.
At the time, selectmen did not realize they also would be required to make a commitment to keep sidewalks plowed and sanded and perform standard maintenance and repairs.
Since the town does not own sidewalk-plowing equipment or have public works staff available to take on the responsibility, voters at two recent public hearings said they doubted the 20-year maintenance guarantee would be feasible.