Residents to decide on police coverage

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DIXFIELD — The question of whether the town wants a full-time police department will come up again during the June 8 primary election.

Selectmen on Monday directed Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky to devise wording for a straw poll question for on the ballot.

“Selectmen asked me whether people want or need 24-7 coverage,” Skibitsky said at the board meeting.

A similar question came before voters a few years ago. At that time, a majority of residents chose to stay with their own department. In the interim, some discussions took place between the Mexico and Dixfield police departments for some kind of merger or shared coverage, but nothing was ever solidified.

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Skibitsky said Tuesday there have been no recent discussions between the two police departments.

The board will take a look at a proposed straw poll question at a regular meeting in April.

Also, on Monday, selectmen told those in the audience that they intend to extend the current moratorium on wind farm development for another six months.

Skibitsky said a public hearing on the moratorium question will take place at the April 12 board meeting, followed by action on the extension.

The moratorium was prompted by tentative plans by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., to construct up to 22 wind turbines on the ridge that includes Col. Holman Mountain. A local ordinance to govern such development is currently being written.

In other matters:

• Ten tax-acquired properties have been dealt with, either through sale or by homeowners paying off their tax debt, which has brought in $22,600.

• Selectmen decided to stay with the Thursday night, May 27, annual town meeting date. A petition signed by 22 residents had requested that it be moved to a Saturday.

• Skibitsky reported that the state valuation for the town has risen to $150,450,000 from $147,250,000.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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