Voters to decide on paving bond

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MECHANIC FALLS — The business portion of this year’s annual town meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 15, in the town hall gymnasium.

Townspeople will be asked to approve a paving bond not to exceed $500,000.

The money will be used to pave a number of town roads, including Edwards Road, Riverside Drive, School Street, Upper Myrtle Street, Second Avenue, Oak Street, Marshall Street, Bucknam Street, Perkins Road, Clifford Street and portions of Laurel Street, Walker Road and Summer Street.

“This is the town’s first significant paving project in over five years,” Town Manager John Hawley said. “The warrant says $500,000, but a lower figure will be asked for at town meeting.”

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Voters will also be asked to approve Water Department bonds.

The Mechanic Falls Water Department is seeking a $986,100 bond to extend service in the town of Poland from the high school, south along Route 26 to the vicinity of the Poland Fire Station. Poland would guarantee repayment for this bond.

Two other bonds, one for a backup main to the Mechanic Falls town well and the other for a main that crosses the Little Androscoggin River, would be paid for through local water rates and would not affect the property tax rate.

Funding requests to support budgets for regular municipal services were honed so that their effect on the property tax rate would be minimal.

“We have a pay freeze in effect, in fact this will be the third year with no pay increases for town employees in all town departments,” Hawley said.

The budget, if passed as presented, would increase taxes on property valued at $125,000 by about $50 per year, or $4.17 a month.

Municipal election

Polls will open in the basement of the town hall and will remain open until 6 p.m. after the town meeting’s Saturday-morning business session.

Voters will elect two councilors for three-year terms, two school board members to serve three-year terms on the Regional School Unit 16 board and two people to serve three-year terms as Sanitary District trustees.

There are four candidates for the two Town Council positions.

Incumbent Rielly Bryant is seeking his second term on the council. A Mechanic Falls native, Bryant is a sergeant and patrol supervisor in the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department. He is also a flight paramedic for LifeFlight air ambulance and a paramedic with United Ambulance.

William “Bill” Diehl, retired after 34 years at Pioneer Plastics, is seeking to return to the council after being off for several years. Diehl was on the council for 21 years and has served nine years on the Planning Board.

Peter Ford Sr. is on the town Budget Committee, having served there for two years. Ford also serves on the town Charter Commission and was on the Recreation Committee for two years. He has owned and operated Ford’s Painting & Drywall Services for more than 23 years.

Incumbent Robert Small is seeking his second term on the council. The past year he has chaired the town’s Revenue Enhancement Committee, charged with developing revenue sources other than property taxes. Small is clinical director of the University of Southern Maine Counseling and previously held a similar position with Spurwink School.

Running unopposed for two three-year seats on the RSU 16 school board are Terri Arsenault and incumbent David Griffiths.

There are two openings on the Sanitary District Board of Trustees, but only one name is on the ballet. Trustee Michael Baird is seeking another term; the second seat is open for a write-in candidate.

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