MINOT – By a 3-to-1 vote, selectmen Monday night turned down a citizen’s request to hold a special town meeting to reconsider a proposal for a modular addition at Minot Consolidated School.

Two weeks ago a group of residents, led by Lisa Novicki and Karen Whalen, presented selectmen with a petition. It asked that the board call a meeting to reconsider a close vote taken at the town meeting in March which, by 58-50, rejected a School Committee request for authorization to enter into a finance lease option for a modular addition at the school.

The addition, which would have cost the town a little more than $40,000 in the first year, would have had six classrooms and space for a library.

The petition was deemed valid by Registrar of Voters Hester Gilpatric based on the 138 legal signatures of Minot voters it had, and it was formally accepted by selectmen.

With Selectman Susan Geismar dissenting, the rest of the board stood with a legal opinion obtained from Maine Municipal Association lawyers that said the selectmen were not obligated to call a special town meeting.

Selectman George “Buster” Downing noted that MMA’s legal opinion, concurred with by the town’s lawyer, pointed to a similar instance in case law. What the court decided in that instance was that once a town votes on something – as Minot did a month ago – unless there were something really new and different, which would demand reconsideration, the town could let its vote stand until the matter could appropriately be revisited.

In other business, selectmen met with Maine Department of Transportation engineer Richard Crawford to discuss the state’s proposal to reduce the sharpness of the curve at the top of Jackson Hill Road. The state project carries a price tag of $230,000, and the town would have to pay 10 percent of it.

Selectmen asked Road Manager Arlan Saunders to examine his budget to see if money could be taken from it. Selectmen said that while they looked favorably on the project they would get back to Crawford with an official response shortly.

Saunders also reported that he will be installing new speed limit signs on Old Woodman Hill and Jackass Annie roads, reducing the limit to 35 miles per hour on both roads with a section of Jackass Annie Road set at 25 miles per hour. He also said he will be installing six Crime Watch signs as provided by Crime Watch organizer Larry Fields.

The board awarded a bid for culverts to Maine Waterworks of Oakland for $7,900 and awarded a paving bid to Blue Rock Industries of Leeds for $274,168.



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