BUCKFIELD — Voters at this year’s annual town meeting
went against the Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee to raise
$8,700 for social services.

The boards had recommended no money.

Chairman of the Budget Committee, Warren Wright, said he thought giving
to social services was a personal commitment to individuals and the
town shouldn’t be asked to pay out of tax money.

Newly elected Selectman Eileen Hotham spoke in favor of putting the requested money back in the budget.

An amendment to the article passed, giving selectmen final authority
over how the money is spent. Selectmen have the option of using a
social services committee to interview applicants requesting money.

Representatives from Rural Community Action Ministry, Western Maine
Transportation Services and SeniorsPlus spoke at the meeting, citing
the number of people in Buckfield who had been helped by their
organizations over the past year.

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Discussion about the social services and law enforcement articles took more than an hour of the 3½-hour meeting on Saturday.

The town voted last year to do away with additional law enforcement
patrols in the town. Selectmen felt that after listening to complaints
from various individuals that it was time for more police presence.

Vivian Holmes from the Zadoc Long Free Library said there was
disrespect shown by teens to the library personnel as well as library
property, and she had threatened to call police to handle the problems.

Selectman Chip Richardson said the recreation field no longer had a
snack shack because of vandalism, and squealing tires was a constant
complaint from people in the village.

The vote to add the $1,800 back into the budget for more law enforcement passed.

With little discussion, townspeople voted to buy the backhoe they
are leasing. Town Manager Glen Holmes said the money saved from leasing
the equipment would be about $3,000 a year.

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Wes Ackley motioned to amend an article on the railroad bed easement
to the Western Maine Foothills Land Trust from the intersection of John
Ellingwood Road and ending at the Hebron town line. The original
article read “to end at South Pond.”
The amendment passed.

Lee Dassler of the trust said it is protecting 1,300 acres around South
Pond. She said the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is
looking for access to the pond and needs a right of way.

The trust needs a right of way so forest harvesting can be managed.
Dassler said it is looking at the possibility of getting a grant to pay
for managing the area.

Holmes took a few minutes to thank Chris Hayward for his five years
of service as selectman. Hayward did not run for re-election. Eileen
Hotham was elected on Tuesday to replace Haywood.

About 75 people attended the meeting at the high school.



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