PHILLIPS — Voters at the annual town meeting Saturday will decide whether to approve $38,000 in matching funds to secure federal and state money to improve Main Street sidewalks from Blake Hill Road to Bridge Street.

Town Manager Elaine Hubbard said Tuesday that the town was notified June 3 that it has been placed on the Maine Department of Transportation’s approved projects list for sidewalk replacement and repairs.

The project is expected to cost $241,782 in federal and state funds but voters also must approve $38,000 in matching funds. The project could start in the next two years, Hubbard said.

“If the voters do not approve raising and appropriating $38,000, which is the remaining requirement of the 20 percent match, we’ll lose more than $240,000,” Hubbard said. “We already have more than $21,000 set aside, so this is our only chance to stay on the list and get this grant.”

The town meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Phillips Elementary School. Voters will start by electing a selectman and town clerk. Selectman Andy Phillips and Town Clerk Evelyn Wilbur have confirmed they are willing to serve again. No others have announced plans to challenge either of them.

This year’s request to raise and appropriate $1,216,368 is approximately 2 percent more than last year. Selectmen recommend $595,668 for the Public Works Department, of which $245,220 will be used for capital road projects. The combined Public Works and Highway Department budgets include operational expenses required for winter and summer maintenance of nearly 58 miles of roads.

General administration costs are up slightly over last year but have been kept as close to last year’s appropriation as possible, Hubbard said.

Voters also will be asked to authorize selectmen to sell the building known as “The Old Firehouse,” at 95 Main St. to the highest qualified bidder. The buyer will dismantle the building and remove it from the property. The town will retain the land, she said. Voters also will be asked to approve the sale of the former town office building at 22 Main St.

Hubbard said voters will be asked to authorize a 10-year lease-purchase agreement of $100,000 for a 2014 International 7400 single front axle 4-by-2 truck with front plow and wing. The town will borrow that sum and will pay an estimated $11,745 as the first year’s lease-purchase payment. The estimated interest rate is 3.77 percent, Hubbard said.

In other news, Hubbard announced that from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 27, a representative from U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud’s office will be available to answer residents’ concerns and questions.

Selectmen agreed to allow Hubbard to close the Town Office on Monday, July 1, to finish the fiscal year’s financial bookkeeping duties.


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