BYRON – Residents voted to award $200 to the Silver Lake Camp Owners Association to help pay for a watershed survey of Roxbury Pond at Monday evening’s annual town meeting.

The Silver Lake Camp Owners Association had requested $1,000 from Byron residents, a week after Roxbury residents voted to award the group $3,000 for the same watershed survey.

Roxbury Selectman John Sutton told selectman and residents, “We’re urging you to help us out with this survey for Roxbury Pond. The last one we had done was in 1995. There’s a lot of concern right now over an algae bloom that occurred recently, and about the overall health of the pond. We’re hoping this survey will be able to help improve the health of the pond.”

One resident asked how the watershed survey would aid Byron residents.

Ross Swain of Andover, a camp-owner and a volunteer with the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitor program, told the resident that if algae blooms were to continue on Roxbury Pond, there would be a “drop in property value and tax revenue.”

“We have no idea right now if the algae blooms will continue,” Swain said. “Scientists can’t even say for sure if they will continue, but by saving money, we’re getting ahead of the curve. We can take the first algae bloom as a wake-up call, or a slap in the face.”

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Swain added that volunteers with the watershed survey would be trained to canvas the entire watershed and document “any erosion, whether it’s minor or major, and do what we can do slow down the erosion.”

After 10 minutes of discussion, a resident made a motion to raise $200 instead of $1,000, since very few Byron residents owned a camp on Roxbury Pond, and $1,000 was “a third of what Roxbury is paying, which is too much, in my opinion.”

Residents also voted to approve $200 for the LifeFlight Foundation.

It was the first year that the LifeFlight Foundation requested money from Byron, said Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds.

“They didn’t give us an amount of money to request, so we can choose what amount to give,” she added.

Several residents initially said the town should raise $0 for the foundation, but resident Patrick Knapp-Veilleux said he believed the LifeFlight Foundation was something “the state of Maine needs.”

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“Think how many snowmobilers we have here,” Knapp-Veilleux said. “I’ve seen that helicopter make plenty of visits to our town.”

Town Clerk Alison Freeman told residents that the LifeFlight helicopter was dispatched eight times to the town of Byron in 2013.

Residents also voted to raise $2,000 for repairs to the Coos Canyon Schoolhouse.

Simmons-Edmunds said the schoolhouse still needed a “revamped electrical system.”

“It’s a small job, and so far, not many people have wanted to do it,” Simmons-Edmunds said. “The money would provide a cushion in case something were to happen to the schoolhouse and we needed to fix it.”

Residents voted to re-elect Richard Allen Jr. to a three-year term as selectman.

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Allen Jr. was elected as selectman during a special town meeting in April 2013, a month after former Selectman Patrick Knapp-Veilleux resigned from the position.

Alison Freeman was re-elected town clerk, treasurer and tax collector for three years.

RSU 10 director Judy Boucher was re-elected to a three-year term.

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