POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday approved the warrant for this year’s annual town meeting scheduled for Saturday, April 5.

Selectmen signed the 39-article warrant after the briefest of discussions, focusing mainly on pointing out that this is the meeting that sets the year’s municipal budget and reminding townspeople of their duty to attend.

Town office staff is preparing informational packets that detail the changes and effects of changes expected by the passage of the legislative articles, a fair number of which deal with Planning Board issues, and the articles that set the actual municipal budget.

These packets, Executive Assistant Nikki Pratt pointed out, should be available within a week.

The board also met with the town’s auditor, Ron Smith of RHR Smith Auditors, to review the 2013 audit.

Smith congratulated town officials for the outstanding progress the town has made in the past three years, recovering its financial health.

“Three years ago, your fund balance was about three-quarters of a million dollars in the hole,” he said. “Today you have a $2.5 million fund balance, which, considering you have a $10 million operating budget, is just about right.”

Smith pointed to the near $900,000 in tax-increment financing reserve accounts and the $2.1 million the town has in capital reserve accounts as signs that the town is carefully anticipating its future needs.

“Good news; it’s good news,” Smith said.

Selectmen also signed a consent agreement between the town and Ernest and Rita Ray regarding their property at 16 Cardinal Lane. The Rays had been cited by the town’s code enforcement officer, Nick Adams, for having an apartment above their garage in violation of the town’s land-use ordinance.

The consent decree permits the Rays to keep the existing living space above the garage for the use of family and guests, but they cannot expand or charge rent for the space.

The board tabled action on a memo of understanding between the town’s public works department and RSU 16 for the use of space in the town garage for repairing RSU 16’s bus fleet, because the Regional School Unit lawyers were still reviewing the document.

Community and Economic Development Committee member Joe Cimino, on behalf of the CEDC, asked selectmen to extend the agreement between the town and Glen Holmes of the Western Maine Economic Development Council to provide economic development services an additional three months through to the end of June, at a cost of $1,500 a month for 20 hours of work per month.

Selectmen agreed to the extension, noting that it gives the town time to figure out who it will contract with for such services.

Interim Town Manager Mark Bosse, noting that this was his last selectmen meeting in that capacity, thanked the board, town employees and the townspeople for their help in getting the town through the past five months that he has been on the job.

Bosse will return to his position as chief of Poland’s fire/rescue department on April 1 when Bradley Plante, the new town manager, comes on board.

Selectman Steve Robinson thanked Bosse for stepping in and invited townspeople to meet Plante at the Town Office on April 2. Robinson also noted that Plante will at the April 5 town meeting.


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