NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectmen on Monday reviewed 37 articles on the May 4 annual town meeting warrant. It will be signed Monday, April 13.

In articles where the Budget Committee and selectmen disagree on funding amounts, the higher number will be included because voters can approve a lower amount but not a higher one.

Town Manager Paul First said Gary Wood, a retired attorney for Portland, has agreed to moderate the meeting if voters elect him.

Resident Frank Staton Jr. asked the board for clarification on an Aug. 6, 2014, letter he received from the code enforcement officer to remove signs on his Route 100 property.

No action has been taken by the Board of Selectmen, which decides if there are penalties.

First said there are quite a number of violations around town, and, “Yours is not a life-safety need.”

Staton also asked the board to rate the importance of having the water district in the Upper Village, which was established a few years ago.

Each board member said it was a high priority for the village because of salt and and gasoline contamination in drinking water supplies. Selectwoman Laura Sturgis said she personally ranked the project as most important.

“I have two properties and the pollution had caused my property to have little market value and was a huge financial loss for me,” she said.

Staton was granted access to the videotapes of town meetings when voters first turned down the project and then approved it.

Finally, Sean Chayer of the Gray-New Gloucester Capital Improvement Committee briefed the board on the Regional School Unit 15 budget for 2015-16. The 14-member committee is reviewing architect Stephen Blatt’s report that includes conceptual drawings of improvements to the school campus.

A bond to pay for the project is expected to go to voters by November.

“When this bond comes, the district should separate athletics from academics,” Chayer said.

Last November, proposed upgrades to school buildings and athletic facilities were bundled and the bond request to pay for them failed to pass at the polls.


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