POLAND — Selectmen learned Tuesday that the April town meeting article to put proceeds from timber harvesting into a conservation reserve fund to buy conservation land conflicts with action at the 1997 annual town meeting.

Town Manager Bradley Plante told the board that a resident told him the 1997 vote was to use timber-harvesting money for capital improvements.

Plante said Rebecca Seel, an attorney with the Maine Municipal Association, confirmed the conflict and advised the matter should be resolved at a town meeting.

Administrative Assistant Nikki Pratt said she discovered the town never followed through on the 1997 authorization. She said the money was put in the town’s general fund.

Selectmen wondered whether they were bound to follow the action taken in 1997 and whether they should determine when and how much income was generated by the sale of timber.

Pratt was directed to search financial records and report the amount from timber sales for the past 18 years.

The board agreed to take up the matter at the 2016 annual town meeting.

Reporting on another legal question raised by residents Arthur Berry and Barbara Strout at the board’s June 16 meeting, Selectman Steve Robinson said the town’s attorney confirmed the board’s position that the town charter requirement that 100 registered voters are needed to conduct a town meeting does not apply to the Regional School Unit 16 budget meeting.

Berry and Strout previously said fewer than 100 registered voters from Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland attended May’s district meeting, and questioned the legality of the meeting.

The town’s attorney said the school district is an entity created by Maine law and operates apart from the town.

In other business, selectmen met with Garland Swamp Road resident Scott Shapiro, who wanted to know how to lower the speed limit on Garland Swamp Road and Jordan Shore Drive. He was advised to present a petition to the board.

Selectmen also approved sending out a request for proposals to pave Herrick Valley and Johnson Hill roads; approved signing a one-year contract with the Androscoggin Sheriff’s Office for policing services; and approved a malt and vinous liquor license for The Clubhouse at Summit Springs golf course.


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