NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectmen on Monday night expressed their displeasure with a $6.95 million bond package to upgrade SAD 15 buildings and athletic fields.

But despite their opposition, they voted 3-1 to sign the warrant for the proposal to go to voters June 14.

Voters will be asked in two separate questions to approve $3.1 million for school construction and improvements at the Gray-New Gloucester middle and high schools, and $3.85 million for athletic fields and track construction at the high school.

Town Manager Paul First said though there are some minor errors in the documents, the town attorney advised they do not prevent the board from signing the warrant.

Selectman Stephen Hathorne said he opposed signing the warrant, preferring the vote be held in November because “more people can vote on the issue.”

Selectmen Chairwoman Linda Chase said the board was told the June date could get the project into the construction cycle earlier.

First said by selectmen signing the warrant, “We are permitting the election to take place.”

“You have to sign the warrant,” Chase said. “You’re elected officials, and we as selectmen have to rubber-stamp it.”

“(SAD 15 directors) don’t care,” Selectman Steven Libby said.

“I’ll sign it, but I’m not happy about it,” Selectman Laura Sturgis said. “We’re an elected board and we don’t have to agree with it. We have to leave it up to the voters.”

Hathorne, who voted against signing the warrant, said, “I will sign it under protest.”

The referendum is the second time Gray and New Gloucester residents are being presented with the proposal. In November 2014, they rejected a $6.62 million bond and $737,000 for artificial turf for athletic fields.

Question 1 on the June 14 ballot asks voters to approve:

• $3.1 million to add six classrooms at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School in Gray, including work on the entrance, roof and parking;

• Upgrades to Gray-New Gloucester High School’s chemistry labs;

• More parking at Memorial School in New Gloucester; and

• Playground improvements at Dunn School in New Gloucester.

Question 2 asks voters to approve:

• $3.85 million for a new eight-lane track, more practice space and relocation of the high school baseball and softball fields. The playing fields will be sod, not artificial turf.

A public hearing on the bond questions is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Gray-New Gloucester High School cafetorium.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.