ANDOVER — An article to amend the policy governing use of the Comsat Trust Fund failed to pass Tuesday because fewer than the required two-thirds of registered voters cast ballots.

Of the 668 registered voters, only 199 participated in the referendum, with 114 in favor of the change and 85 against.

A minimum of 445 was needed to meet the two-thirds requirement. Of those, a majority of them would have to be in favor for the article to pass.

The Comsat Trust Fund Use Policy says the money may be used at the discretion of the town, subject to the town’s usual appropriation and spending procedures, as long as it’s approved by two-thirds of registered voters.

The article, if it had passed, would have removed the two-thirds vote requirement, allowing easier access to the money for town use. The article also said any money borrowed from the fund shall be paid back under the terms and conditions to be voted on at the next annual town meeting.

At the August town meeting, voters authorized a $1.07 million road bond. At the time, Selectman Brian Mills said the town could save about $126,000 in interest by using the Comast Trust Fund money. Voters approved doing so, but the two-thirds voting requirement was not met.

According to the Trust Fund Use Policy article passed at the 1984 town meeting and printed in the June 2019 town report, guidelines include that the interest be used with “25% to be put back into the principal and 75% to be used to reduce the (tax) rate.”

The fund balance was $757,009 as of June 2018.

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Andover Town Hall. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times


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