POLAND — The Select Board on Tuesday night approved three water and sewer project recommendations from the Community & Economic Development Committee. They are:

  • Extend the water line on Route 122 to Old Castle Lawn and Garden Center.
  • Extend the sewer line from Top Gun, Route 26 to Cyndi’s Dockside.
  • Extend the sewer line from Cyndi’s Dockside across the Route 26 causeway.

The committee has been holding workshops with the Select Board, Town Manager Matthew Garside, Auburn Water and Sewer District, and Wright Pierce Engineering in the past year.

Representatives from Old Castle, Cyndi’s Dockside and Poland Spring Resort voiced support and outlined plans how their commercial businesses will hook into the extensions.

The committee believes the water and sewer extensions will bring future residential and commercial growth, improve fire safety, improve water quality, and protect Lower, Middle and Upper Range ponds from septic system failures.

The decision to use money from the Tax Increment Financing account will be decided by voters at the April 3 town meeting. Each recommendation will be a separate warrant article.

In other matters, Regional School Unit 16 Superintendent Ken Healey and School Committee Chairwoman Mary Martin presented a budget overview. Healey said negotiated salary contracts with teachers and support staff include 5% increases.

Last year, the state passed legislation stipulating that starting salary for teachers be a minimum of $40,000 to be phased in over three years starting with the 2020-21 school year.

Healey said in his first year as superintendent in 2018 he had to hire 34 teachers. Last year it was 16, and he said he hopes that number is cut in half in 2020.

He said a community survey last year revealed that most people believed teachers, support staff and bus drivers’ salaries were too low.

Martin said work on the 2020-21 budget will begin Feb. 25.

In another matter, town Executive Assistant Nikki Pratt said nomination papers for elected officers are available at the Town Office. Elections will be held April 2 for one selectperson, two School Committee members, two Ricker Memorial Library trustees and three Budget Committee members.

Selectpersons announced that contract negotiations with Garside are underway.

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