CHESTERVILLE — At the annual Town Meeting, June 1, voters spent some 3.5 hours to address 47 articles. The meeting was held at the fire station to provide sufficient space for social distancing due to COVID-19.

Senator Russell Black (R-Wilton) presented a Legislative Sentiment to Robert Cox, for whom the 2018 Town Report was dedicated. Scheduling conflicts prevented it being done earlier, Black said.

Rep. Randall Hall (R-Wilton) presented a Legislative Sentiment to Glenda Barker, for whom the 2019 Town Report was dedicated. Selectperson Tiffany Estabrook read a message from Maine State Grange and Dave Fuller read one from UMaine Cooperative Extension.

The Chesterville 2019 Town Report was dedicated to Glenda Barker. Submitted photo

Barker is a ballot clerk for Chesterville, is a trustee for Franklin County Agricultural Society and became supervisor of the Farmington Fair Exhibition Hall in 2002. She is active in Grange and is a member of local Extension Homemaker groups. Proceeds from Homemaker bake sales during elections have been used to benefit the town in a multitude of ways.

Voters approved a municipal budget of almost $1.12 million, up $70,000 from 2019. $1.09 million for Regional School Unit 9 and $128,220 for county taxes brings the total budget to almost $2.4 million.

One of the biggest increases was for capital roads projects. The Selectpersons and Budget Committee recommended $262,300 with $200,000 from taxation, $41,956 from Local Roads Assistance Project funds and $20,344 carried forward. The Road Committee recommended increasing the amount from taxation to $137,961 to provide $400,000 for road projects.


The Road Committee said it would cost that much to rebuild some roads while the selectpersons were trying to stay in line with what had been done in the past, Archer said.

“Asphalt prices have increased. Less work will be done with the amount budgeted,” resident Tim LeSiege said.

Treasurer Erin Norton noted if the larger amount passed, the town would be $192,000 over the tax levy limit set by the state.

“It’s a big increase,” she said.

A motion on the $262,300 amount was amended to $300,000.

Voters approved raising $100,000 last year, $25,000 more than proposed.


“I think that’s incredibly generous,” Gregory said of the amount recommended by Selectpersons this year.

One resident noted the bridge-like culverts on the Sandy River Road will fail in one to three years.

“If we don’t fix them now, the town would have to pay significantly more,” he said.

The amendment passed, 13 for to 12 against. The amended motion passed, 12 to seven.

Voters approved $155,000 to purchase a used fire truck and $18,432 to make the first payment on it this year. Deferring the payment to next year would have added $630 to each payment.

Voters voted not to raise $23,450 for fire station roof repairs after Archer said the roof could wait a year.


“If we wait will the prices go up,” LeSiege asked.

There was much debate on ordinance and bylaw articles for which public hearings had been held previously.

The new regular land use ordinance would provide means for the code enforcement officer to enter property, with just cause as determined by the Board of Selectpersons, without obtaining the landowner’s permission.

Selectperson Matt Welch said the change was suggested after one person was non-compliant. He didn’t think the new ordinance was needed.

Proof is needed to get a warrant and the code enforcement officer needs this change to collect the evidence. LeSiege said.

Resident Carroll Corbin said a few years ago the town voted to follow the state minimum requirements.


“I say throw the whole thing out,” he said.

In a written vote, the regular land use ordinance passed by a 21 to 17 margin.

The Bylaws of the Board of Selectmen failed, 15 to 19. It was the fourth of 47 articles on the Town Meeting warrant.

The new Selectpersons might have different issues and each board should make their own bylaws, Gregory said.

“We need to start somewhere. Bylaws are never solvent, they’re meant to be changed,” LeSiege said.

Newly elected Selectperson Linda Bauer said the proposed bylaws follow along those used by the Town of Raymond. She favored voting them down.


Resident Jim Grippe suggested voting the bylaws down and starting again.

“If we debate every question, we’re going to be here until morning. It’s 8:10,” he said.



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