POLAND — In a break with tradition, residents will be asked to go to the polls instead of gathering in person this year to vote on the annual budget and other municipal matters, Town Manager Matthew Garside said.

Local officials firmed up plans during a Tuesday night meeting to hold a townwide referendum on Aug. 25 to take the place of the traditional annual Town Meeting, he said.

The alternative plan was made necessary by Gov. Janet Mills’ emergency order limiting the number of people allowed to gather indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic. The town requires a 100-person quorum; the current limit on indoor gatherings is 50 people.

The draft warrant includes an annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year of roughly $5.18 million, which is $282,916 less than the current fiscal year’s municipal budget, a 5 % reduction, Garside said.

He said local officials considered adding articles to the Aug. 25 warrant, including authorization of the purchase of a piece of property for the local Conservation Commission (the money for that purchase has already been set aside) as well as the extension of the public sewer line along Route 26 northward from the Top Gun shop to the south end of the causeway, he said.

Another possible article local officials will consider adding to the warrant is an amendment to the land-use code, which would change the requirements for construction of a certain type of fencing.

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