CANTON — “Junkyard offenders” in Canton will soon receive letters from town officials telling them that they must clean up their properties per the Maine state ordinance for junkyards and automobile graveyards, the selectmen said during their meeting on Thursday.

Selectman Don Hutchins said he thought there was a “junkyard business going on” on Route 108 but that the selectmen had “kind of let him set up” and now they were going to tell the resident he can’t have the junk on his property. That resident was spoken to about the issue, Selectman Carole Robbins said, but Hutchins still thought they would receive lots of push-back from residents who are accumulating junk on their properties.

“We’ve got to take action,” Selectman Scotty Kilbreth said regarding the offending residents on Route 108. Kilbreth said that the junkyard’s neighbor had filed a citizen complaint about the property.

“As far as a remedy (to stop non-permitted junkyard properties) there are several different remedies. Some cost very little, some cost a lot. In our ordinance, it does say that if they don’t clean it up then we can go in and do it and then lien the property. So, there are a number of different avenues we can go down,” Kilbreth said.

One possible problem for the town is that it has been without a Code Enforcement Officer to enforce its ordinances for two months, and is currently seeking to hire someone for the position.

Communication problems

Planning Board Chairman Tom Peters spoke to the selectmen about recent problems with communication between the planning board members and the selectmen.

“We need to all work together to try to get things accomplished, so to start off with authenticity and transparency, those are basically what make government work and make us work together as two individual boards be able to come together,” Peters said.

Peters said that a noise ordinance was recently brought to the Select Board for review following a public hearing and legal review, and the Select Board had prevented the ordinance from being on the town’s town meeting warrant because they said that it had to be resent to the town’s attorneys to review.

“Why would an ordinance that has already been through legal review need to incur additional expense for a one-sentence revision?” Peters asked.

Selectman Chair Russell Adams said, “If you change one word on anything it can change the whole meaning of the paragraph, that’s why it needs to go back (to the attorneys).

After more discussion about why Select Board members had not answered emails from Planning Board members and whether or not this was intentional, the board members made a decision to attend each other’s meetings on a regular basis in order to keep the lines of communication open between the two boards.

Other business

Robbins presented estimates for new playground equipment for the playground adjacent to the town ball field on School Street.

The total cost of the pirate ship-themed equipment will be slightly less than $9,000, Robbins said. The playground equipment will include three swings, a wheel-chair swing, a tube slide, a wave slide and two canopies, the selectmen decided. The select board approved the playground equipment purchase at a prior meeting this year.

Other Select Board decisions made on Thursday were:

  • A single cemetery plot in Pine Grove Cemetery will cost $200. Current prices for a two-person plot in the town’s cemeteries are $350, or $500 for a four-person plot, Adams said.
  • Skylar Sigman was appointed as a member of the town’s Parks and Trails and Recreation committees for a one-year term.
  • The board will set the town’s mill rate for this fiscal year and discuss money carried forward from last year during its next meeting in the Town Office meeting room on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. The meeting can also be viewed via a Zoom application link posted that day on the town’s Facebook page.

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