Woodstock Town Manager Vern Maxfield (standing on trailer) explains a warrant article at Monday night’s drive-in town meeting held in the town office parking lot. The meeting lasted about an hour. Alison Aloisio Buy this Photo

WOODSTOCK — With plenty of flag waving and horn honking, Woodstock voters Monday approved all but one article on their town meeting warrant.

It was the second year the annual town meeting took place outside in the town office parking lot, due to COVID concerns. Voters stayed in their cars, listened to town officials over their car radios and spoke via two-way radio when they wished.

When it came time to vote, they waved small American flags out their windows.

As for the warrant, voters easily approved pursuing negotiations to purchase Bucks Ledge, a popular hiking spot. The proposal to buy the 640-acre property, which overlooks North Pond, would not require tax money. Instead, the town’s share (not yet determined) would come from the dedicated land conservation account, with the rest paid privately or through grants.

The approval vote was met with horn honking celebration.

Also passed was money up to $500,000 for a project to replace the Bacon Bridge on Old County Road. An old culvert currently runs under the road, and although town officials have explored simply replacing it, the Maine Department of Transportation strongly recommended it be replaced with a bridge. The warrant article requested up to $500,000 for a bond to finance it. Also approved was an appropriation of $75,000 in tax money to go toward the $500,000 total. Town Manager Vern Maxfield also said Woodstock has been approved for a $125,000 Stream Protection grant from the state to go toward the work.

Voters also approved a medical marijuana caregiver retail store ordinance to allow for the retail sale of medical marijuana in town, as well as a proposal for establishing a retirement program for town employees.

Residents okayed $150,000 for the Greenwood & Woodstock Transfer Station, up from $120,000.

The only article turned down was a citizen proposal to make Woodstock a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town. According to its wording, it “would provide sanctuary from the law enforcement attempts to enforce any and all federal and state mandates and restrictive laws enacted that violate the original intent of protections given the individual under the United States Constitution as well as under the State of Maine Constitution that states, ‘shall never be questioned.'” Town officials had said that changes to gun laws would require legislation.There was no discussion on the article and it was easily defeated.

In town elections, Selectman Jeff Campbell and Library Trustee Alice Deegan were returned to office unopposed, both for a three-year term. The meeting drew 85 voters, lasted about an hour and was moderated by Steve Wight. The warrant articles prompted little discussion.

The mil rate is estimated to increase by 15 cents per thousand, Maxfield said.

Receiving recognition at the meeting for their long-time service to the town were Marcel Polak and Rose Frasier. Joyce Howe received the Spirit of America Award. All were met with a round of horn-blowing applause.

 

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: