Ira Hall speaks Monday night about naming the Chesterville Town Office after former Selectperson David Archer, seated in the foreground. The article passed 29-21 at the annual meeting at the Town Office. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

CHESTERVILLE — After debating the pros and cons, residents voted 29-21 on Monday to name the Town Office after former Selectperson David Archer.

It was one of 49 articles on the annual meeting warrant that took voters over three hours to decide. More than 70 attended at least part of the session at the Town Office on Dutch Gap Road.

Selectperson Guy Iverson put forth Archer’s name when the article came up to dedicate and name the one-story brick Town Office building after someone.

Tiffany Estabrook said Archer’s name was brought up at a Select Board meeting.

“We should have been notified, been able to come up with a list of names,” Craig Stickney said.

“David has served this town for 30 years” and “deserves recognition,” Iverson said.

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“I didn’t know about this, I love Dave,” Josette Billian said. She asked if his name was going to be on a marquis in front of the building.

Iverson presented a sign that read “Dave Archer Town Office” and said he paid for it.

One resident said, “Some other people deserve attention.”

“I think the spirit is great, some input from residents would have been good,” former Selectperson Edward Hastings IV said. “You spoke about (Archer’s) work as a selectman. He is a very longtime member of the Fire Department, stepped into the role of fire chief in his 80s.”

“Thank you Dave for your service regardless of how the vote turns out,” he said.

Resident Ira Hall noted the articles still to be considered.

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“I don’t know why we have to fight about this, it is just a name on the Town Office,” he said, before calling for a vote.

After it passed, Archer received a round of applause.

In spending articles, voters approved a 2022 municipal budget of $1.42 million, which is 29% more than this year’s $1.1 million. Franklin County and Regional School Unit 9 assessments aren’t included.

The Fire Department Ordinance was approved. Estabrook said it was a housekeeping issue dating back to the 1980s when the department was formed. It was brought to voters at the request of the fire chief.

The Site Plan Review Ordinance was defeated by a vote of 39-35.

A few years ago residents voted to reduce building standards to the bare minimum, Hastings said. “I was shocked to see we were putting forth another ordinance so soon,” he noted. “It caught me by surprise.” He urged that it be voted down.

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Planning Board members noted there had been two public meetings on the ordinance, which was developed to have some control over new businesses coming to Chesterville.

“This came about during the CMP corridor,” Planning Board Chairman Jack Moultrie said. “We have no controls for any kind of commercial development. It’s not against any residential usage.”

“This is a very anti-business ordinance,” resident Greg Soule said. “The only way this town can survive is to raise the tax base. Single-family homes cost the town money. As a resident I should be able to do with my property within reason what I need to do to survive.”

Voters approved the $399,614 base plan for capital roads projects. The additional $253,433 proposed for more paving would have put the town over the tax limit set by state law.

Residents voted 54-20 earlier in the meeting not exceed that limit.

Voters also:

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• Approved contracting with Foster Career and Technical Education Center’s forestry program to create a forest management plan for town woodlots, with proceeds going into a capital improvement reserve.

• Approved forming a committee to research broadband service.

• Allowed a 3% discount on taxes paid in full within 30 days of bills being mailed.

• Appropriated $20,000 from the town’s allotment from the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for heating systems at the highway garage and fire station.

• Vetoed using $32,500 in federal funds to purchase the rented 2006 GMC truck and accessories.

• Withdrew from the Maine Public Employee Retirement System.


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