Otisfield voters line up to place secret ballots for elected officials during Town Meeting on Saturday. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

OTISFIELD — It took less than an hour for 38 Otisfield voters to reelect one selectman, their Select Board chairperson and one school board director, along with approving 20 other articles for the next fiscal year. The overall spending budget for the 2022-23 year will be $2,266,392.

Selectman Lenny Adler was reelected to his Select Board seat and Selectman Hal Ferguson will continue as chairman for the next year. Diana Olsen was reelected as one of Otisfield’s two representatives to Maine School Administrative District 17’s board of directors for her third term.

Excluding a couple of blank ballots being submitted, all but two articles passed unanimously with minimal discussion and no opposition. The approved budget will be $427,000 more in 2022-23 than that of the current budget year.

In regard to the public works department budget, Road Commissioner Richard Bean Jr. told voters that sections of Bell Hill, Cobb Hill and Ivory Hill roads are due for resurfacing, although if materials and fuel prices continue to rise, plans could be scaled back. He also said that maintenance will consist of re-ditching and applying crack fill material where appropriate.

When Article 16, dam maintenance expenses, came up for discussion, voters wanted an update on the Thompson Lake dam and its advisory committee, made up of representatives from Otisfield, Oxford, Poland and Casco, the four towns with property around the lake.

Ferguson replied that he has made two inquiries on those topics to Oxford’s town manager and has never received a call back with answers. The east gate of the dam has been repaired and fish screens have been added under the direction of Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Ferguson said.


Selectman Rick Micklon stated that the last advisory committee meeting occurred about two years ago and Oxford’s board of selectmen opted to disband the group. He added that Oxford has funded repairs itself and that the dam operates as needed.

“We have no seat at the table,” Micklon said.

The article calls for $5,000 to be paid to Oxford for dam maintenance, based on an agreement made back in 2010 and renewed yearly since.

Voters asked to have an accounting of how the $60,000 has been spent over the years. Ferguson replied Otisfield has not been provided with that information for at least a couple of years but that he would once again reach out to the town of Oxford and request it.

In related business, voters inquired on the status of the Verizon Wireless cell tower under construction on Bell Hill Road. Micklon said that he expects the tower will be operational within a month. Verizon has not communicated what other carriers will be using the tower for connectivity.

Ferguson said it remains to be seen how Otisfield residents will benefit once the tower is working.

“We don’t know how the tower will affect the overall population of Otisfield,” he said. “It will really improve for many people and it’s not going to affect many people.”

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