Corey Baumann, left, raises some questions about the dam Saturday during the annual Town Meeting in Leeds. Beth Capen listens at right. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEEDS — Residents learned Saturday at the annual Town Meeting that a long-awaited broadband project is planned to be completed by early next year.

Leeds Broadband will bring high-speed fiber-optic internet to every household and business in Leeds, except for Jellystone Park on Androscoggin Lake (the former Beaver Brook Campground), according to Broadband Committee member Joseph McLean.

Connecting to the network by standard installation during the set-up period is free for residents and business owners. However, more complicated connections or additions in later years will cost a fee.

If 30% of Leeds residents participate in the new network, the starting rate for internet will be $60 per month. However, McLean said, the more people who participate, the lower the rate will be.

A 30% participation rate is a “very low bar,” he said, noting that they expect to see more people buy in to the network. Residents will be able to sign up for the service later this year.

Some residents in Leeds currently rely on low-speed internet transmitted through copper phone lines.


On Saturday, voters approved a new ordinance that will provide a framework for Leeds Broadband. The ordinance also formalized the Broadband Committee. Members of the five-person committee will be appointed by selectmen for staggered three-year terms.

The town is currently moving through the permitting stage and is working with the utility pole owners, Central Maine Power and Consolidated Communications, to begin the make-ready stage, McLean said. Construction of the network is planned to begin this fall.

Leeds Broadband will be owned by the town and overseen by the Broadband Committee. Axiom, a Maine-based internet operator, has been contracted to administer the network.

The broadband plan was created several years ago, but it wasn’t until federal pandemic aid through the ConnectMaine Authority became available that the project could be implemented, McLean said.

More information about the project can be found online at

Over 50 people were in attendance for the annual Town Meeting, which was moderated by Charles Dingman and held at Leeds Central School. All 42 articles on the warrant passed without amendments.


Residents approved a $1.74 million municipal budget, which is 8.1% higher than the current $1.6 million spending plan.

School Administrative District 52 director Crystal Barus won reelection over Jimmy Childs, 125-33. Barus has served on the board for three years.

Selectman Dwight Buckley was reelected to the board in an uncontested election.

One approved article authorized the town to appropriate $20,000 to move the recycling center on Route 106 in Leeds Center to the transfer station on Ridge Road.

“Nothing will change, it will just be in a different location,” Public Works Director Jake Rodrigue said.

The funds will be used to move the recycling center to the transfer station, build a roof for the recycling center and get a storage container for electronic recycling, Rodrigue said. The building at the current recycling center will become storage space for the department.


The consolidation is necessary, Rodrigue said, because the town has struggled to hire someone to oversee the recycling center.

Two residents expressed concerns about the condition of Ridge Road and questioned whether any of the funds would go toward improving the dirt road. Rodrigue said road improvements were not included in the $20,000 request.

Residents also authorized selectmen to spend up to $40,000 from the undesignated fund this year in case of unanticipated expenses. The request is double what the board has asked for in the past, largely in response to rising costs of goods and services, selectmen said.

All charitable requests were approved for a total of $11,415. The largest donation, $6,500, will go to the Rural Community Action Ministry.

A 43rd article regarding a new solar ordinance was removed from the warrant prior to the meeting because it was not completed in time. A special town meeting will be held in a few months to evaluate the proposed ordinance, Town Administrator Joyce Pratt said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.