Hearings on D-F corridor moratorium and June ballot will be May 22

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Public hearings for both a proposed corridor moratorium ordinance extension and the June 13 referendum will be part of the next selectmen’s meeting on Monday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building.

“So our next meeting we actually have two hearings, one is on the June ballot and the other is on the moratorium we have had in place for a few years now,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during the May 8 select session.

Three years ago residents approved an ordinance concerning private distribution corridors, including paved highways, pipelines and high-tension transmission lines. The moratorium enacted in 2014 — meaning permits for these types of development projects cannot be granted during the timeline — was in effect for 180 days. The moratorium has since been renewed five times with the current extension in place through the end of May. If granted by the selectmen the policy would continue through late November.

Extensions can be put in place as long as reasonable progress is being made to address the needs identified in the moratorium, such as the town continuing to work on the land use ordinance.

On Tuesday, June 13 residents will head to the polls for a 10-article warrant which was approved at the annual town meeting last month.

The proposed 2017-18 municipal budget totals $5,074,820, a near $490,000 increase (10.68 percent) from the current fiscal year. After nearly $2,357,000 in revenues — which total a little more than $408,400 or 20.96 percent more from the year before due to higher excise tax collection and use of fund balance — have been applied a figure of $2,717,970 would need to be raised through property taxes.

The net budget total is up by approximately $81,300 from 2016-17, a difference of 3.08 percent. The proposed 2017-18 finances would lead to an approximate $0.25 increase in the mill rate, from the current rate of $20.25 for every $1,000 in assessed property.

In addition to the fiscal articles, residents will vote on revisions to the town charter recommended by the charter commission as well as a pair of articles on the prohibition of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs.

In other business, the selectmen proclaimed May 14-20 as Arbor Week in Dover-Foxcroft.

Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr asked if any ceremonial trees will be planted.

“We will, I’m tentatively looking at the schools,” Clukey said, as in years past students at the SeDoMoCha School have taken part in Arbor Week plantings on their campus.

The board also approved letting the fire department add on to its museum at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds, borrowing $25,000 from the reserve Gray Fund and repaying the amount over five years.

Fire Chief Joe Guyotte said the 34- by 10-foot addition would include two doors to enable the five antique trucks and hose and reels to be displayed evenly. “They will be able to be backed in and lined up,” he said. “You now have to move five trucks to get one out.”

Guyotte said Johnson Foundations, Dover True Value and Pleasant River Lumber will each be a part of the museum addition. “It’s kind of a project we would like to go in the summer before the fair,” he said, with the 130th Piscataquis Valley Fair set for late August.
When asked, Guyotte said the Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department’s collection of antique equipment is available for viewing throughout the year upon request.

Town officials also met with RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey for an overview of the proposed 2017-18 school budget. Shorey said the $10,817,189 spending plan is up by just over $300,000 from the current year.

“Overall our budget increased 2.87 percent from last year,” Shorey said. She said a little more than $4,634,500 would need to be raised by the four RSU 68 communities, an approximate $87,900 or 1.93 increase.

Dover-Foxcroft’s share of the $4.6 million is $2,780,636, about $60,250 or 2.21 percent more than in 2016-17.

Shorey said the district budget meeting and information session will start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. The total budget approved that evening will go to the referendum on June 13 in Dover-Foxcroft as well as the fellow district communities of Charleston, Monson and Sebec.

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