Greenville Planning Board looking at by-law amendments
GREENVILLE — The adjustments do not need to be made in the immediate future, but the Greenville Planning Board is looking to make a pair of amendments to its by-laws. One would align the document wording to the current meeting schedule and the other would change the meeting quorum from four to three members.
Planning Board Chairperson John Contreni told the select board about the needed amendments during a Sept. 20 meeting. “One because the bylaws say we meet on Monday and as you know we meet on Wednesday so we could do that on our own,” he said.“But we would like to change our quorum, we have five members and our quorum is currently four.”
Contreni said the planning board would like to adjust the quorum but this cannot be done without first being approved by the select board, who would decide whether to send the amendment to a town meeting vote. He said the by-laws have been in place since the establishment of the planning board in 1988, and there have been several amendments since then.
“At one of your meetings you had three members and that was enough and I thought ‘why not us?,’” Contrenti said. “As you know it’s been an issue for us sometimes as people are not able to attend.”
He said there are two alternate positions on the planning board, but right now only one position is filled with the other being vacant. The chairperson said they do not want to get into a position where someone comes before the board and members have to ask them to come back in two weeks due to a lack of a quorum.
“Obviously we understand the importance of you to do business,” Select Chairperson Geno Murray said. He asked, and Contreni said these are the only items the planning board is looking to amend.
He said the quorum adjustment is not urgent, so this can be added to a special town meeting agenda whenever a vote on another matter is needed by the select board.
Contreni said the planning board has been discussing short-term rentals, saying this is a big issue around the state and mentioning the Bangor Daily News had a front page story on Bangor’s development of rules for the city.
“We agreed it’s time to bring something forward to you and I would like to do that at your next meeting,” Contreni said.
In other business, Town Manager Mike Roy gave an update on the public safety building in his report.
“The public safety facility, you will notice that the outside doors are going in,” Roy said. “Very soon, maybe this week, the fence will be coming down. They started work out front on the water main, attaching that to the main line. They’re digging across Main Street for the sewer.”
He said interior painting is done and sprinkles are installed. The town manager said the project is about three weeks ahead of schedule.
Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corp. President Margarita Contreni told the select board the schedule has been finalized for an economic summit to be held from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
“We are thrilled with the participants who are going to be leading the sessions,” Contreni said, including Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson hosting a panel to kick off the day.
The day will feature four breakout sessions on topics such as new ideas and initiatives to boost the region’s winter economy. She said resident/business owner Mike Theriault will speak on the development of the Moose Creek RV Resort.
Contreni said the board members of the Northern Forest Center will be visiting Greenville during the ensuing two days to learn more about the workforce and the site of a Spruce Street housing project.
The organization has been working with the town, Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corp., and Northern Light CA Dean Hospital to bring middle-income housing to the community, on about 5 acres on Spruce Street off Pritham Avenue, to help remedy the housing issues near Moosehead Lake.
As is the case in much of Maine, Greenville in recent years has been experiencing a lack of available middle-income housing. Many homes put on the market are quickly purchased to serve as Airbnbs or second homes, and lower-income housing has strict residency requirements that precludes young workers from living there.
The Northern Forest Center has worked on the purchase of homes that have been turned into affordable rental units in Millinocket and Lancaster, New Hampshire.