Waldoboro will hold its annual town meeting by referendum July 14, instead of June 9, to coincide with the new date for the state primary.
The Waldoboro Board of Selectmen discussed the matter Tuesday, April 14. Gov. Janet Mills postponed Maine’s primary to prevent transmission of the coronavirus at polling places.
Also Tuesday, the selectmen reviewed the warrant for annual town meeting. Board Chair Robert Butler said they would continue their review at their next meeting, Tuesday, April 28.
“We do have more time now that the vote has been moved back,” Butler said.
Selectman Clinton Collamore asked if incumbent selectmen would hold their seats until the July vote.
Town Manager Julie Keizer said she consulted the Maine Municipal Association and believes incumbents will stay on until the next election.
During their review of the warrant, the selectmen decided to give residents the option to pay their tax bills on a quarterly basis instead of a biannual basis.
“It might help during the current economic times to give people the option. The thought was it might ease the burden on some people. We talked about doing this last year too,” Keizer said.
Butler said quarterly payments could be due Nov. 15, Feb. 15, May 15, and Aug. 15.
Other warrant articles include a proposed fireworks ordinance.
The board discussed confusion about a 2019 vote on fireworks and how to avoid a similar situation this year.
A citizen’s petition and vote to ban consumer fireworks had the opposite effect, since the petition revoked the old ordinance and did not replace it with a new one. The town now falls under the more permissive state law.
Voters agreed to revoke the ordinance, 279-249. Ray Perkins, a resident, was behind the petition drive.
Keizer said language could be added to the warrant explaining that a yes vote on the ordinance would prohibit the sale or use of consumer fireworks in Waldoboro.
Regarding the 2020-2021 municipal budget, Keizer said the town may need to revise it if state revenues drop off. “If revenues drop, we may have to look at expenses,” she said.
Keizer talked about how to include the budget committee in a potential revision process. She said a joint meeting of the selectmen and budget committee would not comply with state restrictions on gatherings.
“We could send information out to them and get comments back,” Keizer said.
Keizer said the county had agreed to take payment of county taxes in six installments. The board voted to proceed with six payments.
“I think the more stretched out the better,” Butler said.
Keizer updated the board on federal funds available to the town following the passage of a stimulus package by Congress.
“Anything we can try and get from the federal government, we are going to try and get,” Keizer said.
Keizer said that due to low interest rates, it would be worthwhile to refinance the town’s debt.
Though the town does not have a large amount of debt, Keizer said the water department has some debt and could benefit from a lower interest rate.
Keizer warned residents of scams related to stimulus checks from the federal government. She urged residents to find credible information on .gov websites.
“The IRS isn’t going to call and ask questions about your stimulus check,” Keizer said.