Westport Island will hold its annual town meeting at its historic town hall beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 25. Voters will decide whether to build a sand-and-salt shed, how to fund a pledge to contribute $50,000 toward the purchase of a 144-acre preserve, whether to approve a 1.75 percent cost-of-living increase for town officers, and much more.
The voters have two options regarding the construction of the sand-and-salt shed in articles 5 and 6. The articles offer different funding mechanisms for the project, but according to the selectmen, neither option will cause a tax hike.
The town’s share of the RSU 12 budget is $149,000 less than last year and the last, $243,712 payment on a five-year, $1.3 million loan was made in March. As a result, the town already has $392,712 less to raise in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The voters approved the $50,000 pledge to the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust on June 14. An article on the warrant would authorize the funding of the pledge and raise $5,000 plus interest for the first annual payment on a 10-year loan, which would have an interest rate of 2.98 percent.
Westport Islanders will vote on several services from the town of Wiscasset: Wiscasset Transfer Station, $77,378; Wiscasset Public Library, $4,720; Wiscasset Community Center, $4,308; and Wiscasset Ambulance Service, $3,000.
The only increase in services from Wiscasset is in the transfer station contract, an increase of $4,614 due to an increase in tipping fees and a lease-purchase agreement for a loader.
The selectmen are recommending $100,000 for snowplowing, $18,200 for sand, and $2,500 for salt. The road commissioner is recommending $100,000 for the maintenance of roads and bridges. The selectmen and the road commissioner are recommending $75,000 for paving on town roads and $10,000 for an emergency-only road maintenance contingency account.
Excise taxes will cover the cost of snowplowing, sand, and salt.
The selectmen and the fire department recommend $25,000 for the department’s operations budget, as well as $28,201.76 for the sixth annual payment on a loan for the purchase of a fire truck, $1,000 for the training of emergency medical technicians, and $5,371 for insurance.
The selectmen are asking the voters to authorize the appointment of a three-person committee to renegotiate a contract with Time Warner Cable. The current contract will expire this year.
Chris Cooper, of Alna, has been elected to serve as moderator of the meeting.