Westport Island has won a $225,542 grant from the ConnectMaine Authority that, with investments from Spectrum and the town, will enable an expansion of high-speed internet infrastructure throughout the island.
The project will cost $626,507 and expand service availability to at least 205 homes. Spectrum will pay $338,314, ConnectMaine $225,542, and the town $62,651.
During a Westport Island Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Memorial Day, First Selectman George Richardson Jr. congratulated the Westport Island Broadband and Cable Committee on the grant. He said everyone on the island appreciates the committee’s work.
Also Monday, the selectmen approved a 50-article warrant for annual town meeting, which will take place Saturday, June 19.
Richardson expects the property tax rate to go down, due to a $31,225 decrease in expenses and a $2 million-plus increase in valuation. The rate is currently $8.10 per $1,000 of valuation, which amounts to a $1,620 bill for a home assessed at $200,000.
The 50 articles include several new questions: Article 6, to validate the selectmen’s vote to enter into a contract with Lincoln County for animal control services; Article 8, to create the position of animal resource officer, so former Animal Control Officer Amos “Buddy” Greenleaf can continue to handle services the county does not need to handle, such as dead animals, strays, and trapping when necessary; Article 17, to enter a contract with Burgess Technology Services for various office needs; Article 29, to add 0.15 mile of Willis Point Road to the town’s plowing responsibilities; and Article 39, to authorize the Westport Volunteer Fire Department to explore the feasibility of placing underground water cisterns on town properties to improve the availability and accessibility of water sources for firefighting.
The open portion of annual town meeting will take place at the historic town hall at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 19.
On Tuesday, June 8, voters will elect a second selectman for a three-year term and two members of the RSU 12 Board of Directors — one for a three-year term and one for a two-year term. (See “Two candidates run for second selectman on Westport Island” in this edition.)
Also Tuesday, voters will cast ballots in the RSU 12 budget referendum. The budget totals $24,477,840.40 with a local share of $13,043,097.55, up about $20,000 over the previous year.