CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Voters on Wednesday overwhelming approved two major capital projects that town officials believe will draw more tourists and wealthy seasonal residents to the community.

The projects will fix problems at two of the town-owned recreational attractions, Narrow Gauge Pathway and Sugarloaf Golf Club, which is leased to Sugarloaf resort.

They were among the many articles passed at the annual Town Meeting, when a $2,536,407 budget was adopted for the coming year, according to Wendy Russell, town clerk.

Selectmen believe the budget will decrease the tax rate to $6.30 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is about a 3 percent drop from last year.

The project to install a $1.7 million irrigation at the golf course drew the most discussion at the meeting, but it passed by a comfortable 63-5 margin in a written ballot vote, Russell said.

The town and Sugarloaf will agree to each pay about $63,000 annually to fund the project to replace the course’s antiquated irrigation system, the article states.

The other major project, which will cost about $300,000, will repair the damage to Narrow Gauge Pathway caused by Tropical Storm Irene flooding in August. Federal and state disaster relief aid is expected to pay for up to 90 percent of the project’s cost, because the town on Wednesday approved raising the $50,000 local matching share required for the aid, the article states.

In other articles, voters approved raising $400,000 to build up the town’s recreational endowment fund, which supports community improvement projects. In the last ten years, it has helped fund a new library, athletic center and other projects in town.

In elections held before the meeting, 221 people voted to decide two contested races for selectman and school committee positions.

Incumbent Selectman John Beaupre, with 122 votes, and newcomer Thomas Butler, with 145 votes, each won three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen. They beat out Christopher Parks, with 119 votes, and Stephen Pierce, an incumbent selectman who received 42 votes, Russell said.

Incumbent Danielle London won a position on the school comittee with 137 votes, beating out Catherine Wilson, 62 votes.

About 75 people attended the town meeting in the outdoor center owned by the community, which has 607 registered voters, Russell said.

David Robinson — 861-9287

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