READFIELD — Although some articles at the annual Town Meeting generated contentious debate on Thursday, all passed as approved by the Board of Selectmen.

Balsam Drive will become a town road. Plowing the road will cost $2,381 in the first year, but town maintenance of the road could encourage more development and increase Readfield’s tax base.

Some residents noted that only 12 percent of property taxes go toward road maintenance, and private roads have not prevented development elsewhere town, but voters approved accepting the road, 53-28.

Residents voted 47–26 to spend $18,000 on traffic calming improvements near downtown. Some questioned whether they would be effective, but Town Manager Stefan Pakulski said they are recommendations from professional traffic engineers.

The vote was closer, 33-29, to pay $15,000 for repairs of Lovejoy Pond Dam. Wayne owns the dam but requested contributions from Readfield and Fayette because both have waterfront property that could decrease in value if the pond shrinks.

Pakulski said some residents thought property owners on the pond should pay an assessment for the repairs.

The other budget articles were approved without hand counts. The budget is projected to reduce taxes for municipal expenses by 4 percent.

The new selectboard, with Sue Reay replacing Peter Davis, will meet for the first time on July 2.

 


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