KINGFIELD — The town will be able to apply for a state grant of up to $150,000 after voting to designate portions of it as a slum and blighted area.

The vote passed 49-23 at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting. Voters also re-elected incumbent Selectman Merv Wilson for a three-year term and approved a town budget of $707,470, a $9,000 decrease from the current one, said Town Clerk Leanna Targett.

Despite the decrease, taxpayers are unlikely to see a reduction in their property tax rates, because of increases in school and county budgets. The county budget has yet to be determined; Kingfield’s share of the school budget increased $85,650 to $1,315,417. The owner of a $100,000 home currently pays $1,400 in property taxes.

The town could also choose to withdraw funds from existing accounts to offset cost increases, she said.

Registrar of Voters Erica Bracy said that the idea of using harsh language to describe parts of Kingfield drew some opposition.

The vote establishes that a section of town contains “deteriorating, dilapidated, slum and blighted area, dangerous buildings, deficient public improvements and incompatible uses of property” constituting “a serious and growing menace” to the health of Kingfield residents.

The designation is needed to apply for a Community Development Block Grant from the state. If Kingfield’s application for the grant is approved, the town will receive money that could be used to develop the area, including landscaping, buildings, facades, and improvements to sidewalks, curbing, crosswalks, streetlights and utilities.

The Kingfield Village Enhancement Plan calls for projects at the Southern Village Gateway on Main Street and the proposed site of the Kingfield Family Park between Main Street and the Carabassett River, both of which are included in the blighted area.

Wilson defended his seat against a challenge from Brad Orbeton, 49-31.

Bracy said that the turnout of 86 residents was “pretty typical for us.”

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287

[email protected]


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