CORNVILLE — Residents at the Town Meeting on Saturday will have road spending on their minds again this year and will be asked to raise $115,823 for the first payment on the town’s ambitious road paving project, approved at last year’s meeting.

First Selectman Melvin Blaisdell said this year’s proposed town budget is about the same as last year’s $543,000 approved by voters, not including school and county taxes. The tax rate is expected to stay at about $17 for every $1,000 in property valuation, he said.

Polls for Town Meeting elections will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Cornville Town Hall on West Ridge Road.

Incumbent Selectman Michael Gould is seeking re-election unopposed for a three-year term. Longtime Road Commissioner Myron Moody Jr. is seeking a return to office, also unopposed, for a one-year term.

The annual business meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Town Hall.

Blaisdell said Cornville residents agreed last year to borrow $1 million for the 12-year paving project, but the town had to borrow only $980,000 to get the work done. He said the town will pay about the same amount every year to pay off the road bond, then probably will start over again to keep the paved roads from deteriorating to a point that they can’t be fixed. Voters noted last year that the town had just finished paying off another long-term loan to fix Cornville roads.

The road paving plan includes the entire 6.3-mile length of East Ridge Road from the Athens town line to the Skowhegan town line. The borrowing plan also includes the entrance to Moody Town Road, the top of Huff Hill Road and portions of Oxbow Road, Molunkus Road, Lower Mills Road, Wood Road, James Road and Rowell Mountain Road.

“Molunkus and the East Ridge Road are the big ones. They run the whole length of the town, up and down,” Blaisdell said this week. “It’s mostly done, except for the Oxbow Road, and we carried the money over to this year. It’ll be paved this spring.”

Other spending proposals on Saturday’s Town Meeting warrant include raising $70,000 for recycling and solid waste and taking $33,279 from surplus in order to balance the 2015 summer roads account.

Voters also will be asked to raise $130,000 for this year’s winter roads account, $90,000 for summer roads and $40,000 for Highway Department equipment.

The town Budget Committee also is recommending $55,000 for general government. According to the Town Meeting warrant, there are no proposed raises for any town officials.

The Budget Committee is recommending $1,308 for the Brenda J. Hogate Library, next to the Cornville Regional Charter School.

In her letter to the town this year in the town report, Hogate said the Cornville library “had a good year,” but that she is “saddened by the lack of attendance” from area residents.

Hogate said in her letter that she used most of the $1,199 approved at last year’s Town Meeting to purchase four Little Free Library kits to be placed in the area. A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone can take a book or bring a book to share.

Town residents agreed to establish a municipal library in the school on West Ridge Road at a special town meeting in 2011. The library later was named for Brenda Hogate, who was the librarian at the former Cornville Elementary School, which is now the charter school. Hogate said at the time that she used $18,000 in startup money from the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation. The library later moved into a separate structure next to the charter school.

The Cornville Historical Society plans to hold a meeting after the Town Meeting in the hopes of getting new members.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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