KINGFIELD — Residents voted to pass over a proposed $450,000 village green project Saturday morning at the Town Meeting at Kingfield Elementary School.

The vote was spurred by a member of the Village Enhancement Committee, who made the motion to pass over the items. The project, which consisted of adding parking, landscaping, benches, a community bulletin board and a potential gazebo at the corner of Main and Depot streets, would have to return to next year’s Town Meeting for the committee to get funding.

Committee members said they wanted extra time to edit the plan, with the hope of decreasing the cost, as well as to present more detailed financial information to the Budget Committee.

The village green was part of a 2011 plan that included seven projects that were going to use tax increment financing, or TIF, money. This was the first of those projects to be presented at Town Meeting.

The committee asked for approval of a loan not to exceed $350,000 and another $100,000 from the Poland Spring TIF reserve account.

Neither the Budget Committee or the Board of Selectmen recommended approval of the warrant articles about the project, citing the high cost.

“This plan is radically different now, and people are concerned,” one resident said.

Chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen Heather Moody also took time during the discussion to recommend that people go to committee meetings if they don’t agree with what the committees are doing, or if they have ideas for the town.

“Don’t wait until people have put a year of work into something,” she said.

Moody was re-elected to her seat on the board at the beginning of the meeting, as was Raymond Meldrum. Both ran unopposed.

Johanna Prince won the contested School Board seat against Peter Manning, 62-48.

“I’m running for School Board because I want to be part of looking forward for the town,” said Prince, who works at the University of Maine at Farmington as interim director of graduate programs in education.

The approved budget of $839,110 matched the selectmen’s recommendation, which was a 0.5 percent increase from, or $4,223 more than, last year’s, because of a decrease in TIF money. The total requested by town department heads was $4,600 more than the budget that was approved.

The Village Enhancement Committee’s Planter Program was approved for $3,000, despite a motion to grant it $1,000 and a Budget Committee recommendation of no money.

The 114 registered voters at the Town Meeting didn’t approve $1,000 for Community Concepts, which works to solve societal problems through collective impact, and was not recommended by the Budget Committee or Selectmen.

“Again, it’s another agency that … didn’t send a representative,” Budget Committee Chairwoman Sarah Churchill said. If the committee doesn’t get to meet with groups asking for funding and ask questions, they are less likely to approve their funding, she said.

Residents did approve an amendment to the existing TIF district that will allow the selectmen to enter into TIF agreements and make amendments without needing to go through the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. TIF fund appropriations still would need to be approved each year at Town Meeting, Moody said.

Residents also approved $68,838 for the transfer station, 9.6 percent more than last year; $247,072 for the Public Works Department, a decrease of 7.5 percent; and $134,000 for municipal services, an increase of 1.4 percent.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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