SIDNEY — Residents will vote on a $2 million bond for capital construction projects, as well as a proposed budget of about $1.49 million, at Town Meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Town Office.

Last year’s budget was about $1.44 million, about 3 percent, or $45,000, less. This year’s municipal budget, however, shouldn’t affect the tax rate, said Board of Selectmen Chairman John Whitcomb. The proposed budget does not ask to raise taxes, but rather uses money from surplus, he said.

“So if everything stayed exactly the same, there wouldn’t be necessarily an increase,” Whitcomb said.

The $2 million bond residents will vote on is the largest issue that will go on the floor, he said. The town would borrow the money over seven years to complete seven projects at an average interest rate of about 1.44 percent, including construction of a new salt and sand shed, reconstruction of Shepherd Road and the purchase of a new plow truck.

“The new truck is inevitable. The one that we have needs to be replaced,” Whitcomb said.

The bond also would pay for a new firetruck that would equip one of the stations in center of town in an effort to speed up response time. With the recent approval of a 100-lot subdivision, Whitcomb said, the town needs to ensure there is a central location for emergency responders.

The subdivision and potential population increase to this town of about 4,200 residents are also reasons to build a new salt and sand shed, he said. The current one was built in 1996, needs a new roof and is unsafe, according to Whitcomb. The new one will have more capacity for the town’s increased needs.

Whitcomb said the Board of Selectmen is hopeful that the bond issue passes because of its “long-term impact on the town.”

“With interest rates rising and prices for everything increasing, in order to plan for the future, this was the best time to do it and get these things done so that we’re set for many years,” he said, adding later that this will be beneficial to the town.

Residents also will vote on two proposed ordinances at Town Meeting. One proposes enacting mooring regulations on Messalonskee Lake in Safe Harbor by the Sidney town landing to control how many sailboats use the dock for mooring.

“Before it gets out of hand, we were asked to look into it,” Whitcomb said. “The lake’s pretty active and it’s getting more active.”

The proposed ordinance says the area can hold up to seven boats at a time and regulates things such as line and anchor standards. Those who want to moor their boats would get a permit from the town and follow the requirements. There are two sailboats in the harbor now, Whitcomb said.

The selectmen also are proposing an ordinance to ban recreational marijuana establishments in town, because of concern about the “unknown factors” associated with legalization, he said.

Residents also will vote on the ballot on Friday on a proposal to allow catering businesses to apply for state permits to sell alcohol at events. Some Sidney businesses now sell alcohol or liquor for off-site consumption.

The proposed ordinance would allow catering businesses to sell alcohol for on-site consumption, on every day except Sunday.

Also on the ballot are two incumbent selectmen, Whitcomb and Timothy Russell, up for re-election; as well as the school board representative, Karen Hatch-Gagne. All of the elected officials are running unopposed.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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