Vienna is hoping to be part of a group seeking high-speed broadband internet service to the area.

At a special town meeting Tuesday, residents will be asked to approve using $7,000 from the town’s surplus fund to be used to join a coalition seeking broadband internet service and to supplement expenses for the treasurer. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the Vienna Community Building.

The first of two articles on the warrant asks whether the town will authorize selectmen to join a coalition of towns that is researching the need and availability of high-speed broadband. Formed in January, the group includes Mount Vernon, Fayette, Readfield, Wayne and Leeds. It has received a matching grant of $12,000 from ConnectME to hire a consultant to do this research.

“This will find out how many people think it necessary to expand broadband,” said Dodi Thompson, Vienna Selectboard chairperson. “(What internet services there are) is a question Realtors get asked now.”

If the town approves the article, $4,000 would be transferred from the surplus account and appropriated into the administration account. 

Around 18 residents attended an Oct. 8 public hearing to discuss possibility and, Thompson said, “everyone was in favor of this step.”

A second question will ask residents to authorize appropriating and transferring $3,000 from the surplus fund to administration to supplement expenses for the position of treasurer. 

Felicia Audet was appointed as interim treasurer after Marti Gross died unexpectedly in May. Gross, 72, had been the treasurer for Vienna and Mount Vernon.

The money will be used to continue Audet’s training in the treasurer software and help pay her monthly salary, Thompson said.

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