Incumbent Michael Barrett, who is currently chairperson of the Belgrade Board of Selectpersons, faces a challenge for the seat from Dan Newman, a former selectman who spent several years on the board.

Both men said they’re running because they want to continue serving the town.

“I’ve missed being involved in the town’s business and the decision-making process,” Newman said. “Being on the selectboard, I like to think all the issues through before I make snap decisions.

“I’m not set in my ways. I may have an opinion but I’m willing to listen to everybody,” he added. “If you can tell me, and prove to me, things should be different, I’m willing to go the other way.”

Barrett said there are some things he and the current board have been working on that he wants to see through.

“We’ve got some things we’ve been working on that are fairly important and involved that I want to see through to a finish,” he said. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job. We’ve got a good board right now that works closely together.

“I’ve got a tremendous interest in the town, and I’m not afraid to take on some of these hard questions,” Barrett added.

He cited as an example of an ongoing issue in Belgrade, a problem in the “triangle” part of town where multiple wells were contaminated with road salt that was stored outside for years in the area by both the town and the state Department of Transportation.

What to do about the issue has been debated for about three years, Barrett said, and it is time for the town and state to settle on a plan to deal with the contamination and make things right. To start that, officials recently appointed a committee, made up of representatives from the town and state, to determine how the salt issue should be handled.

Newman, too, identified the well contamination by salt as a major issue in town, and he has been appointed to serve on the new committee to work on that. He said potential solutions could include putting in a water system in the area, or the state buying properties that are contaminated.

Barrett, 74, who is retired, is wrapping up his second term, and sixth year, on the board. He has also previously served on the town’s Appeals Board, as a trustee of the library, and is on the Maine State Museum Commission and Maine State Cultural Affairs Council.

Newman, 55, who works in a fire protection business, previously served on the board for three terms, from 2007 to 2015. He has served on the town’s Budget Committee since he left the selectboard, and is on the Belgrade Fire and Rescue Department.

Voting, which town officials are encouraging residents to do by absentee ballot, will take place at the Center for All Seasons from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

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