SKOWHEGAN — Nomination papers are available through the end of the month for the vacant seat on Skowhegan’s Board of Selectmen.

The board voted at a meeting Tuesday to fill the vacancy and shorten the nomination process for the seat.

The position is available to any Skowhegan resident, and nomination papers can be picked up at the Town Clerk’s office. Residents then have until the end of the business day July 30 to gather 25-100 signatures and return the papers to the clerk.

The town will then hold a special election for the seat Aug. 31 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. As of now, the selectman seat is the only item on the ballot, said Town Manager Christine Almand, although the town is in discussion with the school district about a possible referendum to be included as well.

Whoever is elected to fill the position will hold it for the rest of the seat’s original term, until June 2022.

“It gives people a good opportunity to get into government and then it’s not that full three-year commitment,” Almand said. “So sometimes it gives them an opportunity to try it out.”

The seat has been vacant since June 16, after Betty Austin resigned from the position because she was moving out of town.

At a special meeting ahead of the regular meeting, the board also held a goal-setting workshop, and in addition to long-term goals, added items to look into future uses for the Mechanic Street Schoolhouse and the fire station, once it is vacated.

There was also discussion about what to include for the board’s upcoming joint meeting with the Planning Board. The selectmen said that they would like to discuss residency requirements for appointment to the Planning Board and the Budget Committee.

Both the Planning Board and Budget Committee currently require that members be residents of Skowhegan, and the board would like to consider expanding that to allow individuals who own a business in Skowhegan to serve as members for those groups.

At the regular meeting Tuesday there was extensive discussion on an agenda item to “waive the bid process and expend an amount not to exceed” $800,000 from the Public Safety Building Bond for built-in equipment, moveable equipment and technology.

After lengthy discussion, the board voted 3-1 to approve the item and waive the bid process.

The selectmen voted in favor of assigning a truck to the road commissioner, as long as the commissioner must be a resident of Skowhegan. If a future road commissioner lived outside of town, they could return to the board to ask them to change the policy at that time.

The board appointed Todd Smith to the Run of River Committee and Bonnie Young to the Heritage Council.

The selectmen also approved applications for the Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce to hold Moonlight Madness on Aug. 5, for the Rotary Club of Skowhegan to hold the Lobster Bake on Aug. 6, and for Maine Street Skowhegan to hold Brew Fest on Sept. 4.

At the end of the meeting the board went into executive session to discussion union negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.


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