BELGRADE — Voters approved a moratorium Saturday that temporarily halts Rome town officials from accepting applications for commercial solar projects.

The Moratorium Ordinance Regarding Commercial Solar Facilities was one of several articles adopted at Saturday’s annual Rome Town Meeting, held at the Belgrade Central School. Voters spent nearly four hours discussing the 68-article warrant that represented a $992,825 municipal budget.

The moratorium gives town officials 180 days to “develop, to earn voter approval, and to implement a Commercial Solar Facilities Ordinance.” Prior to the creation of a new ordinance, officials must gather feedback through a public hearing and town meeting vote.

The purpose of adopting the moratorium is to allow municipal officials “the appropriate time to evaluate and address concerns” as they pertain to existing land use ordinances and regulations.

Neighboring communities, including Norridgewock and Belgrade, recently adopted similar policies.

Voters also passed an amendment to the town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. The amendment reflects updates to state statute that now addresses hazard trees, storm-damaged trees and dead tree removal; exemptions to clearing and vegetation removal; and revegetation requirements.


Major budget expenses that were approved Saturday include $277,000 to purchase a new tanker/pumper truck for the Rome Fire Department; $154,225 for municipal officers’ and officials salaries; $62,150 to pay for the town’s contract with Waste Management Crossroads Facility in Norridgewock; $52,650 for the Fire Department; and $80,000 to reconstruct Drury Lane in Rome.

Officials also were given the OK to spend $30,000 to repair town-maintained roads and bridges, a proposal that was up 50% from last year’s request. First Selectman Paul Anderson told the group Saturday that this money should “be sufficient to get us through mud season and work on some other projects.”

Officials authorized the appropriation of $272,067 in anticipated revenues to offset the tax commitment for the fiscal year.

Additionally, voters narrowly gave approval for selectmen to spend $106,123.56 in anticipated American Rescue Plan Act funds. Under the language in the warrant, selectmen propose spending the funds to remove floor tiles containing asbestos from the Rome Community Center; to perform a survey of the Rome Beach lot in preparation for a future walking path on the property; and to look at a ‘provision of high-speed internet’ at the Town Office to enable the use of a free hotspot.

Treasurer Tammy Lyons said Saturday that the official number for the municipal budget that was approved Saturday was not yet available, though it will come in lower than the proposed $992,925 as some budget requests were amended to lower values during Town Meeting.

In local elections, incumbents Paul Anderson, Larry DiPietro Jr. and Kelly Archer were elected for one-year terms as first, second, and third selectman, respectfully.


Tammy Lyons was elected to a one-year term as tax collector and a one-year term as treasurer.

Barbara Brickett was elected to a one-year term as town clerk.

Carroll Bubar was elected to a one-year term as road commissioner.

Voters decided by secret ballot to authorize the state to “issue licenses for the sale of liquor to be consumed on the premises of a licensed establishment” on days other than Sunday.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.