CHESTERVILLE — Annual Town Meeting will be held 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, at the Town Hall, 409 Dutch Gap Road.

Voters will act on budget articles, a proposed ordinance and possible continuation of the town’s participation in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

The first article to be acted on regards dedicating and naming the Town Office. The Select Board plans to amend the article to state for whom it would be named.

“This was at the request of one board member,” Select Board Chair Tiffany Estabrook said Wednesday, March 17. “It’s a person who has dedicated years of service to the town.”

The Select Board and Budget Committee have recommended different amounts for some budget lines. If all higher amounts are approved, the 2022 budget without funds for capital roads projects would be $925,667.

Two options are proposed for those projects this year – a base bid of $399,614 or the base plus an added alternative bid totaling $653,047. Last year $250,000 was approved for capital roads projects.

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“Because we have such diverse opinions on roads we wanted to have that option,” Estabrook said. A spreadsheet of the work to be done is found on pages 51-52 of the town report with the roads listed out in detail to give townspeople more accurate information, she noted.

Should voters approve all proposed higher amounts and the base bid for roads, the 2022 budget would be $1.3 million not including county and school taxes. It would be an 18% increase over the $1.1 million spending plan approved last year. The increase over last year would be 43.6% should the higher road projects amount be approved.

Action on the town’s participation in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System is a housekeeping issue, Estabrook said. “This was set up by a previous board, never acted on by the town,” she noted.

“Does the town want to move forward with offering this to its employees, it hasn’t been done for some time,” Treasurer Erin Norton said. No employees have opted to use it, does the town think it’s necessary, she added.

Approval of the Fire Department Ordinance of the Town of Chesterville is another housekeeping issue, Estabrook said. In 1986 when the town accepted the fire department as municipal there was no ordinance, she said. “According to state statutes we have to have an ordinance to go along with that,” she added.

Voters will be asked to add moneys to the Fire Department’s Capital Reserve. The Budget Committee is recommending $10,000, the Select Board $20,000.

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“The Fire Department actually asked for $40,000,” Estabrook said. “The Select Board recommended $20,000 in hopes of getting something going, not be left in the lurch 20 years from now.

The account currently has a balance of $22,497.36.

“We need to start putting something away for the future,” she noted. “Twenty thousand dollars over five years will get us on track to where we should be.”

Three articles seek appropriation of American Rescue Plan Act funds – $32,500 towards the purchase of the rented 2006 GMC 4500 dump truck, sander and plow plus $10,000 each for furnace/heating systems at the fire station and highway garage.

Chesterville will receive about $142,000 in ARPA funds, Estabrook said.

Voters will also be asked to authorize the Select Board to enter into a contract with Regional School Unit 9 Foster Career and Technical Education Center’s Forestry Department to teach, implement and maintain a healthy forest management plan for town owned properties. Revenues from stumpage would go into Capital Improvement Reserve.

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The town owns two woodlots, approximately 90 acres.

Instructor Rodney Spiller said he would be giving a presentation on the proposal.

“We did some road work over there,” he said.

Last fall students in the program learned their craft while helping clear the sides of Borough Road. At that time Estabrook and Selectperson Tim LeSiege contacted Spiller regarding the town’s woodlots.

Last year voters said no to implementing a healthy harvest wood program on town-owned properties.

Vote it down, bring it back another year with some numbers so we know what’s needed, one resident said then.


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