LITCHFIELD — Town officials voted Monday to remove a question from the upcoming special town meeting warrant that would allow potential candidates interested in running, but who do not have enough time to petition for signatures, to sign up beforehand at the town office.

The special town meeting is still set for Monday at 7 p.m. at the Litchfield Fire & Rescue’s Central Station at 2400 Hallowell Road.

One major factor behind the decision to remove the question, which would have been Article 6 on the warrant, is that towns can only make these types of changes if they have a charter.

“After further investigation after the (July 25) public hearing I found that it was invalid as written,” Town Manager Kelly Weissenfels said Tuesday. “In reviewing the draft warrant there was a disconnect with our town lawyer and I didn’t receive comments on Article 6 prior to the public hearing on July 25th.”

Weissenfels said he has since reached out to Maine Municipal Association and the town’s attorney and found that Article 6 was invalid as written since the town does not operate under a charter.

During the July public hearing, Weissenfels said part of the reason behind the item was so that election officials aren’t staying up until 2 a.m. counting write-in votes. Another reason was so that potential candidates who do not have time to petition and collect signatures, but are still interested in running, have an alternative during municipal elections.


But under the town’s current form of government, if the town were to adopt the existing statutes that require write-in candidates to declare their intent, they would have to make this declaration 60 days in advance.

“Since the intent of the article was to allow write-in candidates to declare at the last-minute,” Weissenfels said. “It doesn’t make sense to attempt a rewrite at this time.”

The remaining questions on the town meeting warrant pertain to the fire station, asking voters if they would approve a $126,500 project at the fire station. It includes gravel replacements by public works, pavement of the grassy area in front of the fire station, and overlaying all the existing pavement. Officials estimate the project will cost $115,000, with $25,000 for materials from public works and roughly $90,000 overall for paving.

The Select Board then agreed to add 10% to this to account for any potential inflationary increases, bringing the grand total to $126,500. Money for this will come from the unassigned funds account, with any money remaining being returned to the same account.

Residents will also be asked if they would approve an agreement between the fire department and Central Maine Cost Recovery, in which they would bill insurance companies on behalf of the town for vehicle accidents and vehicle fires. All money collected through this agreement would be used to help offset future maintenance or replacement of fire and rescue equipment and buildings.

“Now the warrant is exclusively about the needs of the fire department,” Weissenfels said, “so that should help keep the meeting focused.”

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