Voters fill in ballots Tuesday at Fayette Central School. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

FAYETTE — Voters approved all but one of six local questions during Tuesday’s election, showing support for items ranging from high-speed internet funding, the town’s land use ordinance, and a moratorium on solar projects, but rejecting funding for Starling Hall renovations.

Voters overwhelmingly passed Question 1, which asked if they would support the town applying for any federal, state or private funding sources that would pay for the full cost of high-speed internet installation.

According to unofficial results Tuesday night, 572 residents voted in favor of the question while 179 were opposed.

Starling Hall in Fayette in 2016, before the building was moved away from Route 17. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The question, according to Town Manager Mark Robinson, was put on the ballot because Redzone Wireless approached the town applying for a jumpstart program through the Maine Connectivity Authority to help fund wireless internet in Fayette. It wouldn’t cost local taxpayers, but the town would need to show that there is voter support to qualify.

The next two questions asked voters about Starling Hall, a building that’s now close to 150 years old. The building also has statewide historical significance, as it was Maine’s first Grange hall, a building that served as a spot for farmers to socialize and discuss cooperative activities.

The second question, which asked if voters would raise up to $500,000 to provide matching funds for grants that would allow the hall to renovated, was rejected.


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has earmarked $500,000 in federal funding for renovations to the building, but the money has yet to be approved as part of the federal budget.

A total of 341 voters supported the funding question while 427 were opposed.

Voters supported the next question, which asked if they would approve using $8,000 from the town’s undesignated fund, or surplus, to reinstall Starling Hall’s basic security system. That measure was supported by 417 voters and opposed by 352.

Questions 4 and 5 pertained to the town’s land use ordinance and were both supported by voters.

Election Clerk Elaine Wilcox hands ballots to a voter Tuesday at Fayette Central School. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Question 4 asked to exclude subsurface wastewater disposal systems, geothermal heat exchange wells and water wells from having to meet the town’s dimensional requirement setbacks. This question drew 447 supporters and 305 opponents.

Question 5, which asked if residents want to change the road setback requirement for structures in town to be 75 feet from the centerline of the road, was supported in a 508-237 vote.

The final question, which asked if voters would support a 270-day utility scale solar moratorium ordinance, passed in a 483-287 vote.

Fayette Code Enforcement Officer Jessica Leighton said the question was put on the ballot so the town Planning Board would have ample time to come up with an ordinance before any major solar projects were pitched to the community.

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