READFIELD — Voters have approved an $8.1 million municipal budget and authorized the town to move forward with the development of an athletic field at the Readfield Fairgrounds.

Residents voted down a plan last year to raise $500,000 to build a softball field, basketball court, trail system and other recreational features at the town-owned site. This year, however, voters were more amenable to a revised proposal that finances the project without using any taxpayer dollars.

At the annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, residents voted 412-270 to approve a plan to add a multiuse recreational field using federal, state and other available grants.

“This is notable because it was not approved last June,”  Town Manager Eric Dyer said. “The town reassessed and brought together multiple committees. They revisited the process and came up with a solution that involved more people.

“We shifted from a focus of applying for grant funds after project approval, to really getting a preliminary approval and then applying for funds and coming back to town for final approval for a project that wouldn’t cost any tax dollars.”

Dyer said plans for a basketball court are still up in the air. The town will definitely build one, he said, but not necessarily at the Fairgrounds, as proposed last year.


Readfield’s Town Meeting is held entirely by secret ballot.

The $8,113,813 million budget was approved with a tax commitment of $905,000 for municipal services, increasing the tax impact 4% from last year. The amount to be raised through taxes for the school budget is $4,056,437.

“We are comfortable with the 4% increase,” Dyer said. “It is still lower than the rate of inflation, so we have provided some value for the residents.”

Dyer said residents approved all 41 articles included in the town warrant, with a total of 705 votes cast.

In addition to the budget, voters approved a new town beach ordinance and revisions to the land use ordinance.

Amendments to the land use ordinance, aimed at addressing the ambiguities of zoning and standards of what structures are conforming and nonconforming, were approved with 346 voting for the changes and 310 voting against them.


The rules will also allow electronic submissions for Planning Board materials and improve screening processes for business. They also clarify the town’s statute of one dock per property.

Residents voted 433-18 to approve the town beach ordinance. The ordinance formalizes rules for the town beach and improves access for residents, focusing on improving access for those with disabilities.

“This ordinance allowed us to highlight that we want to conserve the valuable wildlife and recreational amenities we have down there,” Dyer said. “We are going to improve access for old, young and anyone interested. It will make it a more functional public space and improve people’s ability to enjoy themselves there.”

Readfield residents also approved the town’s first comprehensive plan since 2009, which highlights the priorities for the next decade.

“We had been working on this plan for the last three years. It is an update on the existing plan,” Dyer said. “We looked not to just recreate, but look forward at what we want for the town. More than anything, it is a place for us to start discussions about what the future of our community might be.”

In local municipal races, residents voted 392-299 to give David Linton a victory over incumbent Dennis Price for a seat on the Select Board.

In the race for a seat on the Regional School Unit 38 board of directors, Brian Tarbuck received 443 votes in defeating Marie Rodriguez, with 204 votes.

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