WELD — Debate at Saturday’s annual town meeting is expected on replacing a bridge, selling locally produced foods and prohibiting solar power projects and large commercial buildings. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Weld Town Hall, 17 School St.

Veterans pay tribute in May 2018 at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Weld Public Library on Church Street honoring those who served their country. Voters at the annual town meeting Saturday will be asked to approve $4,000 to add names to the memorials. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

“I suspect there will be discussion,” Selectperson Chairman Richard Doughty said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I expect there will be some opinions expressed.”

Articles that could draw comments, he said, are replacing and financing the Kennedy Bridge on Old Temple Road, allowing bartering for locally-produced food, and a moratorium on solar farms and large commercial structures.

“The bridge is one of three bridges Department of Transportation completed inspections on a few years ago,” Doughty said, and determined that rusted steel beams need to be replaced.

“We have worked with an engineer, come up with a design for replacement,” Doughty said.

Some money has been set aside but the town would need to borrow some, if the replacement is approved, he said.


The town has no rules governing solar power projects.

An ordinance “was worked on, but there was some input from the town attorney that it wouldn’t work the way it was proposed,” Doughty said. “The moratorium would give the Select Board time to come up with an ordinance.”

The moratorium would also include large commercial structures and prohibit anyone from submitting applications for buildings that exceed 7,500 square feet or are more than 50 feet tall, Doughty said.

The question on regarding locally-produced food was proposed by a selectperson and supported by other residents, he said.

“The state of Maine has passed legislation that enables towns to barter for any food (except for meat, poultry, and meat or poultry products) without complying with state food safety laws. You don’t have to have permits, licenses, inspections,” Doughty said.

Another question before voters is whether to approve recommended pay raises for town employees.


The Budget Committee has suggested the town adopt a policy for providing for cost-of-living adjustments, Doughty said. Selectpersons drafted an article but were advised the town can only approve one year at a time, he said.

This year’s recommendations are based on the Consumer Price Index for the year ending in December 2023, Doughty said. The cost-of-living adjustment for that year was 3.2%.

The proposed 2024 budget of $806,362, not including county or education assessment, is $68,447, or 9.28% more than the current spending plan.

Lunch will not be served this year, Doughty said, but the Weld Recreation Committee will provide coffee, donuts and pastries.

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