STARKS — Voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting approved a proposed building ordinance intended to help protect the health, safety and welfare of residents, according to town officials.

The ordinance replaced one adopted 36 years ago that was confusing and vague, they said, and the new ordinance is more consistent with state and town laws.

About 60 people turned out for the meeting at the community center. They passed all 31 articles, with few amendments, in about 2 1/2 hours, Town Clerk Jenn Zweig Hebert said Sunday.

Hebert said voters quickly approved the ordinance, which applies to construction, relocation, replacement and reconstruction of any building or structure that is 150 square feet or more, as opposed to the former ordinance, which applied to buildings that measured at least 300 square feet.

The new ordinance requires minimal residential parking, not in a public right of way, to be 350 square feet per dwelling, as opposed to 400 square feet. Recreational vehicles, campers and yurts used as dwellings will require permits if occupied more than 120 days in a 12-month period, and sewage and waste disposal will be required under the new ordinance.

The former ordinance required permits for dwellings occupied more than 30 days in a 12-month period. The former ordinance also required sewage and waste disposal.


“It passed pretty much without comment,” Hebert said. “The Planning Board did a great job. The ordinance was on the town website and discussed at public hearings.”

The Planning Board saw room for improvements in the old ordinance, she said, and felt it could be used and enforced more easily with changes.

Hebert said voters raised and appropriated $815,798 at Saturday’s meeting. She said the town applied $33,590 from surplus to $711,330 in taxation to reduce the figure to $677,740. The figures do not include the school and county budgets.

It was unknown Sunday if the current tax rate of $13.95 per $1,000 of assessed valuation will change with the budget because the school and county figures are not yet known. The town is also in the middle of a property revaluation, which can affect the tax rate, Hebert said.

Last year, total taxation was $745,173, she said, and voters raised and appropriated $812,522.

Voters were asked Saturday if they wanted to “resolve to support a transition of ownership” of the distribution line that supplies electrical power to most of the town from Central Maine Power Co. to Madison Electric Works.


Voters approved an amendment to the article, saying they want to investigate that transition of ownership to enable selectmen to look further into the matter, according to Hebert.

“We didn’t resolve to support,” she said. “Instead, we said ‘to see if the town will investigate the transition.’ Basically, people wanted more information.”

Voters approved increasing the town’s equipment budget from $75,000 to $110,000 so the town can buy a used plow truck, Hebert said.

Voters also increased the winter roads budget from $85,000 to $100,000. Hebert said the costs of labor, salt and sand, and the cost to truck salt and sand, have increased.

In elections Friday, incumbent Selectman Ernest Hilton defeated challenger Jodi O’Connor 79-39 for a three-year term, newcomer Byrne Wright was elected to the Board of Assessors and newcomer Katie Martikke was elected to the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors. Hebert was reelected as tax collector.

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