Media Archive

Agenda set for Brownville special meeting

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 36, September 03, 2003

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

BROWNVILLE The reestablishment of the planning board and payment of legal fees associated with the collection of back taxes from the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad are among the items to be voted on at a special town meeting next week.

Selectmen set the seven-article warrant for the special town meeting last week.

According to Town Manager Sophie Wilson, the town is looking to re-establish the Brownville Planning Board, which had been established in 1973, but recently "went off the radar screen," due to the lack of development in town.

Members of the board had not been officially appointed for quite a while. Article 3 on the special town meeting warrant seeks to reactivate that board and make legal any action taken by the board prior to the town's vote. It also requires the adoption of an ordinance that brings the planning board into compliance with state law, Wilson said.

The board will consist of five full members and two associate members, according to the ordinance, and each term will be for three years &Mac247; except the initial appointments which will be for one member for one year, two members for two years, and two members for three years. Associate member terms also will be for three

Previously, terms on the planning board had been for five years, Wilson said.

Selectmen appointed Larry Folsom as planning board chairman at the Aug. 27 meeting. He has acted as planning board chairman previously, and will be on hand at the special town meeting to discuss details related to the board.

Four more full members and two associate members are needed to serve. Interested residents should call the town office, Wilson said. Names will be forwarded to the selectmen for appointments.

Wilson said that the comprehensive planning process helped the town identify the need for a re-established planning board. She also pointed to some new development in town specifically in the shoreland zone surrounding Schoodic Lake and the need to permit such development according to land use laws.

According to the proposed organization and rules, the chairman shall call at least one regular meeting of the board each quarter; the board will adopt rules for transaction of business, and secretary shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, correspondence, findings and determinations, and all records are deemed public and may be inspected at reasonable times.

The payment of legal fees associated with the fight to garner 1999-2002 back taxes from the bankrupt B&A Railroad also is on the warrant. Article 6 asks voters to approve the appropriation of $10,152.85 from overlay to pay for those fees.

The town has received a settlement through the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, amounting to about $37,000 about $5,000 less than was owed, according to Wilson.

In other warrant articles:

Article 1 elects a moderator.

Article 2 requests a vote to see if residents will allow non-residents to speak at the meeting.

Article 4 formalizes the discontinuance of a 278-foot portion of the Old County Road that runs through property owned by Jeff and Michelle Brown. Wilson said selectmen already approved the discontinuance of that road, and all hearings had been held previously. However, the issue did not make it to the agenda for the 2002 annual town meeting. The discontinuance requires ratification by a town meeting vote, in order to be binding, Wilson said.

Article 5 asks voters to approve the use of $2,500 from the undesignated/unrestricted fund, along with the remainder of the funds in the Lundin Reserve, to pay for a 1993 Sidewalk cleaner to ensure the sidewalks are plowed in the winter time. Total purchase price is about $15,000 from Howard P. Fairfield Inc. of Skowhegan. "It is automatic with brand new tires," Wilson said.

Article 7 seeks authorization by voters to borrow an amount not to exceed $27,000 and appropriate $27,000 (approximately the amount coming into the town from the B&A after legal fees are paid) from the undesignated/unrestricted fund to be used to reclaim and pave Van Home Avenue from Route 11 to the town boundary; and also to authorize the selectmen to use funds remaining in the paving reserve to pay down the initial loan principal.

The special town meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Brownville Town Office. Copies of the warrant are posted at the town office and the Brownville Junction Post Office.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.