Media Archive

Atkinson to remain a town, for at least another year

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 46, November 13, 2002

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

ATKINSON Although a majority of residents favored the dissolution of Atkinson, as a town, in the Nov. 5 election, the 183-year-old municipality will remain intact for at least another year.

Residents voted 144 to 86 in favor of deorganization, according to Town Clerk Linda Roebuck, about 10 votes shy of the required two-thirds majority needed to make it official.

The controversial vote by referendum brought 230 of the town's 248 registered voters to the polls.

Roebuck said residents "were very emotional" about the vote, which has been in the making for over a year.

The deorganization of Atkinson would have eliminated any local form of government. The former town would become an unorganized territory, with budget decisions made by the Piscataquis County Commissioners and planning and zoning oversight by the state Land Use Regulation Commission.

Supporters of deorganization also said the tax rate could be reduced to $8 to $9 per $1,000, if the process were successful: The present tax rate in Atkinson is $18 per $1,000 of valuation.

Roebuck, for one, said she is happy the town she was bom and raised in is remaining a town.

"I was not in favor of destroying the town," said the town clerk, who is now serving her fifth term.

"I don't think this is the best option we had," she said, in solving the tax problems. Plus, she said, "local people have a better understanding of the local problems ... I don't think turning the town over to the state is the best solution for our town or any town."

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