At their March 4 meeting, China selectmen unanimously approved two Feb. 25 recommendations from the TIF (Tax Increment Finance) Committee. They authorized Town Manager Dennis Heath to negotiate with Susan Bailey to buy her small piece of land across Causeway Street from the boat landing, and to pay a bill from Comprehensive Land Technologies for the new bridge west of the boat landing.
The Bailey lot is currently used for boaters’ parking; voters approved buying it to continue the use. Heath said the causeway project account still has more than $75,000 to complete the bridge work, including a final paving coat and changes to guardrails.
Another decision selectman made was to approve Heath’s recommendation that the town clerk be designated as the town manager’s alternate should he be out of town or otherwise unable to transact daily business. When Selectman Jeffrey LaVerdiere worried that a hypothetical future town clerk might be less trusted than Rebecca Hapgood, Heath reminded the board that they choose the clerk.
In other business, Heath told board members he has ordered new chairs for them, since the current ones are at least 10 years old, and a larger screen and new projector for the meeting room. Selectman Ronald Breton’s request for a new table, round or perhaps V-shaped so board members could see each other more easily, was discussed, but no action was taken.
Breton proposed another idea that was discussed without action: recommending a town ban on plastic bags, because so many other Maine municipalities are doing so.
LaVerdiere, who owns a retail store outside China Village, opposed a ban; it would increase prices, he said, because alternatives are more expensive. He said he reuses plastic bags as long as they last and commented that when he helps with roadside clean-ups he sees fewer than in the past.
Board Chairman Robert MacFarland said if retail-size plastic bags are banned, garbage bags should be, too: “They’re made out of plastic, and they’re four times as big.” His comment sparked a brief non-serious discussion of other plastic items that could be included in any ban.
The next regular China selectmen’s meeting is currently scheduled for Monday evening, March 18.
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