Selectmen reduce ballot questions to three

by Mary Grow

China selectmen cut the Nov. 7 local ballot from four questions to three at their Sept. 18 meeting, postponing the proposed Local Food Safety Ordinance to the March 2018 town business meet-ing.

Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux expects the state legislature will amend the state law on which the local ordinance is to be based. He therefore recommended waiting until the state law is final so the local ordinance will conform.

In addition to local elections, China voters will decide at the polls whether to:

  • approve a statement requiring nonprofit organizations seeking town funds to provide financial statements;
  • expend up to $8,500 from sur-plus for a fire pond on Neck Road;
  • authorize selectmen to lease space on the town-owned com-munications tower behind the town office building; and
  • approve a Regional School Unit (RSU) #18 bond issue for building improvements and repairs.

Candidates for positions on the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Budget Committee have until 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, to return signed nomination papers to the town office to get their names on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The selectmen’s Oct. 2 meeting will be preceded by two public hearings. The first, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the town office meeting room, will be on the three local ballot questions. The second, tentatively scheduled for 6:55 p.m. and expected to be brief, will be the annual public hearing on amendments to the General Assistance Ordinance.

RSU #18 officials will hold public hearings on the bond issue in four of the five member towns. China’s hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23, at China Middle School.

Also likely to be on the China selectmen’s Oct. 2 agenda are a presentation from Transfer Station Committee Chairman Frank Soares on the committee’s five-year capital plan and two code enforcement issues.

In other business Sept. 18, selectmen unanimous approved the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee’s recommenda-tion to hire Wright-Pierce Engineering for preliminary work on a new causeway bridge at the head of China Lake’s east basin and authorized L’Heureux to sign an agreement with the firm.

Selectman and TIF Committee member Irene Belanger said the committee authorized re-estab-lishing a temporary committee to look for a site for a China Lake public beach. Volunteers for that committee and for the China Bicentennial Committee should contact the town office.

Selectmen made two committee appointments, approving Jean Conway as secretary of the budget committee until November 2018 elections and Tom Rumpf as a member of the Revolving Loan Fund Committee. The latter group reviews applications for the revolving loan fund for town businesses set up by the TIF Committee.

Belanger announced two upcoming special waste disposal options for China residents. On Saturday, Oct. 21, Winslow holds its annual household hazardous waste disposal day at the Public Works Department on Halifax Street. Pre-registration is required through the China trans-fer station; information on acceptable waste will be avail-able there and at the town office.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, China will host Shredding on Site, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the public works garage just west of the transfer station and a drug take-back program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the transfer station.

L’Heureux reported representa-tives of The Town Line newspa-per inspected the old town house basement and found it potentially suitable for a relocated office. Selectmen and contractor Robert MacFarland discussed work still to be done to prepare the base-ment for renting.

Selectman Ronald Breton expressed his disappointment that no one from RSU #18 reported to the town on the recent water back-up that closed China Middle School for a few days, or on other school issues.

“We never hear from them,” he said of China’s RSU board representatives, Dawn Castner and Charles Clark.

After the selectmen’s meeting, board members reconvened in their capacity as assessors to act on recommendations from town assessor William Van Tuinen. The Oct. 2 meeting will probably be followed by another assessors’ meeting, as board members found they lacked information on one request for a change in valu-ation and want to hear from Van Tuinen and the property owner.

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