SOLON & BEYOND: Abbreviated look at warrant as town meeting time approaches

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Here it is almost town meeting day! How time does fly!

I went to the town office, and got the 2019 budget meeting agenda for the meeting on January 19 to discuss the following: financial state of the town, budget overview, and warrant articles overview by the selectmen. Review of warrant articles and ordinances and review of proposed budget.

There will be a public hearing for the three ordinances that will be voted on at the annual town meeting: The proposed ordinances Shoreland Zoning Ordinance revision, Foreclosed Property Ordinance revision, and Home Cultivation of Marijuana Ordinance. I will try and let you know when that meeting is coming up.

The revenue from state revenue sharing is up about $4,000 from 2017. The excise tax revenues are up about $14,000 from 2017. The Road Paving Project ended up costing $137,906.85 less than was budgeted, so we did not have to borrow the $98,000. They did a chip seal process on the roads and also did crack sealing and crack repairing on the other paved roads in the town out of the Road Paving Project funds.

The town did not receive the BETE reimbursement for 2018 because the state was slow in processing them. The town will be receiving the $113,444 BETE reimbursement from the state this month. They will be asking to use those funds to reduce taxes in 2019.

New one time expenditures: LED electronic notice sign for town office; GIS mapping of the town; new furnace for the fire station; dump body for the 1995 Ford truck for the highway department; and surveying the Coolidge Library property.

There are also increased costs for the expanded town office hours to be open.

I’m going to print a few of the articles that I have room for in this column. Art.4: To see if the town will vote to increase the property tax levy limit of $572,934, established for the town of Solon by state law, in the event the municipal budget approved under the following articles will result in a tax commitment that is greater than that property tax levy limit. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 17: To see if the Town will raise funds for a land survey for the Coolidge Library property. Selectmen recommend up to $3,000 with the funds coming from the Library Capital Reserve Account.

Art. 18: To see if the Town will vote to change the Tax Collector/Clerk position from an elected position to a position that is appointed by the selectmen with the effective date of this change being March 7, 2020.

Art. 19: To see if the Town will vote to form a library building committee, with a minimum of five members, for the purpose of developing plans to build a Coolidge Library addition and exploring funding options. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 20: To see if the Town will approve creating a Swim/Camp Program Reserve Account with the funds to be used for the Swim Camp Program. Selectmen recommend Yes and with this year’s appropriation funds to be put in this reserve account.

Art. 21: To see if the Town will adopt the “Ordinance Limiting Home Cultivation of Marijuana for Personal Adult Use.” Selectmen recommend Yes. Also, on another page in the papers I got it states: WHEREAS, the Town of Solon deems it in the best interest of citizens to limit the cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use within the Town, without affecting cultivation, use, or distribution of Medical Marijuana as allowed by 22.

I was unable to attend the above budget committee meeting, (that is only the second or third one I have ever missed) my apologies, but I hope to have more to share with you about it next week.

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled “It’s Worth Pondering.” We must not, in the course of public life, expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us. (words by Benjamin Franklin, 1772.)


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