China selectmen approve warrant for June 8 town meeting
by Mary Grow
At a long March 1 meeting, China selectmen approved the warrant for the June 8 town business meeting, which was to be reviewed by the Budget Committee at a March 2 meeting.
Selectmen will meet again at 4 p.m. – note the unusual time — Monday, March 8, to review any Budget Committee recommendations that differ from theirs and to sign the warrant.
Town meeting voting will be by written ballot, with polls open June 8 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the former portable classroom behind the town office.
The March 1 meeting included a presentation by Jim Dinkle, executive director of the Kennebec Regional Development Authority that runs FirstPark, the Oakland business park in which China and other area municipalities have invested.
Dinkle, zooming in from home, promised to send documents that selectmen needed to answer some of their questions from his office as soon as possible.
One question was how many China residents have jobs with FirstPark tenants. Dinkle said T-Mobile, the largest employer, does not share information about employees’ home town, but at his office he has figures for other businesses.
He answered another question that is often asked: the FirstPark agreement says member municipalities can get out in the fiscal year after the bond that built the park is paid off, and the bond was paid off in October 2020. It was not clear whether there would be any payment due if a town did opt out.
Dinkle stressed recent efforts to market the park nationally and internationally and talked about promising leads. However, when Selectman Wayne Chadwick asked how many lots had been sold in the last three years, Dinkle replied that none had been sold in that time.
The selectmen’s meeting was followed by a short meeting of the same people in their capacity as Board of Assessors.
The assessors denied Edward Fredrikson’s appeal of his property valuation, because Assessor William Van Tuinen recommended denial and because Fredrikson would not allow Van Tuinen or other officials onto his property to obtain information first-hand. They accepted a check for $2,237.98 for withdrawal of a parcel of land at the Granger Farm LLC from the tree growth program.
After the March 8 brief special meeting, the next regular selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Monday evening, March 15.