Lincolnville to hold public hearing on town office proposal
Lincolnville — On Monday, Oct. 22 Lincolnville residents will have an opportunity to participate in a public hearing on the proposed renovations to the town office slated to appear on the local warrant Nov. 6.
On Oct. 18 the town office was to remain open until 7 p.m. for an open house, staff was on-hand to provide tours, discuss the project and answer questions. An informative mailer about the proposal, including financial information, ballot wording and related dates landed in the mailboxes of Lincolnville residents on Oct. 13.
The Lincolnville Board of Selectmen voted on Sept. 10 to unanimously recommend the renovation plan that will appear before voters. The municipal building committee and board of selectmen worked with 2A Architects to create a rendering that is suitable in size and palatable in cost, said Lincolnville Town Administrator David Kinney in a previously published report.
Kinney said that Lincolnville was holding the open house and conducting town office tours to assist voters in deciding their position on the upcoming article.
"It's so people can have an understanding of what we do now, where we do it, and the limitations and challenges to the current set-up," Kinney said Oct. 18, "we would like for people to be able to make an informed decision." He noted that there is "nothing worse" then a ballot question asking voters to make a choice about an issue they don't have information about.
Kinney said a number of residents had visited the town office by lunchtime on Thursday, Oct. 18. He said those residents were seeking to familiarize themselves with the renovation plan and the functions of the existing town office.
"They are interested in the plan, they wanted to know what we have now, what would change and why," Kinney explained.
Plans to alter the town office have a long history in Lincolnville, with the majority of voters casting ballots against previous plans for building new or renovating the space. The town office was identified by the capital needs committee in the 1998-99 annual report as one of the spaces in need of "new, renovated or expanded" space according to previously published reports.
"The needs haven't gone away," said Kinney.
Kinney explained that the Oct. 22 public hearing will commence at 6:30 p.m. in the Walsh Common (cafeteria) at Lincolnville Central School. The selectmen are required by law to hold a public hearing on local referendum items, Kinney explained. He added that the public hearing will give attendees a chance to hear from municipal building committee chairman Jay Foster and architect Amanda Austen before weighing in with questions or ideas of their own.
Kinney said selectmen and officials will attempt to address all citizen questions at the public hearing.
"This is a chance for the public to be heard," he explained.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com