Owls Head voters pass budget, approve land deals
Owls Head — Local residents filled the community room at the Owls Head Community Building to act on warrant articles and elect officials at town meeting Aug. 20.
Elections were done by a show of hands, except for a written ballot for the choice of the moderator, Fred Newcomb.
Richard Carver was re-elected to the Board of Selectmen without opposition. Eric Davis was elected to the Town Council. William Leppanen was elected road commissioner, and Jeff Labrozzi was chosen to be harbormaster.
After the meeting was adjourned, Carver was sworn in for his new term and the board met to set the tax rate for the new year.
Selectmen then voted 3-0 to transfer $30,000 from the unappropriated surplus account to reduce the mill rate and set the new tax rate at $9.85 per $1,000 of assessed value, the same as last year's.
In the meeting, voters approved budget articles totaling $937,252 for expenses, including $240,047 for general government, $220,291 for public safety, $454,410 for public works, $2,000 for welfare, and $20,500 for unclasssified, including the library, contingency and abatements.
Voters approved a revenue budget of $481,331.
Articles on land use provoked some discussion. Richard Benner, chairman of the planning board, explained the reasons behind Article 28, "To see if the town will enact an ordinance entitled 'Site Plan Review.'"
He said the proposed revision was "less cumbersome" in its wording, and there were misspellings and inconsistencies in measurement in the old version.
Voters approved $4,000 for the new comprehensive plan in progress. The Comprehensive Planning Committee has been working on an update of the old plan and expects to present the new one for adoption at the 2013 annual meeting. Having an update of a comprehensive plan makes the town eligible for state grants, a member of the committee told voters.
Voters accepted a 200-foot by 200-foot parcel of land formerly owned by the defunct Owls Head Grange Association at Woods Road and Ash Point Drive.
Voters also approved an article authorizing the selectmen to enter into an agreement with Katherine MacPherson to accept an easement deed from land she owns between Cottage Avenue and Knowlton Avenue. In return, the town would pay to survey the land for a sewer line easement and pay for the connection fee to Rockland; the town would appropriate $6,000 for the necessary survey work and legal services.
The sewer line could eventually affect 25 to 30 homes.
The Annual Town Book was dedicated to residents Larry and Sue Choate for their extensive volunteer work for the town.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.