Rockport voters will fill two Select Board seats, one three-year term on the board of School Administrative District 28 and Five Town Community School District, three positions on the Budget Committee, and one on the Library Committee when they vote Tuesday, June 14.

Citizens will meet the following evening, Wednesday, June 15, in open town meeting to address a warrant of 31 articles that includes the town’s annual budget request.

Select Board Chairman William C. Chapman’s current term, and that of Tom Farley, will expire in June. The names of Chapman, Gordon C. Best, Patricia C. Egan, Robert H. Nichols and Geoffrey C. Parker will appear on the ballot for those seats, with the top two vote-getters winning election.

Voters will choose between Tom Farley and Eliza Haselton to fill a three-year term on the board of SAD 28 and the Five Town CSD. The seat is currently held by Elizabeth Saltonstall.

Although there will be three vacant positions on the Budget Committee, only one candidate, Robert Moors, returned nomination papers for the seat.

Incumbent Elizabeth Elwin is running for re-election to the Library Committee.

Voters may write in the names of other candidates.

Budget up 3.3 percent

When citizens assemble at the Rockport Opera House for town meeting on Wednesday, June 15 they will review proposed expenditures for fiscal year 2011-12 of $4.2 million, up 7.4 percent from last year. Anticipated revenues are $1.6 million, a 14.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2010-11. The net municipal budget represents an estimated tax commitment for municipal services of $2.6 million, up 3.3 percent from the previous year, according to Town Manager Robert Peabody’s Town Meeting Gazette newsletter.

Peabody’s newsletter said changes to appropriations for individual departments were as follows.

  • General Government up 4.3 percent
  • Public Assistance down 7.1 percent
  • Public Safety up 3.2 percent
  • Public Works, including the town’s share of running the Mid-Coast Solid Waste facility, up 14.6 percent
  • Culture and recreation up 12.5 percent
  • Long-term debt down 19.9 percent
  • County fees up 0.7 percent
  • Cemeteries and RES East up 7.1 percent

Peabody said revenues would increase by 14.5 percent, in large part due to $140,000 from the Commercial Street tax increment financing district coming into the Public Works Department to offset a sewer and water project, $80,000 from undesignated fund balance and $36,225 in grant funds for energy updates at the Rockport Opera House.

Budget documents are available at the Rockport Town Office and online at town.rockport.me.us.

Zoning and housekeeping changes round out agenda

Citizens will also consider proposed amendments to the Rockport Land Use Ordinance in articles 3 through 9.

Those changes include four changes to the section on definitions, changes to the administration section to eliminate redundancies and inaccurate references to state law, and a proposal to limit the size and scope of wind energy systems.

Article 6 would revise the town zoning map in regard to the 907-Mixed Business/Residential District, standardize front yard setbacks, add the phrase “other structures” to the 908-Rural District’s language on elevation standards, and increase allowable lot coverage for commercial parcels in the 913-Downtown District.

Article 7 is a proposed revision to the sign ordinance that would expand the category of exempt signs and create an expedited permit process for temporary signs for civic and charitable organizations.

Articles 8 and 9 would change the zoning for a parcel of land on Commercial Street near the town’s public works garage, seen on Map 20 as lot 133, from residential to mixed business/residential, and change two small developed lots in the coastal residential district, shown on Map 20 as lots 141 and 139, back to modified mixed business/residential.

Downtown TIF program returns to voters

Voters will decide whether to adopt a development program for the downtown tax increment financing district. In November 2009, by a vote of 974 to 672, Rockport voters approved a downtown TIF district. Last June, they rejected the development plan that would implement that program. Article 10 on the June 15 warrant will present citizens with a new development plan for the district they approved two years ago.

Elections will be held as part of the secret ballot portion of Rockport town meeting on Tuesday, June 14, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in the Richardson Room of the Rockport Town Office. The open meeting will take place Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. in the Rockport Opera House. For more information, call the Rockport Town Office at 236-0806.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.

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