THOMASTON — Select Board Chair Diane Giese found little support for her digital municipal sign idea at the Monday, March 28, select board meeting.

Giese has been proposing such a sign for more than a year, and the item has been on several board meeting agendas. The digital municipal sign would inform residents about upcoming events and meetings.

Giese has said she often hears negative feedback from residents that they do not know about meetings despite the town sending out newsletters and agendas through an email list, as well as a calendar of meetings on the town website.

Some residents have consistently spoken out against such a sign. Arguments against the project included it could distract drivers, municipal funds could be better spent elsewhere, and questions about if the town is fully utilizing current methods of communication.

Joanne Richards, chair of the Planning Board, has several times cited town ordinances which prohibit such a sign in most parts of town.

Richards has said the only areas in Thomaston zoned to allow a digital sign are highway commercial zones, such as Buttermilk Lane.

At the March 28 meeting of the Thomaston Select Board, Giese suggested placing the sign on the Thomaston Mall.

Richards said the Maine Department of Transportation regulations state such a sign must be within 1,000 feet from the Municipal Building and must be on land owned by the town.

Giese said this meant the Thomaston Mall would be an appropriate location.

Richards said the land use ordinance would not allow the sign in that district.

“I just feel like you’re trying to come up with every reason not to do the sign,” Giese said.

“I resent the fact that you have twice now said that I am negative and I’m opposed to everything,” Richards said.

Richards said she did not have opinions about the project, but was instead speaking to what would be legal. “There are rules and regulations that the state has. There are regulations the voters approved in the town,” Richards said.

Giese thanked Richards for her feedback and tabled the discussion.

In other business, the board announced John Howard as the winner of the Annual Town Report cover contest with an aerial photo of the harbor.

The board approved Doug’s Seafood application for a renewal of their on-premises license to sell malt liquor, wine and spirits.

The board set a public hearing date of Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m. for seven items, including updated wording on ordinances and the industrial marijuana license application for Atticus Hill Farms LLC.

A draft warrant article for the June town meeting was discussed and then passed to the budget committee for approval. The proposed article would authorize the board to enter into an agreement with the Knox Clinic to occupy an unused portion of the municipal building.

The board will hold a public information session for further discussion of this and all warrant articles before the June open town meeting.

Board member Sandra Moore said she was concerned about having a community health clinic so close to the schools, as well as where the patients would park.

Board member Zel Bowman-Laberge said there had been discussions about expanding the parking lot.

Moore asked who would pay for that work.

Bowman-Laberge said that would be part of the discussions with the Knox Clinic.

Richards said such a project would need to come before the planning board for approval.

She also expressed concern about the town giving away “rent-free” space in the municipal building.

Bowman-Laberge said while the nonprofit would not be charged rent, they would pay for the utilities. The cost of the renovations to that wing of the municipal building would also not fall on the taxpayers, she added.

Knox Clinic is high on the list to receive American Rescue Plan funding, Bowman-Laberge said, because it serves all of Knox County.

The Knox Clinic is currently renting a space from Pen Bay in Rockland, and have been looking for a new facility for a while, Bowman-Laberge said. They provide medical, mental health and dental services.

More information about the Knox Clinic warrant article would be available for the public information session, Bowman-Laberge said.

The full meeting can be viewed at

The next Thomaston Select Board meeting will be Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m.

Aerial photo by John Howard, selected for the Thomaston Annual Report cover.