Town meeting Aug. 26

Owls Head eyes increased budget

By Beth A. Birmingham | Aug 13, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham The site of the current Mussel Ridge Historical Society at 453 Ash Point Drive in Owls Head. The society is seeking approval to raise funds and build a new museum on the premises of the Town Office.

Owls Head — Owls Head residents head to their annual town meeting Aug. 26 facing a more complex warrant than usual.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Tom Von Malder said that despite the budget's being actually down on the expense side and up in anticipated revenues, he expects the budget will increase, as the town's share of RSU 13 costs has increased approximately 20 percent and the Knox County budget has gone up as well.

The total for town expenses, not including school and county, was $1,083,868 last year, and is down to $1,075,810 this year -- a difference of $8,058.

Ambulance service from Rockland is up 4 percent -- increasing from $93,095 to $96,819 with its recently signed contract.

The revenue side shows an increase from $610,716 to $735,963, including anticipated Homestead Exemptions and revenue sharing.

One item that appears on both the revenue and expense sides is the property at 371 Dublin Road. The anticipated sale of the property is proposed to bring in $50,000; however, that is after the town spends approximately the same amount to clean it up.

The $50,000 for Dublin Road property cleanup is a separate warrant article added at the auditor's request, Von Malder said.

Also included in the budget is a 2.5 percent cost of living raise for town employees, he noted.

One article on the warrant asks voters' permission for the town to accept funds from the Mussel Ridge Historical Society to construct a new museum and storage building on the premises at 224 Ash Point Drive, adjacent to and northeast of the community building.

The lengthy article is needed because it is a complex proposal, according to attorney Fred Newcomb. The project does not yet have a finalized design or site plan drawn up, as the concept has yet to be approved.

"They need to get town approval before they begin fundraising," Von Malder said. "The society will pay for building and operating the building, but the town will own the structure and give the society a 20-year lease."

Additional information on this project is available for public review, including the construction, design and lease proposal, and covenants with the town.

Another article seeks permission for the town to acquire the abandoned cemetery known as Rose Hill Cemetery off Knoll Road.

The town meeting will take place Monday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Owls Head Community Building.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.