Franklin Countys First News

Farmington town meeting is tonight

FARMINGTON - Residents will be heard on a proposed transmission line project, a retail marijuana ordinance and a proposed $6.1 million budget at tonight's annual town meeting at the Community Center.

Elections will lead off the meeting, beginning at 9 a.m. and running until 6 p.m. Selectmen Joshua Bell and Michael Fogg are both running unopposed for three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen, while incumbent Director Douglas Dunlap and Isaac Raymond are running unopposed for two, three-year terms on the Regional School Unit 9 board. Dennis O'Neil is running unopposed for a two-year term on the RSU 9 board.

The majority of the warrant articles will be addressed beginning at 7 p.m. They include $6,110,386 in jointly-recommended municipal expenditures, by the selectmen and the Budget Committee, to fund 2019-20 town operations. That $6.1 million budget  would represent an increase of 5.51 percent over the current fiscal year, an increase of $319,310. Increases include an extra $70,000 in fire hydrant fees, increases in health insurance costs and a 2.5 percent increase in wages for non-union personnel.

Included within that article would be roughly $18,000 for a number of outside agencies previously funded through the Franklin County budget process, ranging from Western Maine Community Action to Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services to Franklin County Children's Task Force. The $18,000 divided among the agencies represents Farmington's previous contribution through the county process.

A separate article would pass a resolution asking Franklin County Commissioners to resume funding outside agencies at the county level.

A number of mailers have been sent to Farmington addresses over the past couple weeks regarding Article 27, which would direct selectmen to issue a statement to the Maine Public Utilities Commission regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect, a Direct Current transmission line project that would link Canadian hydropower to a Lewiston converter station in response to a Massachusetts request for proposals.

The article would ask selectmen to either affirm a previously-issue letter of support for the project, rescind the letter and take no position on NECEC or rescind the letter and oppose the project.

Article 43 and 44 both relate to "Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Stores, Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities, and Testing Facilities," an ordinance the town has been working on while enacting moratoriums on new businesses. The ordinance would limit new businesses from opening in residential districts as well as the Village Business Historic District, which consists of the majority of Front Street, Broadway from High Street down and Main Street from Anson Street to Academy Street.

Copies of the ordinance are available at the Municipal Building and will be at the community center tonight.

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6 Responses »

  1. Del Reed claims NECEC will bring in 400K in taxes. Proposed budget increased 319K. In true liberal fashion it appears the possible increase in revenue is spent long before it ‘might’ come in. If the money actually materializes let’s do something sweet for UMF with the extra 81K.....

  2. You might want to consider having yet on a Saturday again. It is hard for many of us to make it as we have to get up so early in the a.m.

  3. Thats an excellent point Dale.

  4. Tried the Sat meeting thing for two years in a row and got LESS people than on a Monday. So they went back to Monday.

  5. Better call our newly elected windbags to arrive in Farmington again.

  6. Hey, how much did your property taxes go up THIS year?? Is UMF going to do Ok??

    Just asking for a friend....