Chebeague Town Meeting OKs $2.8M budget, elects 4 officials

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Voters floated a $2.8 million fiscal 2011 budget at Town Meeting Saturday, the school portion of which received final approval at the polls on Tuesday.

Residents approved all 62 warrant items during the more than four-hour meeting, Town Administrator Scott Seaver said on Monday.

Next year’s spending plan includes a $1.8 million municipal budget, a drop from nearly $90,000 this year. Also included is a nearly $889,000 school budget, a reduction of more than $3,000.

Members of the Board of Selectmen and School Committee were nominated from the floor. Incumbent Mark Dyer and John Martin were elected to the Board of Selectmen, while voters re-elected both Carol White and Jerry Wiles to the School Committee. Seaver said others were nominated but declined to run.

Martin will replace Herb Maine, who opted not to run again. The winners will serve three-year terms.

Voters also approved spending $165,000 on improvements to South, Stone Wharf and School House roads. The improvements will be based on a plan drafted by selectmen.

Residents also favored an article that asked whether the town should designate a town-owned piece of land on School House Road for use as affordable housing, and to allow the Board of Selectmen to apply for a Maine State Housing grant to develop an affordable housing project in concert with the Chebeague Island Community Association.

Seaver said the article drew debate over whether to build a new house on the lot or purchase and rehabilitate an existing structure.

“The purchasing and rehabbing was way more expensive than what the grant would be,” Seaver said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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Voters OK Chebeague school budget

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Voters gave final approval to next year’s school spending plan at the budget validation referendum on June 8.

The fiscal 2011 budget carried 161-23.

The nearly $889,000 spending plan is a reduction of nearly $3,300 from the current year, a drop of 0.4 percent.

Residents gave initial passage to the school budget at Town Meeting on Saturday.

Elementary instruction totals more than $251,000, an increase of 5.5 percent, while special education remains flat at more than $40,000. Operations and maintenance of plant services are down 16 percent at nearly $92,000, and vehicle operation is up 2.4 percent to more than $90,000. The office of the superintendent totals more than $35,000, a 2.5 percent increase, while the office of the principal is more than $32,000, up 3.7 percent.

Debt service is about $293,000, a 1 percent decrease.

Chebeague residents did not vote Tuesday on whether to continue the budget validation process for another three years. Town Clerk Susan Campbell said Wednesday that the question was supposed to have appeared at Saturday’s Town Meeting but did not get included among the school budget articles, so residents will instead vote on it next year.

— Alex Lear

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.