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Cape Elizabeth voters kill $6M library bond, approve charter amendment

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Cape Elizabeth voters kill $6M library bond, approve charter amendment

CAPE ELIZABETH — Voters shot down a $6 million library bond, while overwhelmingly approving a town charter amendment that requires large single capital expenditures to be approved by citizen vote in the Nov. 6 election.

The library bond failed in a 2,696 to 3,566 vote; the charter change was approved 4,157 to 1,372.

In addition to the bond, the town would have needed to raise about $1.5 million privately to fully fund the project, putting the total estimated project cost at about $7.5 million.

The library bond was proposed to build a new library to replace the current building due to failing conditions including mold, lack of space, code violations and ADA access.

The charter change requires any single capital expenditure that exceeds $1 million to automatically trigger a public referendum. Funding packages that exceed $1 million, but are made up of multiple projects that individually total less than $1 million, will not be subject to the referendum under the proposed charter amendment.

Under the previous charter, residents had to petition the Town Council to get a referendum for any large, single expenditure.

The referendum does not apply to state and federally mandated projects, or any improvements required due to fire or other catastrophe.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.