Originally published in The Weekly Packet, March 28, 2013
Blue Hill voters get 87 articles, chance to settle long-standing foreclosure issue
by Faith DeAmbrose
Blue Hill voters will face many decisions at this year’s annual town meeting as they weigh in on 87 warrant articles that shape a municipal budget of $2,059,179 and a school budget of $4,688,780.
In addition, they will be asked to decide other issues, including the conveyance of a foreclosed Mill Pond Lane property to the Clark Mountain Community Land Trust of Greene for $53,292 and funding a study of the dredging of Blue Hill’s inner harbor.
While many of the articles will be familiar to voters, including appropriations for the fire department, town officials, transfer station and harbor—all remaining relatively unchanged from the previous year—those in attendance will be asked to support a first-time request from Tree of Life food pantry of $6,000.
Using the transfer station will cost no more in 2013, than it did the year before ($178,815). If the budget passes as proposed, $544,625 will be set aside for road and sidewalk maintenance, $185,165 for general government expenses, $67,000 for fire department operations, $73,700 for the library and $130,913 for principal and interest payments on seven different loans.
Mill Pond property
Will the town release the deed to 8 Mill Pond Lane to the Clark Mountain Community Land Trust for the sum of unpaid taxes and fees totaling $53,292?
That could be one way to end the multi-year eviction matter between the town and Dorothy Leighton, which remains in a state of limbo.
Along with the monetary payment, if approved, the trust and selectmen will negotiate the terms of the sale and weigh in on exterior house and landscaping renovations. The trust would continue the upkeep of the property, would upgrade the building to meet Housing and Urban Development quality standards and would pay the property taxes going forward, while allowing Leighton to continue living there.
Dredging the harbor?
For decades the question of dredging the inner harbor in downtown Blue Hill has been a topic of conversation. This year, it could become more of a reality as the town has received Army Corps of Engineers approval for a feasibility study to dredge “an all-tides channel to the town wharf” at a cost of $80,000. According to Selectman Jim Schatz, the town believes that unless the study unearths problems that would make the construction of such a channel impossible, the study would eventually be followed by the actual work. Schatz said the town would “continue to gather facts” about the study and actual project. If approved for dredging, the town would need to appropriate 10 percent of the total dredging cost, estimated at a high end figure of about $1 million. The remainder would be paid with federal government monies.
Town of Blue Hill annual town meeting
Voting—Friday, April 5. Polls at town hall are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Warrant—Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.
Blue Hill Consolidated School