With David Anderson elected moderator, it took only 15 minutes for a small number of local voters to grant the expenditure of $37,750 at a special town meeting on Thursday, October 24. But first it was necessary for Selectman Nelson Grindal to explain what surplus funds are and why they could be spent to cover four warrant articles.
Having served as first selectman for a number of years, Grindal spoke from experience when he said that surplus funds—unspent monies from previous years—can be used if the funds approved at town meeting run out by the June 30 end of the fiscal year. If additional funds aren’t available in a surplus account, the town would have to borrow, Grindal said. He went on to remind the few voters present that when the town needed to build a fire station a few years ago, interest from the surplus account was used to pay for the project.
Grindal termed the town’s surplus “insurance” before going on to outline upgrades and repairs needing to be done at the town office, the second of five warrant articles to be considered at the special town meeting. Voters accepted the selectman’s words and went on to approve Warrant Article 2 unanimously for $30,000.
“We can’t predict when emergencies are going to happen,” Fire Chief David Carter explained as the reason for requesting $2,000 to cover an overdraft for fiscal year 2013 in the Fire Protection account. It has been “a really busy year, and the department is within four calls of our record,” said Carter, indicating it’s a foregone conclusion that the record will be broken before June 30. He added that the annual town budget covers operation of the fire department, with hope there’ll be enough extra money for a set of turnout gear; there’s not a chance of the latter this year, even if grant funding applied for is made available. Voters approved Warrant Article 3 unanimously.
Warrant Article 4, requesting $750 for the Road Sign account, and Warrant Article 5, asking $5,000 for Legal account were unanimously approved; both of those articles are continuing accounts.
No sooner had those attending the special town meeting departed than a citizen appeared to ask the selectmen about why there’s no stop sign at the intersection of Christy Hill Road and Old County Road. The woman, who lives in the neighborhood, had hoped to be at the meeting to express her concerns. Those concerns also include the intersection of South Cross Road and Christy Hill Road which, she stated, should have a sign, too. Selectmen indicated Sedgwick, like other area towns, installs signs which “disappear” on a regular basis.
Prior to the special town meeting, selectmen reviewed roads and plans for winter upkeep with Road Commissioner Paul Carter. Carter reported things are “pretty much on course”; there seems to be universal pleasure with the secondary roads, he said, “… and we want to keep it that way.”
In other business: Sheldon Kane dropped by to discuss recycling; selectmen noted Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, and polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Code Enforcement Officer Duane Ford gave updates on several ongoing projects. The warrant signed by selectmen was for $74,643, including payments voted at March town meeting to numerous organizations, including Peninsula Ambulance Corps ($14,867), Blue Hill Public Library ($3,600), Nichols Day Camp ($2,100) and American Red Cross ($1,500).
The next meeting of the Sedgwick selectmen will be Thursday, October 31, at 6 p.m. at the town office.