Originally published in The Weekly Packet, March 27, 2014
Municipal warrant shows no surprises for Blue Hill voters
by Faith DeAmbrose
With 83 articles on this year’s town meeting warrant, voters will have plenty of opportunity to have their voices heard as they negotiate a total municipal budget of $2,059,794. The total proposed from taxation to cover municipal expenses is $820,40, an increase of $21,201 (or 2.65 percent) from fiscal year 2013.
The proposed budget and corresponding warrant articles show few surprises, with much of it dedicated to routine housekeeping issues.
The only large capital improvement planned for the coming year is a rebuild for a portion of Parker Point Road. There is $100,000 allocated in the budget.
Other expenses, such as the $80,000 one-time funding for a pre-dredging harbor study in last year’s budget is no longer needed, offsetting the roadwork expense. The Tree of Life food pantry, which last year requested $6,000 for its program, did not request any funding for this year.
As for new budget items: $15,000 has been set aside for “removal of trees and winter storm clean up” associated with the damage from the winter’s weather and specifically the December ice storm, and $14,000 for two new floats at the South Blue Hill Wharf.
Voters will have revisions to one ordinance to consider—the Blue Hill Commercial Site Plan Review Ordinance. The revision cleans up language and seeks “more detailed information” about the type of building to be used, the signage associated with it and the materials used to build it. It also seeks scaled drawings “about the proposed building and surrounding landscaping plan,” according to information from the town about the ordinance changes. The proposed revision would also allow the planning board to require of an applicant “a visual impact assessment which may include photo simulations of the proposed facility taken from perspectives determined by the planning board, or their designee.”
To see a complete set of proposed revisions, visit the town’s website at bluehillme.govoffice2.com.
Town meeting will begin with elections on Friday, April 4. Polls will be open at the town hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will reconvene at the Blue Hill Consolidated School on Saturday, April 5, at 9 a.m. for the business portion of the warrant.