Woolwich selectmen

Board signs warrant for June 11 primary vote and for RSU 1 budget

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 8:45am

Woolwich selectmen signed the warrant for the June 11 primary election that will include consideration of the 2024-25 Regional School Unit 1 budget. A final district-wide meeting for ratification of the proposed $43.83 million budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 at Morse High School. Woolwich’s proposed share of the budget is $5,028,744, a 6.74% increase from last year.

Overall, the RSU 1 budget rose $2.13 million. Along with Bath and Woolwich, RSU 1 includes Phippsburg and Arrowsic. Woolwich’s share of the budget, which is based on student population is 23.03%. Bath pays 56.25%. The selectboard thanked Jennifer Ritch-Smith for representing Woolwich on the RSU Board of Trustees.

Woolwich is joining other towns including Wiscasset in forming a committee to address anticipated challenges of climate change. Following a presentation from resident David Berndtson, the selectboard voted unanimously May 15 to form a Climate Resilience Committee. The five-member committee might look into ways of better preparing the town for challenges like increased storm intensity, coastal flooding from rising sea levels, or invasive species of plants and insects. “It’s important to include diverse perspectives,” Berndtson wrote. He suggested the selectboard might consider appointing a high school student and member of the working waterfront to the committee.

Berndtson said Woolwich enrolled in the Community Resilience Partnership program in September 2022 and was awarded a $10,900 grant. Monies were used for increasing emergency preparedness, improving communications to support public health, and updating the local hazard mitigation plan. The enrollment which lasts two years expires in September and Berndtson hopes to get additional funding for the committee to use for the next two-year cycle. Selectmen Allison Hepler and Tommy Davis will help get the committee established.

Woolwich ambulance providers have responded to 12 calls during the first two weeks of May, according to EMS Director Danny Evarts. Eleven patients were seen and seven were transported, he said. “I met with a representative from Bath Housing Authority’s ‘Comfortable Home’ program,” wrote Evarts in his report. The program provides minor repairs and basic accessibility and safety improvements such as installation of hand rails, winterization, smoke and CO detector installation and more – at no cost, to those who meet the criteria, he explained. The program provided the ambulance department with flyers and other information to be distributed to residents who might benefit from the program. 

Evarts said May 19-25 marks the 50th annual “EMS Week.” This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past, Forging our Future.” “We’re going to try and do something special for our providers,” Evarts told the selectboard.

Fire Chief Shaun Merrill said the fire department had responded to seven calls so far this month, “nothing major.” He noted the department would participate in joint, live fire training session with Arrowsic and Georgetown first responders on Sunday, May 19. Merrill added he’d had an inquiry about burning a vacant house on Walker Road.

A tentative date of June 6 has been set for the selectboards of Woolwich and Dresden to meet with a Maine Department of Transportation representative. The meeting to be held in Woolwich is to discuss motorist complaints on the condition of Route 127

Woolwich’s Memorial Day Service will be hosted by First Baptist Church, 812 Middle Road at 7 p.m. Monday, May 27.