Maxim assumes Edgecomb selectboard chair post

Thu, 06/13/2024 - 10:45am

    In his first meeting as an Edgecomb selectman, George Chase was appointed chairman. In his second, he resigned as chairman. On June 11, Chase decided the selectboard needed a chairman with more municipal government experience. “I’m honored by being appointed as chairman, by you two,” Chase said. “But I think with my lack of experience, it would be better if someone with more experience serves as chairman.”

    Selectmen Lynn Norgang and Michael Maxim accepted Chase’s resignation. Afterward, Maxim was appointed by Norgang and Chase to serve as chairman. Maxim is beginning his second year on the board after being elected in May 2023. “I appreciate that you want someone with more experience, George, but I really don’t have a lot more than you,” Maxim said. 

    In other action, selectmen set Monday, July 1 at 6 p.m. for a special town meeting to resolve firefighter pay. On May 18, residents approved hiring a full-time fire chief which resulted in a re-thinking of firefighter compensation. At the town meeting, the fire department proposed compensation based on a part-time chief. The department officers were slated to receive a 15% increase and firefighters’ hourly wage would increase from $15 to $20. Instead, selectmen and Fire Chief Roy Potter on June 11 worked out a new proposal. The full-time fire chief would receive $62,400 as a salary. Department officers wouldn’t receive a pay increase, and firefighters would receive $18 per hour for calls and training.

    Selectmen are creating a warrant article for department salaries and training wages. Maxim proposed wording for salaries: “To see if the town will raise and appropriate sum of $101,535.45 for fire department salaries and employer’s share of taxes?” Based on Potter’s proposal, firefighters would receive $18 per hour. Officer stipends would remain the same. A third warrant article would account for training wages. Maxim proposed wording as “To see if the town will appropriate from surplus the sum of $8,333 for firefighter training and $593 as employer’s share of taxes?” Potter told selectmen training is for two hours per week on Tuesdays. He based his proposal on the average number of training hours in the past three years. 

    The July 1 date was selected in order to meet a deadline for setting Edgecomb’s tax commitment. Selectmen held a workshop June 10 and June 12 to finalize details for a three-question warrant. Maxim volunteered to find a moderator. 

    Selectmen voted, 3-0, to join a regional network of towns applying for a state grant. Mary Ellen Barnes of Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission told selectmen there are “eight or nine” towns involved in seeking the “Connect the Ready” grant from Maine Connectivity Authority. Barnes described the grant as one of the last remaining opportunities to receive ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) monies as the fund is running out. “This is one of the last buckets of money remaining for broadband,” she said. “We’re hoping to use this along with $1 million from the (Lincoln) county.”

    Under the regional proposal, Consolidated Communications would bring fiber-based symmetrical service to all residents who have an electric infrastructure. It also will allow those residents living in a rural area to take part in the digital economy.

    In the letter, selectmen wrote “The infrastructure that Consolidated Communications provides future-proof connectivity for the businesses and residents of these communities, easily deliver upwards of 2G of symmetric service to residents and businesses, and scalable up to10G with no additional last mile network investment other than upgraded equipment. The town understands this provides for both current and future needs and is excited to bring this level of service to its citizens.”

    Selectmen entered into an executive session with Scott Griffin of S.R. Griffin Construction regarding the municipal plowing contract. Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 in the municipal building.