School committee member lone candidate for selectman’s seat

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 8:45am

    One board vacancy may lead to another in Edgecomb. School Committee member Dawn Murray is the only person to return nomination papers for a vacant selectmen’s seat. Select Board Chairman Jack Sarmanian resigned Oct. 5 after 13 years. The remaining two selectmen set Dec. 5 for a special town meeting for electing his replacement.

    Nomination papers were made available Oct. 20 and were due Oct. 29. Murray will be the only candidate on the municipal ballot, selectmen announced Nov. 2. If elected, she would fill Sarmanian’s unexpired term which ends in 2023. Murray could not serve as an elected official in both seats. So she would resign from the school committee. Edgecomb’s remaining school committee members, Tom Abello and Heather Sinclair, would appoint Murray’s replacement who would serve until the May town meeting. 

    In other action, Smith updated Selectman Ted Hugger on three ongoing issues. Smith contacted former Schmid Preserve Committee Chairman Bob Leone about working on establishing a new River Link Trail on the Lallis property. The town is in negotiations to sell Lallis property parcels. The town also hired attorney Jon Pottle to work on a possible right-of-way agreement between the buyer and Boothbay Region Land Trust which maintains the trail. Pottle is also looking into tax increment finance options for the town. The selectmen want Pottle to research if Edgecomb can use TIF monies to build a child care facility.

    The board also wants Pottle to research possible options for replacing a tennis court at Edgecomb Green. Edgecomb has worked for three years in attempting to meet federal guidelines as part of a 1974 Land Water Conservation Program grant. The town received federal funding for constructing a single tennis court at the former Edgecomb Eddy School’s site on Cross Point Road. In 2004, Edgecomb sold the 5.9-acre property to the Elder Care Network of Lincoln County which provides affordable senior citizen housing.  In 2011, a state inspection resulted in determining Edgecomb had violated grant terms. In selling the property, Edgecomb failed to provide required public access and property maintenance for a recreational purpose.

    Since Edgecomb relinquished ownership, the town must find another recreation spot on municipal property. But the state regulates where the alternate property can be. Once the state determines a violation, a municipality has three years to comply.The town must provide a parcel with “the same or a higher appraised property value,” according to Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation. 

    Selectmen are also looking at various town-owned locations for possible municipal uses. Smith reported about the Conservation Committee’s recent review of a River Road waterfront parcel for potential uses. “I asked Gary (Balducci, Conservation Committee chairman) if the committee would walk the property, and they didn’t think the town would be interested,” Smith said. 

    Selectmen appointed Army veteran Chris Armstead to serve as the town’s representative in future joint American Legion Boothbay region events.

    Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23 in the town hall’s upstairs.