Special town meeting on tap for Woolwich

Posted:  Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 8:00am

The Woolwich Select board is planning a special town meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 20 to cover unforeseen expenses associated with the Oct. 30 windstorm.

Chair David King Sr. said Tuesday the fire department and bridge and roads account had spent most of their payroll budgets responding to the violent storm that downed trees and power lines throughout town.

“We have to address both of these accounts,” King said, adding the town office hadn’t determined how much was needed to prevent the accounts from being over-drafted. Voters will be asked to authorize the usea of monies from the undesignated fund balance.

This is the second special town meeting the board has called in the last six months. In September, voters approved articles for entering into a 20-year solid waste and recycling contract with ecomaine of Portland, and taking $19,000 from the undesignated fund balance for a bridge engineering study.

King told the Wiscasset Newspaper, the board makes every effort to avoid the expense of holding a special town meeting. “Because of the costs associated with the storm it couldn’t be helped.” A way to avoid holding the special town meeting he continued would be to create an account to deal with emergencies like the one in October.

“I’m hoping the select board will consider putting forth an article that would authorize us to take up to $50,000 from the undesignated fund balance without having to hold a special town meeting,” he said adding, the money could be only be used after a state or federal emergency had been declared.

“This would avoid the expense of having to hold a special town meeting. But it would have to be written to clearly state this authority could only be used by the select board for situations like the one we experienced in October and for no other purpose,” King said.

The board set next month’s special town meeting date Tuesday night.