Wiscasset preservation ordinance repeal loses

Posted:  Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 9:00pm

Wiscasset voters Tuesday kept the 2015 historic preservation ordinance.

Selectmen had recommended repeal 3-2. The vote ran 437 yes to repeal it, 536 no.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” commission member Susan Blagden said at the polls at Wiscasset Community Center. “And I’m glad that the voters saw through the clumsy wording of the (ballot) article.”

Selectman Judy Colby had favored repeal. Informed of the results, Colby said in a phone interview, “"The voters have spoken,” and she would like to have the ordinance improved to be more user-friendly.

Commission Chairman John Reinhardt, also reached by phone, said he was delighted with Wiscasset voters’ thinking Tuesday. Preservation is critical to a prime asset of Wiscasset, its historic buildings, he said. Now everyone, regardless of where they stood on repeal, should work together on tweaking the ordinance, Reinhardt said.

Also on Tuesday’s local ballot, voters agreed 809-139  to put the town’s planning funds as of Nov. 30 into surplus to offset the 2018 tax commitment. A citizens’ petition led to the vote, the third one this year on the planning budget. Voters rejected it at the polls then restored it in a special town meeting that also stemmed from a petition.

Residents agreed 676-330 to tap capital equipment reserve funds for up to $96,690.75 for a 2013 Ford ambulance, as selectmen unanimously favored doing; and changed the shellfish ordinance in a 766-223 vote to let selectmen set license fees. The measure had selectmen’s unanimous support.