Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SOLON -- Veteran Selectwoman Elaine Aloes is challenged on the annual town meeting ballot this year by Lois Miller, a former special-education teacher in Anson and school board member in the Skowhegan district.
Aloes has served on the board for 19 years and with several other civic organizations.
"I have worked hard to maintain a stable town budget and still provide the services needed in our town and would like to continue to do so," Aloes said. "I wrote the grants that gave us the funding to build a new Town Office and to purchase a new firetruck."
She also serves on the Somerset County Budget Committee and the Maine Municipal Association Legislative Policy Committee. She is president of the Somerset County Municipal Association and served for three years on the Maine Municipal Association Executive Committee.
Miller, a small farmer and home health care worker, said it's time for a change of face on the Solon board.
She said if she is elected, she would try to bring a farmers' market to Solon as a way to promote local agricultural products.
"I'm a fresh face," Miller said. "I'll bring new vitality to the position."
The seat's term is three years. All other races are uncontested.
The elections are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Saturday at Solon Elementary School.
Aloes said selectmen and the Budget Committee have agreed on a proposed municipal budget for 2013 of $790,473, which is $53,000, or 7 percent, higher than last year's budget.
Possible cuts to state revenue sharing proposed by the governor will not affect this year's budget, Aloes said.
"Solon does not budget by anticipating revenue sharing and excise tax funds," she said. "What we collected in 2012 goes into surplus and is used to reduce taxes in 2013."
She said if the revenue sharing cuts do go into effect, half of the loss will be felt in the 2014 budget and the full force of the cut will hit in 2015, giving Solon time to prepare for the loss of revenue.
Aloes added that a tax-increment financing agreement with Kennebec Lumber expired in 2012, so the town does not have to return an estimated $70,000 in taxes to the company this year, which also will cushion any revenue loss.
In Article 15, residents will be asked to raise $217,000 from taxes, to take $48,000 from the local road assistance program and to borrow $580,000 over four years to repave Brighton Road, French Hill Road, Drury Road, Grant Road and the already paved portion of Hole In The Wall Road.
If that article fails, voters will be asked to raise $217,000 for a road paving reserve account and to use a part of the account for repairs and to replace culverts on the same roads.
Spending articles to be voted on from the floor of Saturday's Town Meeting include $63,000 for the town's transfer station, $81,000 for winter roads and $77,000 for summer roads.
The town meeting is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Solon Elementary School.
Doug Harlow -- 612-2367