February 26

Annual Town Meetings set for Saturday in Mercer, Embden and New Portland

The sale of Mercer’s historic Shaw Library building is among items that residents will be asked to vote on Saturday.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

MERCER — Town officials are asking residents to consider selling the historic former Shaw Library building, which was built in the 1800s and was a shirt factory for the Union Army during the Civil War.

In 2009 the library and the Town Office were moved to the Mercer Community Center in an effort to unite residents. Town offices had been in a separate building on the same property as the library, and that building would be included in the sale.

A resident at last year’s Town Meeting proposed selling the buildings, but the motion was rejected.

This year’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the community center.

The town spends about $2,000 annually on maintenance and heat for the two buildings, which would be sold at auction with a minimum bid set at $100,000, First Selectman Vern Worthen said.

The former Town Office, built in the mid-1990s, houses emergency management services, which would be moved to the community center, Worthen said.

Residents also are being asked to approve $47,382 for town salaries; $24,000 for solid waste disposal and recycling; $19,259 for public safety, including fire protection provided by Norridgewock; $85,000 for summer road maintenance; and $132,000 for winter road maintenance. A figure for the total proposed municipal budget was unavailable Wednesday.

Elections will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. There are no contested races.

Embden and New Portland also will hold Town Meetings on Saturday.

In Embden, residents will consider a $836,425 municipal budget, which is about 7 percent less than the current budget of $903,120. Included in the proposed budget is $80,000 for municipal officials, $42,000 for the fire protection through the Anson Fire Department, $15,000 for emergency services provided by Anson-Madison-Starks Ambulance Service, $200,000 for road repairs, $224,000 for winter road maintenance, $9,575 for social services and charities and $25,000 for the town’s Capital Improvement Fund.

The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Town Office. Elections will take place from 8 a.m. to noon. There are no contested races.

In New Portland, residents will consider a $476,420 municipal budget, which is about 2 percent less than the current year’s budget of $487,863. There are 39 items on the warrant for the meeting, which will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at the fire station.

Among items residents will be asked to approve are $129,589 for administration, $22,667 for ambulance and rescue, $112,100 for summer road maintenance, $196,333 for winter road maintenance, $39,740 for the New Portland Fire Department and $54,240 for the town’s share of operating expenses for the Kingfield transfer station.

Elections will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no contested races.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 rohm@centralmaine.com

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