What’s on the Nov. 6 warrant?

Thomaston to vote on future of Lura Libby building, business block redevelopment, dog ordinance changes, stipends

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 11:15am

THOMASTON — Thomaston voters will be voting on seven referendum questions on their municipal ballots in the November elections with the highlight question being whether the town should move its offices to the Lura Libby School building. 

A note voters should keep in mind is though Article 2 and 3 are related, they do not have to both pass for progress to be made. Thomaston town attorney Paul Gibbons noted at an Aug. 27 Select Board meeting that if Article 2 passed but voters rejected Article 3, the Town would know residents want the offices moved, but do not want to spend the current proposed amount of money. 

Article 2: Shall the voters authorize the Town to renovate the Lura Libby Facility and to relocate the Town Office, the Police Department, the Recreation Department and the Town’s Food Pantry to the Lura Libby Facility as renovations are completed? 

A major question asked by Thomaston residents is why the Lura Libby building cannot become a school again. Joanne Richards, of the Thomaston Planning Board, noted at an Aug. 27 Select Board meeting that state law prohibits the building from reopening as a school of any type since it was closed by Regional School Unit 13. 

Richards noted the Lura Libby facility is “not by any means a derelict building” and the proposed designs would make the building ADA compliant for the Police Department as the current Police Department building, which is grandfathered, does not meet modern day federal or state regulations. 

Richards stated the present Recreation Department space is “crammed in what was the changing room behind the stage of Watts Hall” and the Town would “be in trouble” if the health department stopped by. Richards noted at the Lura Libby facility, the Recreation Department would benefit from ample office space, equipment storage and space for after school programs. Furthermore, the Recreation Director would be able to “visually see” the fields the Department uses. 

The existing town office, Richards noted, has “no heat and air conditioning or space to move” and is “not efficient or healthy.” The current space does not contain the necessary space for the proper filing of new town documents. 

The food pantry, Richards noted, is not easily accessible for elderly residents or loading food in the elevator. Additionally, Richards noted there are few parking spots and the location is inconvenient. 

Richards noted at the end of the day, the Town is still paying for the electricity, water and heat for the Lura Libby facility whether the building is being used or not. 

To view the booklet prepared by Town Manager Valmore Blastow, Jr., about the proposed relocations, click here

RELATED: Thomaston looks to move municipal offices, services to Lura Libby school

 

Article 3: Shall the voters appropriate and authorize the Town to borrow not more than $1,100,000 by issuing general obligation bonds and/or notes of the Town, which may be callable, the proceeds to be used to finance the renovations to the Lura Libby Facility and related costs of relocation discussed in Article 2, above?

Estimated Costs
• Estimated interest rate — 3.8%
• Estimated term — 20 years
• Total principal to repaid at maturity — $1,100,000
• Total interest to be paid over term — $596,000

Total Town Indebtedness
• Total debt outstanding and unpaid — $4,269,171
• Total debt authorized and unissued — $0
• Total debt to be incurred if this article is approved — $1,100,000
• Total debt authorized after issuance — $5,369,171

 

Article 4: Shall an amendment entitled “Proposed Changes to Chapter 7-Land Use & Development Ordinance” be enacted?

If passed by voters, this amendment would make wording changes by adding certain words and deleting other words for clarification purposes.

The full text and proposed changes can be found by clicking here

 

Article 5: Shall Chapter 1 Thomaston Government & Organization, Article II, Section 102 Police be amended by changing and moving Subsection 102.3.4 Control of Annoyance of Barking or Howling Dogs adopted May 9, 1977 to be Subsection 102.4.6 so that it follows Subsection 102.4.5 Control of Dogs and shall the new Subsection 102.4.7 Dog Waste Ordinance be adopted?

If this proposal is passed by voters, Subsection 102.3.4 would simply be moved to become Subsection 102.4.6. Additionally, Subsection 102.4.7 would be added. 

Subsection 102.4.7, if passed by voters, would make it illegal for anyone in possession of a dog to leave the dog’s feces on any street, sidewalk, publicly owned property, or private property. Violators would be fined $50 for first conviction and $100 for each additional conviction. This ordinance would be enforced by the Animal Control Officer or the Thomaston Police Department and fines would be recovered for use of the Town of Thomaston through the District Court. 

The full text of the Subsections noted in this proposal can be read by clicking here

 

Article 6: Shall the Town appropriate from the unassigned fund balance the amount of $11,925.15 to fund annual stipends for the Select Board?

 

Article 7: Shall the voters authorize the completion of the last phase of the Thomaston Business Block Redevelopment Project initiated in 1997?

Parking is expected to be improved and more organized, according to comments made at the August Select Board meeting. 

 

Article 8: Shall the voters appropriate and authorize the Town to borrow not more than $280,000 and accept grant funds of up to $250,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission to complete the last phase of the Thomaston Business Block Redevelopment Project by issuing general obligation bonds and/or notes of the Town, which may be callable, the proceeds to be used to finance the Thomaston Business Block Redevelopment Project?

Estimated Costs
• Estimated interest rate — 3.8%
• Estimated term — 20 years
• Total principal to repaid at maturity — $280,000
• Total interest to be paid over term — $124,793.44

Total Town Indebtedness
• Total debt outstanding and unpaid — $4,269,171
• Total debt authorized and unissued — $0
• Total debt to be incurred if this article is approved — $280,000
• Total debt authorized after issuance — $4,549,171

The goal of Article 8 is to obtain funds to complete the final phase of the Thomaston Business Block Redevelopment Project. Thomaston has the ability to receive a grant of up to $250,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission and needs to fund the rest of the project itself.