STANDISH – Large majorities of Standish voters approved three referendum questions Tuesday, permitting about $1.2 million in spending through a 10-year period.

The 821 voters who participated in the referendum authorized funds toward public works improvements, and the purchase of new public safety equipment and land for recreational fields.

The approved expenditures were included in the $1.3 million “bundled” bond package that failed at the June town meeting. In response to varied criticism, the Town Council broke down the proposed bonds into departmental categories and discarded a controversial sidewalk project on Route 25 in Standish Corner.

Question 1, which authorizes the purchase of 6.5 acres land for multipurpose recreational fields and parking improvements at Standish Memorial Park on Route 25, passed 528-290. The purchase will cost $78,398 in estimated principal and interest payments and an additional $31,751 in town reserve funds. It enables the town to add new fields at the park, which features two softball and three soccer fields.

The spending allows the town to build an additional two to three baseball fields in the future, enhanced soccer facilities, a concession stand, additional playgrounds and a dog park. It would also allow for additional parking. The existing lot holds about 30 vehicles. Due to the limited parking space, many families park along Route 25 in front of the park, which is in a 50-mph zone on Route 25.

Question 2, which authorized the purchase of new public safety equipment, passed 635-185. The question authorizes $171,121 in estimated principal and interest spending toward a radio system upgrade, as well as the replacement of dry hydrants, extrication equipment and cardiac equipment.

The question also authorizes the purchase of a new air bag system to help disentangle or remove people caught under heavy equipment, for example. Depending on the size, the air bags can lift between 1.5 and 89.2 tons.

The cardiac equipment purchase will replace cardiac monitors on the town’s two ambulances. The monitors, used on most patients transported by ambulance to a hospital, defibrillate patients suffering from cardiac arrest, among other functions. According to Fire Chief Brent Libby, the town’s existing cardiac monitors have failed three times within the past year.

Question 3, which passed 550-270, authorizes the replacement of a 20-year-old, light-duty gravel compactor and a 15-year-old, 10-wheel plow truck, as well as a variety of road improvements.

The question approved the resurfacing of eight roads that were last resurfaced between 1992 and 2002. It also funds improvements to the town hall parking lot. The estimated principal and interest for the projects would total $960,237.

Although Question 1 authorized the purchase of 6.5 acres of land, additional money will need to be acquired for development, whether through bonds or grants, according to Linda Brooks, director of parks and recreation. Brooks said the town will soon convene a subcommittee to discuss how the 6.5 acres of land will be developed.

“We have interest from baseball, softball, football organizations hoping to best utilize the additional space,” Brooks said.

The Standish Softball Association formally endorsed Question 1 prior to Tuesday’s vote. On Wednesday, Brett Levin, the association’s president, applauded the referendum results.

“It’s fantastic that we’re going to be adding some needed recreational opportunities for the residents of Standish,” Levin said. “It’s exciting.”


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