A proposed back-lots ordinance and approval of a bond of up to $1,500,000 for road improvements are among the articles that will grab voters’ attention at the annual Pownal town meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at Pownal Elementary School.

In addition, town officials are presenting to voters articles totaling $1,096,176 in net spending. That’s $28,978 less than the budget passed at last year’s town meeting. Including $130,258 more for Regional School Unit 5 and $9,065 more for the Cumberland County budget, Pownal is looking at $139,323 more to raise if everything on the town meeting warrant passes.

In the meantime, the town is undergoing a revaluation of all properties. The tax rate of $35.75 per $1,000 in assessed property value will likely change. The last revaluation was done in 2004, and the new revaluation will be done, with tax bills going out, in August, said Scott Seaver, the town’s administrative assistant.

The Planning Board has put in more than a year of work on the back-lots ordinance, which would make it easier for homeowners to create and sell another house lot on their property that doesn’t have road frontage.

According to the zoning ordinance, a house lot must have 300 feet of road frontage. The back-lots ordinance would help property owners, allowing them to have an additional lot, or to build a town-approved subdivision road.

Ron Hodsdon, Planning Board chairman, said that between 10 and 20 percent of Pownal landowners could benefit from the proposed ordinance.

Giddinge said that by being able to split off a lot, landowners could help family members.

“It’s beneficial for people who want to keep their families close,” Giddinge said.

Residents will vote on the addition of $150,000 to the capital reserve fund – same as last year. That money will be needed if residents vote to take $194,750 from that fund for a heavy-duty plow dump truck that would cost $194,750. Seaver said that the capital reserve account stands at around $250,000 not including the $150,000 that could be added.

A bond of up to $1,500,000 would pay for improvements to Lawrence and Brown roads. The town’s undesignated fund balance is approximately $400,000, Seaver said.

“It’s a healthy level for Pownal,” Seaver said, “but it doesn’t fund this stuff. The debt service budget will be amended if the bond passes.”

Municipal elections were held on Tuesday, after the Tri-Town Weekly’s deadline. In the only contest, Tim Giddinge, chairman of the Board of Selectmen for more than seven years, faced a challenge from businesswoman Heidi Curry. Naomi Ledbetter was unopposed for her seat on the Regional School 5 Board of Directors, while Craig Vosmus had no opposition for his spot on the Cemetery Commission.


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