Kennebunk voters will decide Nov. 5 if they wish to buy a 5-acre parcel of land at 15 Portland Road. They’ll also act on a dispatch contract and decide if they wish to accept two streets as town ways. Courtesy image

KENNEBUNK — Voters Nov, 5 will decide if they wish to purchase a 5.1-acre parcel at 15 Portland Road. They’ll also act on a contract with the city of Sanford for emergency dispatching services, and decide whether to accept two streets as town ways.

The property is currently owned by Florida resident Paige Hill, and previously by the late Geraldine Waterhouse. The parcel would cost the town $825,000, which includes the $765,000 purchase price plus $60,000 in closing and associated costs, according to the warrant article for the Nov,. 5 referendum vote.

The parcel is located on Portland Road but behind the Kennebunk Police Department. It contains a 10-room, 1820 home with more than 4,000 square feet of living area. It is assessed by the town at $705, 200.

A June 4 appraisal resulted in the $765,000 figure.

While no decisions on the use of the land have been made, Town Manager Michael Pardue said the town is looking ahead to future municipal needs.

He pointed out that the town’s public safety entities — the fire and EMS departments and Police department across the street, have outgrown their current quarters.

He said ideally, the town would have already completed done evaluation of current space and future needs but the opportunity to purchase the 5.1 acre property came quickly. Pardue said a local contractor had been interested in the property but agreed to take a “second seat” while the town put the matter to voters.

Pardue said the property has enough room to accommodate public safety needs, future town hall and community center needs, and a teen or senior center or combination, if desired. He noted the substantial home on the property and said some town services could be located there.

“My concern is, if we’re not visioning for the future, we won’t have an opportunity to purchase land in the center of town,” said Pardue on Monday.

Selectmen discussed the proposal in a couple of meetings this summer and fall.

According to the warrant article, the town would use existing funds to purchase the property, which means there would be no debt associated with the purchase and therefore, no anticipated increase to the tax rate.

The town would take $100,000 from the Land-Municipal Parking capital fund; $384,932 from the Park Street School and Cousens School capital fund — which is the remaining funds from the sale of the schools; $242,696 from the Route 1 TIF special revenue fund and $97,372 from the unassigned general fund balance.

During the Aug, 13 board of selectmen meeting, selectman Ed Karytko pointed out that the town didn’t have a specific plan at present for the property and that the in future, the town could choose to sell it.

At a Sept. 10 public hearing, town engineer Christopher Osterrieder told selectmen the property is “pretty viable” from a development standpoint and that he believed permits to deal with wetlands wouldn’t be unduly expensive if the property were to be developed.

A space needs assessment on the future sue of the property would be conducted as the future of the property is considered, pending the outcome of the referendum vote.

Voters will also be asked if they wish to approve contract with the City of Sanford for emergency dispatch services at $291,052 for the first year, $303,902 for the second year and $316,715 for the third year of a three-year contract.

Voters will also decide if they wish to accept Higgins Drive and Flagship Circle as town ways.

Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Winston Auditorium of Kennebunk Town Hall, 1 Summer St. on election day, Nov. 5.

As well, absentee voting is available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and on these special hours: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 26; 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Oct. 27 and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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