Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 20

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3/5/2014 2:00:00 PM
Southport Voters Sail Through Town Meeting

By Kathy Onorato

Southport voters moved smoothly through a 57-article warrant at their annual town meeting March 3.

In about two hours, residents approved every article on the warrant, agreeing to a $2,324,400 municipal tax commitment, and accepting a 10 percent decrease in the mil rate. The new projected rate of $3.12 per $1000 of evaluation is a decrease from the 2013 rate of $3.46.

Southport residents exercise their vote on town affairs March 3. (Kathy Onorato photo)
Southport residents exercise their vote on town affairs March 3. (Kathy Onorato photo)
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As the meeting began moderator Christopher "Kit" Cherill reminded residents to be civil and respectful to one another. "Let's continue to show good behavior," Cherill said.

Southport residents offered little discussion on the 57 articles, but when they did, they heeded Cherill's advice.

When discussing Article 35, asking the town to appropriate $36,106 for the ambulance service, resident Ed Furber stood up and asked Robbie Mann of the Boothbay Ambulance service how his department does the job for that little bit of money.

"It doesn't seem like enough to me," Furber said.

Mann told residents the ambulance service is based on call volume and tax valuation. He said the ambulance service bills the customer's insurance for the service and the town's contribution represents the payment of the uncollectibles.

Mann said the question took him by surprise. "I wasn't prepared for that question," he said after the meeting. "I usually get the opposite question."

When Cherill asked for discussion on the public works budget, which increased about $55,000 over last year's appropriation, one resident asked if the amount was enough to cover the damage done to the roads this winter. Newly re-elected Selectman Gerry Gamage assured residents road repairs are considered scheduled maintenance and the roads will be taken care of.

Evelyn Sherman took the opportunity during the discussion to commend the public works department for the good job they have done during this busy winter. Her comments prompted a round of applause for the public works crew.

Southport voters approved all articles pertaining to education, totaling $877,824, which is a reduction of $120,860 from last year's appropriation. The instruction line of the school budget decreased over $50,000 and tuition cost dropped nearly $35,000. The school department was also able to save an additional $12,000 by contracting out its food service.

According to Southport Town Clerk Donna Climo, 49 votes were cast in the municipal election, in which Gamage, treasurer Anita Chairman, school committee member Jane Muholland, and Boothbay Region Water District trustee Smith Climo were all re-elected to three-year terms.

On the floor of the town meeting Matt Cole was elected to a three-year term on the Southport Library Board of Trustees; Gene Hash and Evelyn Sherman were elected to three-year terms on the Southport's Cemetery Board of Trustees; and Steve Gaudette, Oliver Cosana and Cole were elected to the town's budget committee.





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