Caribou voters approve tax referendum, bond issues
CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center saw a steady line of voters throughout the day on Nov. 6, with residents approving a non-binding advisory referendum, selecting two city councilors as well as members of the Jefferson Cary Memorial Hospital Fund board and RSU 39 school board.
Thomas Ayer and former councilor Jody Smith were both voted into city council, with Ayer receiving 1,451 votes and Smith receiving 1,135. Other candidates vying for a three year term on the city council, Christine Lister and Christopher Lydon, respectively received 1,135 and 716 votes.
Betheny Anderson and Betty Hatch, who ran unopposed for the RSU 39 and hospital fund boards, received 2,505 and 2,568 votes, respectively.
The non-binding advisory question, which would increase taxes for Caribou residents by one-half mill in order to assist senior citizens who are longtime residents and/or living on low incomes, passed by a somewhat close margin with 1,564 voters in favor and 1,283 opposed.
Caribou voters showed significant opposition to question one, which would subsidize elderly and disabled home-care by placing a 3.8 percent tax on residents with yearly incomes exceeding $128,400. In Caribou and Connor Township 1,912 voters opposed this measure while only 1,129 supported it.
Voters approved all four bond issues, which also won approval statewide. This will result in a $30 million bond to improve municipal sewage systems, a $106 million bond to improve infrastructure, a $49 million bond for the UMaine system, and a $15 million bond for state community colleges.
Limestone, like Caribou, also opposed question one, and accepted the bond issues. Voters in Woodland, however, shot down the sewage improvement bond, and were tied 263 to 263 on the UMaine bond question. New Sweden votes mostly lined up with the state results, with the exception of the UMaine bond, which lost 146 votes to 130. Stockholm voters aligned with state results, with their majority rejecting question one and approving the four bond issues. Caswell voters approved all five questions.