Woodland residents elect new officials, approve road repairs during annual meeting

2 years ago

WOODLAND, Maine — Woodland residents elected new members to the selectboard and school board and approved expenses related to road repairs and other budget items during the town’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Moderator Harold Tardy announced the results of the municipal election held on Monday. A total of 101 votes were cast from town residents.

Timothy Browning, the only resident officially on the selectboard ballot, received 77 votes. Lisa Milliard received 16 votes as a write-in candidate while other write-in names — Peter McCorrison, Carter Moir, Robert Butler, William Sheehan and Thomas Drew — all received one vote each. Three ballots were left blank.

Browning will replace outgoing selectboard member William Barnum and join selectboard members Scott Dow and Drew.

Though the school board ballot had no registered candidates, Stephanie Molaver received 50 write-in votes, the most of anyone. Outgoing board member Robert Butler received 26 write-in votes, while Sheehan, Drew, Carl Bondeson and Tony Patterson each received one.

Around 40 people attended the annual meeting, held in the public works garage, which soon became standing room only. All but one of the 33 articles in the town’s annual report were approved and most articles were passed without discussion.

Several articles did receive questions from some residents, including Article 17, which authorizes the selectboard to “raise and appropriate $60,000 for solid waste disposal” to the Aroostook Waste Solutions landfill in Fort Fairfield. 

Barnum explained that the $60,000 price tag, according to Aroostook Waste Solutions, comes from an increase in waste disposed of from Woodland. 

“We’ve asked [AWS] why our tonnage is so high. Are people bringing in trash from other communities?,” Barnum said.

Dow said that the tonnage increase is also puzzling to him.

“We’ve asked for our [landfill] tickets to make sure all the trash has been coming from Woodland,” Dow said. “Nobody has been able to explain it.”

Residents voted in favor of the town’s next municipal budget, which totals $1,445,844 and includes the first of 10 yearly payments to the Maine Bond Bank for road surfacing and reconstruction. The first payment, to be paid this year, is $20,000.

Article 32 authorizes the selectboard and treasurer to borrow $825,000 from the Bond Bank, with an interest rate of 2.5 percent. Road Commissioner Chris Fournier said that the public works department has already prepared 2.5 miles of the expected five miles for asphalt resurfacing. The roads slated for repairs include sections of Erickson Road, Old Pratt Road and the Langley Road.

Article 33 had asked if residents would approve the closure of a 0.8-mile section of the Skidgel Road for snow plowing. But meeting attendee Thomas Anderson said that he was preparing to move into a home he is building on that road. That information led residents to vote against the article.