Madawaska residents vote to purchase street sweeper and land

2 months ago

MADAWASKA, Maine — About 10 residents voted to purchase a $210,000 2015 Johnston Model VT651 Vacuum Sweeper during a special town meeting last night. 

They also voted to spend $50,000 on land to create a recreational trail near downtown businesses, and to close 15 roads to winter maintenance.

Money for the street sweeper came from the town’s Undesignated Funds. Prior to the meeting, the account contained roughly $3 million. 

The 2015 street sweeper will replace a 22-year-old machine that is no longer usable. Town officials said its motor is damaged beyond repair.

The land purchase for trails includes five lots on third avenue. It would not only be used for recreational trails, but also by the town’s public works department for winter snow removal.

One resident asked why the town couldn’t just wait until the annual town meeting to present these items to voters, adding that this may lead to a greater turnout. 

Town Manager Gary Picard said the road closure item in particular needs to happen before Oct. 1. He added that the purchase of the land on Third Avenue would also save the public works department time and money during the winter months. 

A motion was made by the resident to move the land purchase item to next year’s annual town meeting. Voters turned down this motion, with the majority approving the land purchase.

The winter road closure item is voted on every 10 years in accordance with state law, Picard said. It was brought to the meeting because town officials deemed it unnecessary to keep these roads open from November to April.