Anne Welles, left, and Dick Diamond keep track of the proceedings during Southwest Harbor's annual town meeting Monday night.. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Allen, Bench elected to school panel

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Susan Allen and John Bench were elected to three-year terms on the Southwest Harbor school committee, outpolling Michael Sawyer in secret ballot voting on Tuesday.

Allen, an incumbent, led the field with 158 votes. Bench garnered 138 votes. Sawyer received 75 votes.

Board of selectmen chairman Dan Norwood, who was unopposed in his bid for reelection to a three-year term, received 196 votes.

There were no candidates for one of Southwest Harbor’s seats on the Mount Desert Island High School board of trustees, which is responsible for the school’s buildings and grounds. Sawyer received 13 write-in votes for that position, and Town Clerk Marilyn Lowell said Tuesday night that she would contact Sawyer to find out if he is willing to serve.

Voters on Tuesday authorized the selectmen to spend up to $84,000 in surplus funds for construction of new public restrooms to the replace the existing ones behind Veterans Memorial Park off Main Street.

Voters also approved an ordinance amendment allowing the selectmen to accept as a town road any privately built road that meets the town’s construction standards. Previously, a privately built road could become a town road only by a vote of residents at town meeting.

A proposal to convey an easement to Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina for construction of a breakwater in the harbor also was approved by voters on Tuesday.

Budgets passed

At the open floor town meeting here Monday night, voters approved school and municipal budgets for next fiscal year totaling $6.5 million.

The $3.3 million budget for Pemetic Elementary School is 1.1 percent higher than the budget for the current year. The $3.2 million municipal budget is 1 percent higher.

Town Manager Don Lagrange estimates that the new budgets – along with a higher assessment for Mount Desert Island High School – will raise the town’s property tax rate from $12.86 per thousand dollars of valuation to between $12.95 and $13.01. He said the exact figure will depend on the results of this year’s property valuations. The higher the total valuation, the lower the tax rate.

About 65 residents turned out to vote on the budgets at the open floor town meeting on Monday. Nearly every budget item passed unanimously or with only one or two dissenting voices.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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