SOUTHWEST HARBOR — When residents gather at town meeting on May 2, they will have a chance to vote for a project that would improve Main Street, along with approving municipal and school budgets for the coming year.
Voters will be asked to appropriate an additional $743,740 from the town’s reserves to fund the Main Street sidewalk project, which, due to rising costs, is now more expensive than anticipated. According to the explanation in the warrant, $1,055,135 was approved at the 2019 town meeting to engineer, build and maintain sidewalks on Main Street south of 400 Main Street to Ocean’s End. Voters in 2019 also gave the town permission to accept available funds from the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) or other sources. The sidewalk project’s engineer design requires that additional grading, drainage, utility and right of way work be funded.
This year’s Southwest Harbor School Department budget of $4,381,762 is slightly higher than the $4,220,474 total school department budget approved the previous year.
On the municipal side, voters this year will be asked to raise $2,852,511, an amount up slightly from the previous budget of $2,674,319.
Article 25 breaks down how the town’s current proposed $27,161 Community Service Organizations budget has decreased $3,000 with this year’s absence of Families First and Mount Desert Nursing Association on the list.
This year the town has requested a total of $395,686 in Article 27 to raise and appropriate for its Capital Improvements Plan Accounts, which is less than the $403,125 approved last year.
The following day, when residents head to the secret ballot election, they will vote for town officers and confront choices to change ordinances and amend zoning requirements.
Article 49 of this ballot contains voting choices for two seats for a three-year term on the Select Board, one member each for a two- and three-year term on the Superintending School Committee and one member on the Board of Trustees of the Mount Desert Island Regional School District for three years.
Choices for two three-year terms on the Select Board will include incumbent Allen Willey and newcomers Michael Sawyer, Natasha Johnson, Michael Magnani and James Vallette.
Newcomer Clifford Noyes is the sole candidate for a two-year term on the Southwest Harbor School Committee, while incumbent John Izenour and newcomer Aaron “Beau” Lisy are candidates on the ballot for a three-year term.
The sole candidate for a three-year term on the Mount Desert Island High School Board of Trustees is Steven Hudson.
Question 1, found on article 50 of the ballot, regards an enactment “Town of Southwest Harbor 911 Addressing Ordinance ” to revoke its public safety street numbering and identification signage for new subdivisions. No one reacted to this ordinance change during a Planning Board public hearing in January.
Article 51 pertains to a proposed zone change on the Clark Point Road that proponents say would aid the working waterfront, which residents Ryan Donahue and Glen Squires spoke in favor of at a public hearing. If approved, the article would amend the shoreland zones on Map 4 Lots 41, 42, 43 and 44 from General Development to Commercial Fishery Maritime Activity, which would provide fishermen more access to the marina.
Town meeting will be held on Monday, May 2, in the Pemetic Elementary School Auditorium at 7 p.m. and the private ballot box election will be on Tuesday, May 3, at the Southwest Harbor Fire Station Meeting Room from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.