Town Meeting at the polls

SOUTHWEST HARBOR Nearly 350 absentee ballots have been sent out for the Aug. 11 Town Meeting that is set to take place at the polls this year, according to Town Clerk Marilyn Lowell. 

In order to comply with regulations surrounding the pandemic, town officials opted to have all 43 warrant questions on a ballot this year. Voting polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the fire station on Main Street.  

A limit of five people will be allowed inside to vote at a time. Voters are asked to comply with proper social distancing rules, maintaining 6 feet between people while waiting in line and to wear a mask. There will be masks available at the polls if a resident does not have one, as well as hand sanitizer.   

Among the warrant articles is approval of the $4,000,892 school budget for fiscal year 2021. Individual articles highlight the amount voters need to approve for specific instruction and programs. That budget amount does not include the startup cost for a pre-kindergarten program. School officials opted to postpone that program for at least a year in response to the pandemic and its anticipated economic strain on the community.  

If approved, the $4,446,500 proposed municipal budget is a 3.21 increase of the mil rate from last year. That total includes a $2.5 million municipal operations budget, $492,225 in the Capital Improvement Plan accounts and $338,650 for the Reserve Accounts. All items that contribute to that total are laid out in a table on the warrant in the town report.  

Town reports are available to pick up at the town office and include the entire warrant with last year’s amounts for each item listed. In order to make ballot counting easier by machine, the format of the ballot for the polls looks different so voters can mark yes or no.  

Absentee ballots can be picked up at the town office until 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 11, at which time the town office will close for the rest of the day. They can also be picked up at the polls and turned in by 8 p.m. if people want to cast their vote from a place other than the polls.  

For any questions regarding the election, contact the town office at 244-5404. 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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