Sedgwick voters approve pair of liquor questions

SEDGWICK — Voters here approved two liquor referendum questions during the annual town municipal election, clearing the way for Sedgwick businesses to provide on-site consumption of liquor.

The first question, which allows liquor to be sold for consumption every day but Sunday, passed 185-50.

The second question, which allows businesses to sell liquor for consumption every day, including Sundays, also passed, 173-65.

{gallery}sedgwick{/gallery} In other business, a contested race for the seat of second selectman went to former selectman Nelson Grindal.

Grindal beat outgoing Selectman Colby Pert with a vote of 131-110.

During the Town Meeting Saturday morning, voters approved a flat municipal budget of $897,626. That figure was obtained by adding up warrant articles.

The municipal budget includes putting $15,000 in a fire equipment reserve account. Voters approved appropriating $10,000 from surplus and raising the other $5,000 from taxes.

Fire Chief David Carter explained that Sedgwick will need to replace the next truck in 2018. The reserve account currently has $69,000.

“We’re probably talking $250,000 to $300,000 or more to replace that truck,” Carter said.

Carter said the Fire Department had wanted to raise money for the upcoming purchase last year but the selectmen didn’t think it was the right time.

Voters also approved appropriating $41,500 for RJD Appraisal to review and update property tax cards, review sales records, update digital photos and do related tasks.

First Selectman Neal Davis said 120 properties are at issue. The problems include property owners challenging their assessments and other problems with property cards.

One resident asked why the selectmen hadn’t gone out to bid for the work.

Selectman Victor Smith said the last time Sedgwick went to bid for the work, the company that was hired only did half the job.

“This is why we’ve got the problem we’ve got today,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of stuff missing on the tax maps.”

Sedgwick had several requests from social service agencies and other organizations.

Most were approved without comment except for an $1,100 request from Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, which was discussed for several minutes before finally being approved.

The request was specifically for the hospital’s prescription assistance program, but that wasn’t made clear to the Budget Committee, which recommended no hospital funding.

Steve Tobey, committee chairman, said the hospital recently spent several million dollars on an upgrade and the committee “felt this was over the top.”

Sedgwick voters Saturday approved a flat municipal budget of $897,525 and a school budget totaling $1,929,917. The school budget was reduced 2.4 percent over this year’s budget.

Find in-depth coverage of local news in The Ellsworth American. Subscribe digitally or in print.