Gouldsboro gears up for outdoor Town Meeting

GOULDSBORO — A few clouds, light winds from the west and a low of 57 degrees F are predicted for next Wednesday evening, Aug. 26, when the moderator will call to order this coastal community’s first outdoor Town Meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. outside the Recreation Center off the Pond Road. Townspeople must wear masks and are asked to bring lawn chairs. A blanket, flashlight, bug spray and water would be a good idea too.

Since July, Gouldsboro’s Budget Committee has met a dozen times to draft the town’s proposed $1.836 million 2020-21 municipal budget, which represents a $76,586 rise — a 4.3 percent increase — over the $1.759 million 2019-20 budget. Registered voters will have the final say, but they must be physically present to cast their vote on the 33-article warrant during the proceedings, which will be live-streamed via the online videoconferencing platform Zoom. The log-in code will be available before the meeting on the town website at gouldsborotown.com.

General administration costs totaling $317,473 are among the expenses boosting the $1,836,535 municipal budget recommended by the Board of Selectmen. The volume of garbage and related costs have risen too now that recyclables no longer are being separated from the regular waste. For solid waste, $148,000 (including collection and disposal) is budgeted.

“We went over this budget line by line,” Budget Committee Chairman Dwight Rodgers said Tuesday. “Anywhere, we could find a place that wouldn’t hurt townspeople, we cut.”

At Town Meeting, Town Manager Andrea Sirois says two separate outdoor areas will be designated — in the parking lot and on the grounds — to accommodate a maximum of 50 people each. Families numbering up to 10 may sit together, but must be 6 feet apart from others, in accordance with state COVID-19 pandemic-related guidelines.

Parking space will be limited. Some of the parking lot will be available for those attending Town Meeting, but some space will be reserved for office staff, selectmen and individuals with handicaps. Some roadside parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Rec Center’s bathrooms will be available, but only one person will be allowed into the facilities at a time and those waiting must stand 6 feet apart. The rest of the building’s interior will be off limits and no congregating will be allowed. For updated info, go to gouldsborotown.com.

Letitia Baldwin

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]
Letitia Baldwin

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