Blue Hill voters OK hazard pay

BLUE HILL — A handful of Blue Hill residents approved hazard pay compensation totaling $16,680 to members of the Blue Hill Fire Department as well as town office staff during a special town meeting Monday that lasted just a few minutes.

The Fire Department will receive $6,000 and the town office staff $10,680 for services during the COVID-19 pandemic — from March 15, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The money will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds. Of that $16,680 total amount, $3,000 will come from a matching program established by the Hancock County Commissioners.

One resident questioned the use of the funds for town office staff, thinking that the town office was closed during some of the pandemic. It was not.

Town Administrator Shawna Ambrose said the town office remained open for business, which was handled via telephone and email. There were also boxes placed outside on the town office porch for residents to leave their paperwork. The pandemic created more work for the staff, especially for handling elections.

“It hasn’t always been easy,” said Select Board member Jim Dow.

Voters also approved authorizing the selectmen to enter a license agreement with the new owner of the communication tower on Blue Hill Mountain — similar to an agreement the town had with the former owner, Blue Hill Mountain Leasing.

Also approved was an item authorizing the Select Board to enter into contracts for snow removal and sanding for a term not to exceed three years if the board deems that to be in the best interest of Blue Hill.

The initial special town meeting warrant had an item proposing funds to pay the Hancock County Planning Commission for its services to create a comprehensive plan.

Ambrose said that item will be on the annual Town Meeting warrant. The annual Town Meeting is usually held in April.

Jeff Milliken served as moderator for Monday’s meeting.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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