The Gorham Times, Gorham, Maine's Community Newspaper

Staff Writer

The Town Council asked Staff to draft a contract zone for 135 Dingley Springs Road, to allow both buildings to be used as a body shop. The proposal will be sent to the Planning Board for Public Hearing and recommendations.

The Town Council voted to authorize a TIF (tax increment financing) district for Sebago Brewing Company which the Council has determined “will contribute to the economic growth or wellbeing of the Town and to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the Town including employment opportunities, broadened and improved tax base and economic stimulus constituting good and valid public purposes.”

The Town Council voted to adopt the 2017- 2018 Fiscal Year Budget with the following departmental totals:

General Government – $1,535,289

Public Safety – $4,086,816

Public Works/Solid Waste/ Engineering & Insp Services – $2,579,514

Health & Welfare and Social Service Agencies – $60,600

Recreation/Community Center/Cable – $523,180

Libraries and Museum – $474,274

Development – $75,866

Debt & Interest – $1,888,671

Capital Items – $166,533

Insurance and Employee Benefits – $2,343,425

Other Town Services and Unclassified – $317,500

Subtotal – $14,051,668

Cumberland County Property Tax – $1,113,546

Total – $15,165,214

Non-Property Tax Revenues – $6,590,021

Capital Budget Part II in the amount of $1,394,848 will be funded from the town’s undesignated fund balance.

All taxes on real estate and personal property shall be due and payable upon approval of this Order. One-half of all real estate and personal property taxes that remain unpaid on November 15, 2017 will begin bearing interest on November 16, 2017, and that the final half of all real estate and personal property taxes that remain unpaid on May 15, 2018, shall commence bearing interest on May 16, 2018 at the interest rate of 7.0% per annum until paid and collected. The Tax Collector and Treasurer are authorized to collect and receive.

The Finance Director was authorized to accept prepayment of real and personal property taxes. The Town Council established an interest rate of 3.0% per annum to be paid on all real estate and personal property taxes rebated due to overpayment of taxes.

The Town Council also requires any tax payment received from an individual as payment for any property tax be applied against outstanding or delinquent taxes due on that property in chronological order beginning with the oldest unpaid tax bill. However, no such payment shall be applied to any tax for which an abatement application or appeal is pending unless a written approval from a taxpayer is received. This order shall remain in effect until rescinded by the Municipal Officers.

The budget was amended to include four extra hours per week for three Deputy Clerks in the Finance/ Clerk’s office for a total of $11,721. (5 yeas, 1 nay: Smith)

Nine hours were added to the ACO in the Police Department for a total of $16,940.

The Assessing Department Budget was increased by $26,027 bringing the total to $167,000. The Employee Benefit Budget was reduced by $37,000, which brings the total to $2,149,425. The Public Utility Budget increased by $3,000 to become $83,000. $800 was appropriated for the purchase of American Flags. Total budget reduction is $7,173. (6 yeas) $7,300 will be donated to the Happy Healthy Gorham Project.

$230,000 was eliminated from the Capital Improvement Part 2 Budget for the Rubber Canvas Sand Shed. The amount was instead placed in Supplemental Funds for Road Work. (5 yeas, 1 nay: Shepard)

Amended Capital Budget Part II passed.

The Town Council adopted a new cemetery ordinance, which will include the following cemeteries: Eastern Cemetery, Fort Hill Cemetery, Hillside Cemetery, Huston Road Cemetery, Little Falls Cemetery, North Street Cemetery, Sapling Hill Cemetery, Shaw’s Mills Cemetery, Smith Cemetery, South Gorham Cemetery, South Street Cemetery and West Gorham Cemetery.

The last ordinance has been in place since the 1980’s and was in need of an update.

The Town Council referred a proposal to rezone land owned by Shaw Brothers Family Foundation Inc. to the Planning Board for their public hearing and recommendation. The proposal is to rezone from Industrial to a new Industrial/Agricultural Zone that would add agricultural use, recreational use, food processing and retail use to permitted uses.

The Town Council endorsed a PACTS application for intersection and traffic signal improvement. This will improve the intersection of Main Street, New Portland Road, and Mechanic Street. Traffic signals for Gorham Village were also included in the application.

Town Manager, David Cole, was authorized to begin the process of renewing the Town Cable TV Franchise agreement which is set to expire in 2019. The Town will retain Tony Vigue to provide consulting services for the renewal process and authorize the establishment of a temporary Cable TV Advisory Committee, with 3-5 members, to assist the Town Manager, Consultant and GOCAT Manager during the renewal process. The Committee will consist of one member of the Town Council, one member of the School Board, and up to three members of the Public.

Jim Anderson’s resignation from the Planning Board was accepted and will be effective on July 18, 2017. The Town Council expressed its appreciation for his service on the Planning Board and to the Gorham Community.

A request to amend the Land Use & Development Code to allow Adult Day Care in the Suburban Residential Zone from Andrew Kull, Esq, on behalf of Samera Mohammad, was referred to the Ordinance Committee for their review and recommendations.

Complete minutes are available on the town’s website.