December 12, 2019

Lamoine voters reject purchase of 30 acres

LAMOINE – Voters decided Tuesday not to buy 30 acres for future town use after more than a year of study.

The vote was 541 not to buy the land and 472 in favor.

The 30 acres and related expenses would have cost the town $309,000 – an amount many residents said was too high despite the fact that housing lots in town are being sold for up to $50,000.

“I was actually surprised it was as close as it was,” Josephine “Jo” Cooper, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said Wednesday.

Cooper said some residents find it difficult to spend money today for something that may not benefit the town for 30 years.

She said voters might look back at the vote in the future and wish they had voted differently.

Residents last year approved $3,000 for the advisory Public Works Study Committee to identify available parcels that would be suitable for a new elementary school, a municipal complex, or both.

Ken Smith, the study committee chairman, argued during a recent public hearing that the land would be a bargain for the town. He explained the committee’s exhaustive search for suitable land for future town use and ended up with just one parcel behind Lamoine Consolidated School.

Correction: A shorter version of this article ran in the Final edition.

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