MACHIAS – Twenty-four residents spent 35 minutes on town business on Tuesday evening, including approval of an article that lists many new street names.
Not even that drew a discussion at the annual town meeting, which had no extraordinary controversy to attract more of Machias’ 2,600 residents to the gym at Machias Memorial High School.
New town manager Betsy Fitzgerald, in her position for just one month, led the voters in the Pledge of Allegiance, then watched quietly as the town business was conducted.
The town finished off its work on the E-911 street-naming project with voters passing the complete list of names. In 2004 and 2005, residents sent the addressing officer back for more work.
Tuesday’s vote means that every resident who has been living on the outskirts of the town and using RFD (Rural Free Delivery) or HCR (Hired Carrier Route) addresses will soon have proper street numbers and names.
“We’ve been waiting for this for three years,” said Jim Raymond, who has done considerable work on the project.
But residents shouldn’t expect to see street signs by year’s end.
“This won’t happen in time for Christmas cards,” Raymond said.
With the approval of the new names, which have been on display in the town office for several months, the town will now forward the changes to the state Office of Geographic Information Systems in Augusta for mapping.
The list then goes to both the post office and the telephone company before residents are notified of any changes to their addresses.
Selectman Warren Gay and resident and local historian Lyman Holmes assisted Raymond in the last year in the street-naming project.
Holmes had made a point at last year’s meeting that Dublin Street – a historic reference to a place where Irish immigrants once lived together – should be restored and not dropped for an easier-to-remember Main Street.
He agreed to join the E-911 committee, and in the just-approved list, Dublin Street is back in the books.
On Monday, residents voted on municipal positions and approved all articles in the school referendum.
In a three-way race for the two open selectmen’s seats, Leslie Haynes (115 votes) and incumbent Stephen Smith (93 votes) outpolled 20-year veteran Edward Pellon (62 votes).
Haynes, who had run unsuccessfully for selectman in 2005, is a lifelong Machias resident who has worked for 20 years at EBS, one of the in-town hardware stores. He also has been a deacon of the Community of Christ Church on North Street.