Chesterville voters to consider money for playground equipment

CHESTERVILLE — Voters will make four money-related decisions at a special town meeting on Thursday, including one for playground equipment and another for waste management services.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Dave Archer’s Town Hall.

The first article asks whether to appropriate up to $25,000 to build a playground at the municipal office next to the basketball courts and make necessary improvements. The money would come from the city’s allocation of the US Federal Bailout Act. If there was no money available from this, the undesignated fund would be used.

The playground project would create a safe area for children and others, and would include repairing bleachers, adding benches and replacing dirt in the baseline, if necessary.

City Clerk Melissa Letarte said about $121,373.50 of the federal program went unspent.

Another article asks voters to allow elected officials to sign a 15-year contract with Central Maine Power to convert streetlights in the city to LED bulbs. If voters choose not to, CMP will continue to repair streetlights until it can no longer obtain high-pressure sodium replacement parts, then switch to LEDs or the latest technology.

The estimated annual cost of streetlights as of February 22, with the standard offering, was $4,688.43. The LEDs would cost $3,092.83, a savings of $1,595.60, depending on the mandate.

Another article asks voters to authorize elected officials to sign an amendment to the contract with Waste Management. He is asking for a 2% increase due to disruptions in the supply chain for critical materials and equipment, labor shortages and significant increases in maintenance costs. The money would come from the undesignated fund.

“COVID-19 was a significant and unforeseen impact on their operations that the city and Waste Management could not have contemplated at the time of contract execution,” according to the terms of reference.

The final article asks if voters will approve of offering a simple Individual Retirement Account to all employees earning more than $5,000 a year, not just full-time employees, which they did in June.

Municipal IRA packages offered by financial firm Edward Jones require that any employee who earns $5,000 or more per year be offered IRA coverage. The city will match its employees’ contributions, dollar for dollar, up to 3% of their annual compensation. If an employee does not contribute, he receives no matching contribution, according to the mandate.


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