NEW VINEYARD – By more than a 2 to 1 margin, voters at a special town meeting Saturday reversed a decision at town meeting in March and decided against borrowing money to repair a section of Barker Road.
In what was seen as a technicality, all that was needed on Saturday was a re-vote to correct the wording of an article pertaining to a bond application. Instead of voting for the inclusion of language about the town’s financial statement, residents voted 48 to 17 against the correction, effectively killing a $222,000 bond to rebuild a portion of Barker Road.
Voters questioned the reasoning behind borrowing nearly a quarter of a million in these increasingly tough economic times, said Fay Adams, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen. To date, $198,000 has been spent this year to repair sections of the Barker Road, which stretches from Route 27 north to Route 234. The additional money was to repair the area around Herrick Mountain Road and Barker Road.
At the March town meeting, residents narrowly approved taking out a 10-year loan from the Maine Bond Authority by a vote of 37-30. Many were swayed by the argument that the 4 percent interest rate was less than the ever-increasing costs of road construction, which have ballooned along with world petroleum prices.
“They changed their minds. Many said it wasn’t a good time to go into debt because of the country’s economy,” Adams said. “A lot of people had second thoughts.”
Voters did approve spending $9,500 from the surplus account to put a new metal roof on the town’s office and library building. The building’s shingled roof has begun to leak and Adams said they can’t go through another winter for fear of suffering more water damage.