Industry Voters Approve All Articles, Elect Officials

First manager Earl “Lee” Ireland speaks at the annual Industry Town meeting on Saturday. Pam Harnden / Livermore Falls Announcer

INDUSTRY — Voters approved an additional $50,000 for the design and construction of a new municipal garage, passed all budget items and elected municipal officials at Saturday’s annual municipal meeting.

In about an hour, 22 voters made their way through 34 mandate articles.

Voters approved $30,000 for the fire department, $5,000 less than the usual amount. Last year, when voters approved the purchase of a truck, the department agreed to pay $5,000, Ireland said. “They will try to do more with less.”

Section 22 sought to increase the select committee’s salary by $1,000 for each position.

“Why?” asked resident Mark Prentiss. “You can’t get away with it that easily.”

It took voters 15 minutes to scan through 19 articles.

The board scoured the city’s reports and found the selectors were “kind of low-end for Maine selectors,” first draftsman Earl “Lee” Ireland said. The last salary adjustment was in 2006, and raising it could help attract good people to serve, he noted.

“Elected officials can raise salaries for other city workers, we can’t do it for ourselves,” Ireland said.

“Industry selectors are some of the lowest paid in the region,” said resident Betty Clark.

A resident asked what “summer roads” meant. Roads Commissioner Joseph Paradis Jr. said it was for summer road repairs.

“Years ago we talked about having just one ‘roads’ account because of the uncertainty of when plowing should start each year,” Ireland said. Selectmen proposed an annual program that puts $75,000 for summer roads, $80,000 for winter, and anything unspent goes back to those accounts, so the odd amounts, he said note.

For summer roads, $61,741 has been approved and $59,735 has been set aside for winter roads.

Resident Richard Plouff asked if a crosswalk could be installed near the Clearwater Lake beach.

“The state won’t let us do this,” Paradis said.

“We could do it, but the state is not going to approve it,” Ireland said. “It’s a responsibility that the City of Industry just can’t handle.”

Clearwater Lake Association will erect water-filled Jersey plastic barriers in a semicircle around the monument to channel children and hopefully slow traffic as it descends Highway 43, he noted.

Voters also approved $50,000 for the continued design and construction of the new municipal garage. Last year, $22,000 was raised for this purpose.

Several meetings were held to determine if and where it could be built, Ireland said. “The goal is to get it back to voters in June, before taxes are incurred,” he noted. “If it comes down to $1.5 million, we’re not going to do it, we’ll leave the money in the account, hope the costs come down.”

“The industry pays $1.6 million a year to keep the city running,” Ireland said. Of that amount, $124,000 went to county taxes and $935,000 to Regional School Unit 9 last year, he noted. In 1986, those amounts were $14,000 and $134,000 (respectively), he added.

In elections earlier today, incumbent Stewart Durrell secured 43 votes for another three-year term on the selection committee. He was unopposed.

Richard Ruhlin received 39 write-in votes for a two-year term on the Regional School Unit 9 Board of Trustees. A March 9 post on the industry’s Facebook page said he was seeking the position.

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