Town Meeting 2011

 Bethel’s Town Meeting on Wednesday, June 15th, was attended by 62 voters and lasted 38 minutes.  All articles passed as recommended by the Board of Selectmen.  The new Board for FY 2012 is: Stan Howe, Chair; Robert Everett, Vice Chair; Donald G. Bennett, Patricia Carter and Lloyd Sweetser. Harry Dresser moderated the meeting.

 Top two issues up for vote were on the “Bingham Land” and a bond issue for capital improvements to the town sewer system.

 Article 3 read: Shall the Town vote to approve a Consent Agreement entered into with the Maine State Attorney General's Office transferring the ownership of the so called Bingham Land from the Bethel Water District to the Town of Bethel with certain restrictions.

 Voters approved the article but the article did not mention that the Bingham Land is in Newry and the BWD pays annual property taxes on it. 

The second special article in this year’s town meeting warrant read as follows:


To see if the Town will vote to approve capital improvement projects consisting of the replacement of the Vernon Street pump station, replacement of a Sludge Tank liner, replacement of the Blower Building Deck, and potential land purchase for a sum not to exceed $800,000; to fund the capital improvement project, to authorize the Treasurer and the Chairperson of the Board of Selectmen to issue general obligation securities of the Town of Bethel (including temporary notes in anticipation of the sale thereof) in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $800,000; and to delegate to the Treasurer and the Chairperson of the Board of Selectmen the discretion to fix the date(s), maturity(ies), interest rate(s), denomination(s), place(s) of payment, form and other detail of said securities, including execution and delivery of said security(ies) and to provide for the sale thereof.

Manzer Appeal Hearing

 Friday afternoon, June 17th, Bethel Board of Appeals heard and ruled on Mr. Bruce Manzer’s appeal of the Planning Board decision to not approve a site plan for operation on an asphalt plant on the North Road. The Board upheld the Planning Board decision of April 13, 2011. Thirty-eight members of the public and associated officials filled the hearing room.  

Board members present to hear the case were:  Chairman Michael J. O’Donnell, Wende Gray, Scott Gould, Lennie Shaw, Vicki Rackliffe and Attorney Phil Saucier, town attorney.  Chairman O’Donnell recused himself for reason of possible impartiality and Wende Gray chaired the hearing. Factors for appeal were compliance with the Site Plan Review ordinance by the Planning Board’s process and a reasonable person’s comprehension of the operating environment of Mr. Manzer’s asphalt plant. 

These two points were reaffirmed by Atty. Saucier. The appellant could not introduce new evidence. 

Mr. Manzer’s basis for appeal did not address the two elements of the Planning Board’s decision. The Board of Appeals voted to uphold the Planning Board decision.

 Although Wende Gray and Lennie Shaw commented on the odor restrictions defined in the town ordinance, these comments were immaterial to the hearing as the town Site Plan Review ordinance had been approved by Bethel voters as the “law of the land” in Bethel’s Code.

Town Reports 

Who will look after the town’s new property?

Conservation work to be done in and supervision of the “Bingham Land” deed restrictions will fall to the Bethel Conservation Commission. Members are:

 Jarrod Crockett, Jacquelyn K. Cressy, Jessie Seymour Perkins, Kathleen Ford and  Landon Fake

 This commission’s report in the latest town report reads:



As in previous years, the BCC continued its various projects to include: maintaining the Mount Will trail and its Extension Trail leading to the Androscoggin; maintaining and refreshing the special plantings at points along the Bethel Pathway; monitoring the management of the Bethel Town Forest; and providing assistance at the annual Hazardous Household Waste Collection Day.

The members of the Commission were available to advise the Town and members of the community regarding street tree pruning, removal, and replacement. They also provided information regarding the use of native plants and eradication of invasive species. J. Cressy, representing the Commission, served as an advisor to the GETWET project carried out by Telstar High School students in November of 2009. This project involved testing of local water sources for various characteristics. BCC members J. Cressy and K. Ford also advised on the development of rain gardens required around the skateboard park, and assisted with the planting.

The BCC continued as a member of the Maine Association of Conservation Commissions (MECC). Members of the Conservation Commission for at least part of the time during this period included: David DeGruttola, Don Murphy, Jackie Cressy, Dean Walker, and Kathy Ford. (New members are appointed by the Selectmen and usually begin their terms in January. Anyone wishing to serve on the Commission is welcome to fill out an application available from the Town Office staff.)

Respectfully Submitted, Jackie Cressey

 Minutes from the June 6 meeting of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting are online at the Town of Bethel Website.

Excerpts from the minutes are printed below:

 Sheriff Gallant was in to update the board on his department’s activity in Bethel over the past year. Both parties agreed that the new arrangement was working well.

The board reviewed the bids received for the tax acquired property located at 37 Balsam Road. Dennis Doyon moved, Robert Everett seconded to award the bid for property located on Map 15 Lot 16-25 & Map 15 Lot 16-26 to David North for a bid of $101,300. If for some reason the bid is not executed then the town will automatically award the bid to Ron Savage for $87,947. All were in favor.

Dennis Doyon moved, Robert Everett seconded to award the bid for property located on Map 15 Lot 16-024 to Ron Savage for a bid of $8,700. All were in favor.

Manager Doar informed the board that all bidders have thirty days to execute their bid.

Manager Doar discussed with the board the disposition of firearms discovered in the tax acquired property located at 37 Balsam Rd. Jack Cross moved, Don Bennett seconded to authorize Manager Doar to sell the firearms to a licensed firearms dealer. All were in favor.

 The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for June 20th at 7:00 PM.

 Main items for discussion are:

 Items for Discussion and Possible Action

Update on Bog Brook Activities by Col. Jeff Morton

Report on Law Enforcement Activities – Sheriff Wayne Gallant

Town Financial Reports

Meeting Schedule for July – December

Concealed Weapons Permit Application

Po Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217