Greenwood's meeting on Tri-Town set for Nov. 8
Greenwood voters will assemble once again Monday, Nov. 8, to decide whether to continue with Tri-Town Rescue Service as the town's primary ambulance service.
The business of the meeting, however, may be settled before voters settle into their chairs.
On Election Day, Nov. 2, voters in nearby West Paris will decide by referendum vote if they wish to continue with Tri-Town. Should they opt not to, the service will effectively be forced to shut down, leaving Greenwood without that option.
At Monday evening's regular selectmen's meeting, Town Manager Kim Sparks said that one resident proposed that the meeting not be scheduled until after the West Paris vote, since there could be no need for it
But, she said, Fred Henderson chairman of the Greenwood Board of Selectmen (who was not at Monday's meeting) said he believed the town owed it to its Tri-Town volunteers to schedule the meeting, “and give them confidence that we're going to put our best foot forward and see what the voters want.”
If West Paris does vote down Tri-Town, “we'd still have to go with our meeting, since it was posted,” Sparks said, “but we'd just open it, explain that there was no business at hand, and close it.”
If West Paris votes to stay with Tri-Town, the special Town Meeting's business will consist of three articles:
To elect a moderator.
To see if Greenwood will enter into an inter-local agreement with West Paris to assume Tri-Town's ownership, obligations and operations.
And to approve a budget of $136,200 for the period from Nov. 1, 2010 until June 30, 2011.
The budget would be funded primarily ($103,890) by billing for service, but the four towns or townships served by Tri-Town would also pay a stipend, based on their populations. West Paris would pay $17,220, Greenwood $8,020, Sumner $5,480 and Milton Township (Oxford County) $1,230.
Greenwood's stipend would come from the towns Community Safety and Ambulance Service Account, which as of Oct. 19, had a balance of $13,733.
The special Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Jackson Silver American Legion Post, on the Gore Road.
Calling a special Town Meeting was not the selectmen's first choice for dealing with the Tri-Town matter. In earlier discussions the board members had indicated a clear preference for putting the question to a referendum vote on Election Day, as is being done in West Paris.
An Election Day referendum would have produced a larger, presumably more representative, turnout than special Town Meetings typically do, they said.
But after reviewing a tape of the Tri-Town discussion at this year's annual Town Meeting, Sparks said, it was felt that the board had committed itself to holding another meeting for dealing with the proposed inter-local agreement itself, and giving the voters themselves the opportunity to hash the matter out further if they felt the need.