Belgrade's Town Meeting, consisting of a secret-ballot election on March 20 and a communal gathering on March 21, has been postponed as a result of the ongoing public health concerns. The Board of Selectpersons also decided to close the Transfer Station's recycling center, citing the potential hazard of employees handling materials that could be contaminated with the coronavirus.
The temporary closure of the recycling center is effective immediately. Recyclables should be dropped into the hopper along with other household waste. Cans and bottles may be bagged and placed in one of the three bins that two local churches and the Belgrade/Rome food pantry use to generate revenue for their community work.
The Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to delay Town Meeting, including the election, until an as yet to be determined date. The move was in anticipation of the Maine Legislature approving a bill later in the evening that allowed towns to delay town meetings and elections for 30 days or until the governor lifts a declaration of emergency. Towns that delay their town meetings will operate under the budgetary authority voters granted them in 2019.
The Board will evaluate the timing of a Town Meeting each time it meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. In doing so, it will assess the potential health risk to participants.
Absentee ballots may still be turned in to the dropbox on the north side of the Town Office, 990 Augusta Road. Absentee ballots will be secured until they are to be processed in conjunction with the next election date. The ballot includes a contested Selectboard race, the budgets of the Library and Recreation Department, financial requests from nonprofit agencies, and an ordinance to help the Fire Department recover some of the costs of its emergency responses.
Town facilities remain closed to the public in a precautionary effort to combat the spread of coronavirus in the community. The Town Office, Library and Center for All Seasons continues to provide services via telephone, email, the Internet and posted mail. The closures are meant to protect both citizens and Town staff.
Updates will be posted on this website and on the Town's Facebook page.