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Magic City
Morning Star

Medway Votes to Pay Down Debt

MEDWAY -- Taxpayers in Medway took steps to slow the growth of their tax rate during the June 11th town meeting.

Nevertheless, Medway taxpayers can expect to see a slight increase in their property taxes this year, but the increase is due to fewer funds available from state subsidies and not because the town failed to keep spending at a minimum.

Medway voters decided to pay for a recently completed town garage rather than financing the construction costs, as they had previously determined.

By spending some of its surplus to pay off the garage project, voters avoided having to raise an extra $284,000 through additional taxes.

In addition, the town voted to raise $5,600 to pave four internal roads in the Grindstone Cemetery, a move that is expected to help with drainage problems that have been reported on the front side of the cemetery.

Kathy Lee, Medway Administrative Assistant, said that the 2003/04 mil rate will not execeed $22.90. The current rate is set at $21.75.

The town has sufficient funds to operate for six months if a tax payment crisis should occur, and voters authorized the town to seek tax-anticipation financing if needed.

The town budget reflected a $7,800 decrease from last year, and there were no increases in the school budget.

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With some discussion, the town voted unanimously to extend its contract with the East Millinocket school department.

Resident Paul Farrington expressed concerns over language permitting East Millinocket to withdraw from the agreement at any time.

“They could have pulled the plug on us two or three times,” he said, suggesting that East Millinocket may have broken the contract if Brascan hadn’t purchased the mill.

Farrington also cast the only dissenting vote on the town’s contribution to MAGIC, the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council, insisting that the contribution was nothing more than a burden to the town.

MAGIC is funded in part by donations from Millinocket, East Millinocket, and Medway, the area’s three largest towns.

Bruce McLean, MAGIC’s executive director, said that he has been working with several businesses interested in coming to the area, and said that he has been strongly promoting Medway, with its location right off of the interstate. McLean also said that businesses currently operating in Medway have also come to him for guidance and resources.

“I wouldn’t give you people 13 cents,” Farrington replied.

The town’s contribution to MAGIC, along with other requests for donations to area organizations passed.

Only 39 of Medway’s 1,500 residents were in attendance.

-- Ken Anderson 06/17/03