SAU 9 Supt. Dr. Carl Nelson says he’s extremely pleased with the turnout and results of Tuesday’s voting in Conway, saying it shows residents get out to support education.
All Conway School District articles passed, with the exception of the proposed tax cap.
More than 1,400 voters turned out to vote on town and school issues.
Nelson had expressed concern prior to the vote about the proposed tax cap – Article 13 – that would have limited budgeteers to holding proposed budget increases to no more than a two and a half percent of local taxes raised the previous fiscal year.
Voters rejected the article Tuesday by a vote of 749 to 654.
Nelson had worried if the tax cap had passed it might have prevented the Conway School Board from approving the purchase of a needed large item like a piece of equipment.
While saying he felt all the articles to be voted on were important, Nelson also said he particularly hoped those that dealt with collective bargaining agreements concerning salaries and benefits would pass, and they did.
On town issues, Conway voters once again rejected a request to provide money – $4,000 was requested in Article 21 – to fund the Blue Loon Bus Service run by Tri County CAP. The vote was 773 against providing the funds, 628 in favor.
Blue Loon Transportation Coord. Beverly Raymond says “We were certainly disappointed in the results of the Conway vote… but we do respect it. At this time we will be looking at what our options are but we cannot keep providing the service as it is currently being provided.”
After Conway voters rejected a previous funding request, an anonymous donor contributed the money.
Raymond says Conway is the only town at this point in Carroll County that has rejected the funding request. A petition requesting funding from Tamworth was not made in time so a request for $3,000 there has been made to the Tamworth Foundation.
And, in a reversal of a trend that lasted at least a decade, Conway voters approved Article 15, to provide $10,000 to support the Eastern Slope Airport, the municipal airport in Fryeburg, Maine. The article passed by a vote of 762 to 637. Passage had been recommended by Conway selectmen and the Budget Committee.
Airport manager Dave Cullinan says he’s “elated to see that the voters of Conway are in the majority on the 2014 funding request.” Calling the airport the “Runway to the White Mountains,” he says it has recently upgraded its jet fueling capability and a new approach procedure currently being considered by the Federal Aviation Administration will allow aircraft to land in bad weather. He says the airport’s infrastructure upgrade is moving forward at a steady but modest pace and a planned new terminal to be completed by 2016 will accommodate increasing business and tourist traffic that will benefit the public and valley area economy.
One supporter of the funding request says the airport has been an important asset in providing access for emergency medical flights.