June 22, 2018

Raymond Board of Selectmen begin RSU14 withdrawal process by Lorraine Glowczak

The Town of Raymond Board of Selectmen met Tuesday evening, June 19th at 6:30 p.m. at the Broadcast Studio, 423 Mills Road in Raymond. Agenda items included the discussion of a moratorium on manufactured housing and an update on the Regional Broadband Initiative; but perhaps more importantly, the evening also included a discussion and approval of an RSU14 withdrawal.

Selectman Chair, Teresa Sadak, presented the board with a petition that included 253 signatures from Raymond residents who wish to withdraw from RSU14. “This is not something we rushed into quickly,” Sadak stated. “It is something that we have been working on for a long time. We have worked with the Town attorneys to have conversations with the school board as well as with the Town of Windham. We have not received any responses from either of them.”

Sadak explained that the signed petition is only the beginning process to withdrawal from the school district. “It’s only the first step,” she said. “This will include the withdrawal plan and the steps that must be taken in case the withdrawal is approved here tonight.”

The selectmen unanimously approved the signed petition. The next steps to withdrawal include a public hearing for town residents to share their thoughts, which will occur on Tuesday, July 31st followed by a special town meeting on Tuesday, August 14th.

The board meeting also included a 180-day moratorium placed on manufactured/mobile homes. This moratorium was enacted as a result of concerns brought to the board’s attention regarding manufactured/mobile homes placed in areas were zoning does not allow for such. The board of selectmen is asking the planning board to determine clarification on the terminology of single-family dwellings (in terms of manufactured homes). They are asking the planning board to present their findings to the selectmen in 100 days.

Tom Bartell, Director of the Windham Economic Development Corporation and Travis Kennedy, Director of Public Affairs from Cumberland County, presented an update and general outline of the Regional Broadband Initiative to the Board of Selectmen. This high-speed internet initiative includes the towns of Windham, Raymond, Gray and Standish; and has the hope of providing economic development to the four communities that would include attracting new technology, reducing vacancy rates, supporting small and large business - including long distance learning capabilities. Bartell explained that broadband fiber optics would be delivered up through Route 302 to Route 85 with the ending destination at the municipal building.

General income will be coming in to help pay for maintenance of the system and there will be other funding mechanisms to be considered.

For full details and other agenda items discussed, go to the town website at http://www.raymondmaine.org or call the town office at 655-4742.

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