Bridgton voters ‘invest’ in future, growth possibilities

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

When Town Manager Robert Peabody was asked to comment on the “Yes” vote to expand the wastewater system and renovate Main Street, he simply said, “Wow!”

Voters soundly approved three referendum questions that will significantly improve Bridgton’s infrastructure.

“Voters overwhelmingly made the decision to invest in Bridgton’s future,” Peabody said.

The wastewater expansion project was approved 1,806 to 749. Meanwhile, streetscapes were given the go ahead by margins of 1,370 to 871 for the upper portion of Main Street; and 1,438 to 786 for the lower portion.

Peabody credited the successful vote to hard work put in by town staff over the past five years. He also pointed to Wastewater Committee members, including chairman Bear Zaidman, who pushed hard to keep the project in the forefront.

Peabody noted that officials sought to place the questions before voters on the November ballot, rather than at the annual town meeting in June, to “maximize the amount of voters” acting on the projects that total about $28 million.

Now, officials will work on details to prepare to put the projects out to bid. Peabody anticipates that the wastewater project will be ready for the bid process by late summer, while the Main Street projects should be set to go by March.

Voters also acted on three other referendum questions:

Marijuana ordinance regarding retail medical marijuana storefronts, Yes 1,350 — No 1,183. The “yes” vote will enable the town to enact a moratorium to allow planners time to develop an ordinance addressing storefronts.

Sign Ordinance was approved, Yes 1,458 — No 1,008

Fire Protection and Life Safety Ordinance was also supported, Yes 1,684 — No 746.

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