By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - Town officials and a group of municipal employees are at odds over who is eligible for union membership.Employees notified the town by petition earlier this year that a union was being organized and included the police sergeant and the public works foreman as potential members of the organization.
But town officials say the individuals holding those two positions are ineligible because they serve as supervisors in the absence of the police chief and the public works director.
The dispute was aired recently before the Bureau of Labor Board, Town Manager Robert Simpson reported Thursday to the Town Council. He said the labor board would make a ruling on the dispute in 10 days.
It is expected that an election will be held among employees after the labor board has ruled. If 51 percent of the eligible employees elect to join, a union will be formed, Simpson said. The effort affects 21 employees, he reported.
In another matter Thursday, the council approved an emergency ordinance that prohibits parking on Shore Road and Old Pond Road, with the exception of a small area next to the access point of Frye Cove.
In past weeks, people fishing for smelts in the cove have parked vehicles along the south side of the road to the intersection of the Old Pond Road, posing a danger to both pedestrians and motorists, Simpson said. At times, the road has nearly been blocked and the vision of motorists has been impeded, he said.
The emergency ordinance went into effect immediately. Because an emergency ordinance is automatically repealed after 60 days as outlined in the town charter, the council is expected to move forward next month on a permanent ordinance for the restriction.
An application to borrow $500,000 through the Maine Bond Bank to fund road paving was tabled by the council until next month. The move will allow bond counsel to review the document. Town officials plan to pave about 10.7 miles of roads within the commercial and residential districts, pave and repair five municipal parking areas, and 3,180 feet of sidewalks. Simpson said a preliminary application for the borrowing was submitted to the bond bank to meet the Feb. 5 deadline for consideration in the spring 2003 bond issue.
Simpson reported that although Dexter was no longer a candidate for an Economic Development Infrastructure grant because the town had dropped its attempt to purchase the Dexter Shoe Co.'s Water Street property, he still expected approval of an Economic Development Administration grant. The latter funds, he said, would help pay for the engineering study done on the Water Street property.
Trying to avert the town's ownership of a nonconforming junkyard and its costly cleanup, the council approved a waiver of foreclosure on property owned by Randy Gudroe. Gudroe and his salvage business partner, Roger Belanger, have been summoned to court on the junkyard violations.
The waiver will allow Gudroe to pay off the oldest tax lien this month to avoid foreclosure.
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