Voters in Mercer, Rome, Smithfield and Belgrade have approved $115,000 in funding requests from 7 Lakes Alliance and our lake association partners at March town meetings. We thank our municipal partners and their citizens for their support. Below is an accounting of how much was approved in each community and for what purposes.
Mercer voters approved a $2,000 appropriation to support erosion control work around North Pond performed by 7 Lakes' Youth Conservation Corps. The funding marked the first time 7 Lakes has requested financial support from the Town of Mercer. Voters also approved a $3,500 appropriation for the North Pond Association.
Rome voters approved $36,000 in total funding to 7 Lakes, the Belgrade Lakes Association and the North Pond Association. The funds will support erosion control, courtesy boat inspections and remediation of invasive aquatic plants around and in three waterbodies -- Great Pond, Long Pond and North Pond. The sum was flat this year after Rome doubled its appropriation in 2022.
Smithfield voters approved $7,500 in funding for 7 Lakes to be split between the Youth Conservation Corps and courtesy boat inspections. The total represented a 50% increase over 2022's funding request. Additionally, Smithfield's town meeting attendees approved $2,500 for East Pond Association and $3,500 for North Pond Association.
Belgrade voters approved $60,000 in total funding to support the work of 7 Lakes, the Belgrade Lakes Association, Friends of Messalonskee and the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association. The total was $20,000 more than in 2022. The funds will be used for erosion control, courtesy boat inspections and remediation of invasive milfoil around and in Belgrade's five lakes.
Town meeting voters in Sidney on March 25 will consider $9,500 in requests from 7 Lakes and Friends of Messalonskee. 7 Lakes' $3,000 request is $1,300 more than in 2022; the funds would support the YCC's erosion control work. Friends of Messalonskee's $6,500 request -- $1,000 more than last year -- would help fund courtesy boat inspections and removal of invasive milfoil. Sidney's town meeting begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at James H. Bean School, 2896 Middle Road.
7 Lakes is also requesting financial support from the Town of Oakland and, for the first time, the Town of Mount Vernon. Those communities' town meetings will be in June.