Section of Caribou considering secession

Section of Caribou considering secession

CARIBOU, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- People of Caribou are meeting Thursday night to consider breaking away and forming a new town.

The rural part of Caribou wants to break away from the urban part and form the town of Lyndon. The process has been going on for just under a year. The town of Lyndon would decrease Caribou's area by 80% and its population by 30%.

To secede from a town is a long process. It a starts with a petition of signatures. Back in March, the secession committee submitted more than 1,100 signatures, which led to Thursday's public hearing. The meeting will focus on the potential impact of the proposed secession and possible solutions.

Doug Morrell, who is part of the Caribou secession committee, said they are taking these steps to combat what they call unfair taxation. He said residents in the rural parts pay 40% of all property taxes, but do not receive the same services as those living in the urban area.

"We're paying for stuff that we don't use. We don't get all the frills and benefits out in the country. What i can say is I have a plow that drives by my house in the winter time. I got a plow on my truck, I can plow my own way out to the highway. My point is, is it's too expensive," said Morrell.

Caribou's city manager, Austin Bleess, said he has heard that people do not want to secede from the city because they don't want to lose the services they have now. "Recent survey that the Council did last year at the election showed that the vast majority of people were okay paying the taxes that they do in order to have the services that we have," he said.

If approved, Lyndon will have its own emergency services, waste disposal and road maintenance.

The next step in the succession process would be to put the proposal before the state legislature and request permission for a referendum vote.


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