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The following implications are drawn from the updated inventories in the Appendices Document. These include existing conditions and current trends affecting the people, natural and marine resources, government, public facilities and services, transportation, education, cultures, recreation, open space and historic resources, land use and housing patterns and the community character of West Bath. The implications lay out issues that the West Bath community needs to address in order to direct the town in the ways the townspeople desire it to go over the first two decades of the 21st Century. PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS While West Bath's population as a whole is projected to increase modestly between 2000 and 2015 by 11%, there will be large changes in the composition of the Town's population. The recent 1990s trend indicates that about three quarters of the increase will likely be from in-migrants, mostly retired people. These will include retirees moving into seasonal houses (mostly coastally located) as their primary home, or constructing new houses. There will also likely be a lesser number of younger family households moving into interior portions of town. It is projected that there will be a continuing loss of the Town's young people 18 to 29 years of age as they go off to collage or vocational-technical schools and seek jobs elsewhere, a projected 33% decrease in this age group. The projected 19% decrease in the family-forming and childbearing 30 - 44 year age group by 2015 will contribute to the flattening out of the Town's population by 2015. In contrast, reflecting the start of the country-wide retirement (2011) of baby boomers, there will be 16% more retired people 65 years and older in Town. The general aging of the Town will be reflected in the 32% increase of the 44-64 age group to 40% of the population. The changing population of West bath is projected to decrease the average household size from 2.39 persons per household in 2000 to 2.35 in 2010 thus increasing the demand for more alternative housing to the traditional single-family home. This will likely include housing for more single-parent families, single-person households and single elderly persons, who are projected to comprise 25% of the Town's households by 2015. This also indicates more future demand for elderly retirement housing and assistedliving housing. The 23% of West Bath's work force employed in manufacturing in 2000, mostly at Bath Iron Works facilities, is one of the highest in the State. The relatively higher manufacturing wages has provided the Town with a higher average income than Sagadahoc County and the State. But to the extent that manufacturing employment continues to decrease as a percentage of overall employment in the region and Town, it may be expected that the average (and median) wage of West Bath residents may slip making it harder to buy new homes in Town, pay mortgages and property taxes. And, to the extent that land prices and new house costs may rise faster than the average and median income in the region, there will likely be continued concern on how to maintain affordable property tax rates while meeting the needs of the aging population. In the face of these trends and the fact that only 9% of the Town's workforce worked in Town in 2000, it is unlikely that the Town's young people will return to live in West Bath after finishing post-secondary education or career training, unless more opportunity is afforded to find jobs in Town and the region that provide incomes sufficient to buy land or build a house in Town. In the meantime, the aging population
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and newly arrived retirees are likely to demand community services commensurate to their interests in participating in community meeting spaces, recreational parks, boat landings and trails. So while an aging population will place more demand on Town services, such as rapid EMS (emergency medical services) response to heart attacks as well as additional community amenities, retirees bring an enormous wealth of experience, skills and available time to staff the many volunteer committees in Town. Thus is the challenge to balance the needs between more and better paying employment for the younger workforce with the community facility needs of the aging population and retirees all within an affordable tax rate for all residents. This challenge requires creative comprehensive planning and implementation. PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FOR ECONOMIC TRENDS West Bath functions as a bedroom community for the Bath-Brunswick Labor Market Area. In 2000, over 60% of residents commuted to the principal employment centers of Bath and Brunswick for work. Due to the presence of Bath Iron Works (BIW), the state’s second largest employer, manufacturing represents the primary source of employment for West Bath residents and the largest industry sector in the Bath-Brunswick Labor Market Area. With the presence of the Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS), Government is the second largest industry sector in the labor market. Both BIW and BNAS are considered vulnerable targets in the continued downsizing of the U.S. Department of Defense; BIW, because the Navy is ordering fewer destroyers and considering the consolidation of these orders at one shipyard, and BNAS, because of the latest round of base closures scheduled to be announced in Spring, 2005. Collectively, BIW and BNAS host over 11,000 jobs representing one third of all employment in the Bath-Brunswick Labor Market Area. Downsizing would undoubtedly affect the employment of local residents, who may not be able to find good paying jobs right away in the labor market. Diminished household income would then have a ripple effect on the retail and service businesses in the town. For now, however, residents of the town have enjoyed higher levels of employment than other residents in the county, state, or nation. The town of West Bath hosts almost 400 jobs representing just 1% of employment in the BathBrunswick Labor Market Area. Due to the small number of jobs and businesses in the town, detailed information is not available by industry sector, although Trade, Transportation and Utilities appears to account for the largest number of jobs – 162. Although retail trade has more than doubled from 19962002, as a trade area, West Bath captures less than one quarter of all the retail sales that would be expected for a town of its size. While this represents an opportunity for future growth, such opportunities should be considered in light of what is appropriate for the town, what goods and services are desired locally by residents, and what sectors are underperforming in the region. The New Meadows River watershed has supported a fishing economy in the region since the 1600’s, including lobstering, clamming, and aquaculture. Over 30,000 bushels of soft shell clams are harvested per year in the watershed, accounting for 15% of Maine’s landings and over $2 million dollars per year in direct impact. The continued viability of the fishing industry will depend on many global variables as well as the health of the watershed, including the effect of adjacent land uses, density, and sewage treatment.

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PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM NATURAL RESOURCES Planning implications from Topography and Soils Because each soil type has a different degree of suitability for any of the many possible land uses for which it might be developed, it is important to limit development to the areas that have suitable soil conditions. Development in areas with steep slopes between 10% and 20% and on hydric (wet, containing hydrogen) soils should be carefully regulated with special attention given to erosion control measures, wellhead protection and suitability for underground septic tanks. While careful engineering can compensate for site-specific problems of soil suitability, the overall carrying capacity of soils should be a major consideration in planning for the cumulative impact and distribution of future land uses in Town. In West Bath, areas with more than 20% slope should be prohibited from future development and their existing natural vegetative cover and runoff properties preserved and maintained. Soil survey map interpretation does not eliminate the need for on-site sampling, testing and study of other relevant conditions. Pockets of suitable or unsuitable soils may be present even though the medium intensity soil survey, which is generally less intensive than on-site testing, may not reveal them. The Soil Suitability Map for West Bath indicates that the vast majority of the town has severe limitations for the installation of properly functioning septic systems, including limitations from steep slopes and ledge conditions. In general, the areas with moderate limitations do not coincide with the existing built-up areas. There are no areas of soil associations with few/slight limitations; however, small areas of individual soils may qualify for this rating. Regardless of the soils suitability, if the Town were ever to desire to have an area with high density development, then some sort of sewer system other than individual septic systems would be required. With the demand for year-round housing continuing and as the relatively few remaining developable waterfront parcels disappear, there will be greater pressure to develop upland areas close to the shore on slopes from 0% to 15% where great care would need to be taken.

Planning Implications from Groundwater Drinking water in West Bath is generally supplied from bedrock aquifers that have relatively low yields and are often several hundred feet deep. According to the 1990 Comprehensive Plan there were 7 identified bedrock aquifers in Town and no sand and gravel aquifers. In general the groundwater quality is considered good and its volume adequate, however, groundwater is a very important resource. Existing groundwater supplies are all privately owned with only one public water supply well. Information on the location of bedrock aquifers and allowable yields are especially important in planning for the future development of Town. Threats to groundwater in Town potentially include nitrates, saltwater intrusion, chemical contamination and accidental spills. Future development will likely result in higher risk on groundwater contamination from underground fuel tanks, malfunctioning septic systems, infiltration of pollutants from roads, pesticides and pet wastes from domestic lawns.

Planning Implications from Surface Water
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Watersheds: The DEP (Maine Department of Environmental Protection) maintains a list of lake watersheds throughout the State that are high priority for financial and technical assistance related to non-point source pollution control. This is called the Nonpoint Source Priority Watersheds List (NPS). The New Meadows River Estuary is listed in this document due to high bacteria contamination, commercial marine resources and high ecological value. The issue of water quality is tied particularly closely to the need for inter-town cooperation. Besides the New Meadows River, Winnegance Creek and coastal waters in general warrant cooperative protection. Continuation of the joint State-West Bath program to remove and replace old OBDs (overboard wastewater discharge systems) along the Town's shoreline is one of the key elements in securing and maintaining coastal water quality. Continued application of this program along with the Town's and State's various ordinances and regulations will continue to upgrade the coastal water quality to its specified State standard for fishing, shellfishing and swimming. Wetlands and Vernal Pools: Wetlands and vernal pools provide unique habitat for wildlife species, serve as water purifiers, reduce flood hazard by absorbing rapid runoff, filter erosion and sedimentation and also serve as valuable scenic resources. Because of their importance, these areas should be preserved and protected and land use activities that diminish or destroy their natural characteristics should be avoided. Shorelands and Floodplains: West Bath's Shoreland Zone restricts the type of land uses within 250 feet of designated streams, wetlands and the coastal shoreline. The land uses that are allowed are compatible to maintaining the natural functioning of these riparian areas. Setback of all buildings is required to be 75 feet from the water. The combined effect of compatible uses with setback of buildings helps maintain water quality but also a natural riparian corridor for wildlife between larger blocks of wilderness. Buildings are restricted from the 100-year floodway of streams and lakes. The types and design of buildings, to raise them above the 100 year floodway (the area beyond the floodway that receives standing water during a 100 year flood), also reduces human and property risk during floods, but also helps maintain wildlife corridors along streams. It is estimated that 85% of terrestrial vertebrate animals use riparian corridors for part of their life cycle.

Planning Implications from Wildlife Habitats and Critical Natural Resources High Value Plant and Animal Habitat: West Bath has 10 large blocks of undeveloped land which provide forested habitat for many wildlife species. These blocks are located between the roads in town and range in size from 300 acres to over 800 acres. Two of these blocks continue over into Bath and Phippsburg. The 'Beginning With Habitat' Program has compiled a wealth of information from State and federal agencies on wildlife habitats and critical natural resources for West Bath. The 'Beginning With Habitat' information on West Bath is available at Town Hall. Plants, fisheries and wildlife add significantly to the beauty of West Bath in both visible and invisible ways and are important economic and recreational assets. The Town is home to a variety of fish, shellfish, coastal habitats, multiple species of mammals and birds. Although no formal inventory has been made, species in Town such as bald eagles, waterfowl and deer are of special concern in the region and should be protected through public acquisition, easements and similar regulations. From an ecological perspective, intensive development should be restricted in areas immediately adjacent to identified natural habitats. In addition, ecological principles of biodiversity, key species, habitat size and connectivity (between habitat blocks) should be integrated in the land use regulations and future planning of the Town.
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Potential regional partners in natural resource protection and conservation include the New Meadows River Watershed Program, which is a collaboration between the riverside towns, regional and State agencies. The published 'New Meadows Report' serves as a compilation and summary of currently available information on the present status of the marine environment and resources of the New Meadows River. The document includes information on water and sediment quality, population demographics and current land use within the watershed. The Casco Bay Estuary Project (CBEP) has secured a Sustainable Development Challenge Grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency with two goals: to remediate pollution sources keeping clam flats closed to harvesting and to investigate options for sustaining the harvest. Because of obvious potential socioeconomic benefit from opening clam flats, one of the goals of the 1996 Casco Bay Plan is to actively participate in OBD (overboard wastewater discharge systems) removal in partnership with the Maine DEP and West Bath. 'Friends of Casco Bay' provide staff support in water quality monitoring and sampling programs. Continued regional collaboration on natural resources of regional scope would obviously continue to benefit the Town.

Planning Implications from Scenic View Potentials Scenic views benefit West Bath residents and also provide valuable attraction for town visitors. They serve as inexpensive form of public access to the water. Typically their protection involves low cost and also minimum maintenance. Therefore, future development should be planned in such a way that enhances the quality of scenic vistas.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM MARINE RESOURCES As the shoreline continues to be residentially developed, the cost of maintaining public access to the Town's coastal water will certainly rise. Additional parking at the 3 existing town boat ramps at Bullrock, Dam Cove and Sabino Cove is likely to be desired, whether on-site or nearby in satellite parking lots. Possibilities for additional access in Back Cove, Mountain Road Point, Mill Cove, Winnegance Creek and the lower New Meadows River may become very difficult to achieve in the near future. Some of the informal pathways to coastal shellfish beds may also become more problematic for clammers without selective protection by the Town by access-conservation easements. It is hoped that the informal accesses may continue but a shoreline access and facilities plan would be a prudent approach to addressing future access issues. The 1995 Comprehensive Plan began the process of identifying potential sites for water dependent uses such as a marina where boaters could have temporary tie-ups and perhaps fueling and fishing facilities. The same constraint from continuing shoreline development applies to the probable narrowing of the Town's options concerning locating a town dock or marina. Continuing pleasure watercraft owners desire for moorings in the Town's sheltered coves may be filling up the available spaces. These coves can only serve smaller boats as their mean low water depth is only around 10 feet. As mooring may continue to increase (an average of 10 to 15 new ones a year), the Town may need to do an overall plan for mooring areas, perhaps considering Winnegance Bay. The Bay has generally 22 feet depth at mean low water and can accommodate larger boats. Development of suitable mooring areas in Winnegance Bay would likely entail cooperation with Phippsburg and Harpswell. To further capitalize on the first-rate shellfish productivity of the Town's shellfish beds, the remaining
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OBD (wastewater overboard discharge systems) along the shoreline would need to be removed as well as cooperating with Phippsburg on regional pollution control programs. The Town could become one of the premier clam seedling propagation locations on the Maine Coast as well as hosting, if desired, aquaculture such as oyster farming. The area around Merritt Island and Back Cove are identified as suitable for aquaculture. Both activities could become a source of income to the Town.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM PUBLIC FACILITIES AND SERVICES Planning Implications from Municipal Government Mid-Coast regional trends will continue to impinge upon West Bath, prompting greater regional cooperation with neighboring municipalities, but also sentiment within town for changes of West Bath government to protect the Town from perceived problems from the regional trends. In short, town governance may be encouraged by the residents to put into place ordinances, policies and programs to help protect West Bath's unique sense of community in face of the regional trends upon the Town. Town government will be challenged to find ways to better manage the location of future residential subdivisions with respect to protecting rural character and historic agricultural and forest lands. In the face of continued growth of Cooks Corner and the downtowns of Bath and Brunswick, West Bath will also be challenged to preserve the Town's values and unique character by finding ways to support some form of community focal point and town center. These may include new community buildings, new town parks and recreation fields or enhancement of town boat landings. To pay for preservation of West Bath character in the future, Town government will be challenged to find ways to expand the tax base through, perhaps, expanding the Commercial Zone and floor space of commercial land uses, supplying more public services such as water supply or sewer collection and treatment, property revaluation or other means. If the Town decides to respond to future trends by expanding some functions of Town government such as a full-time codes enforcement officer or new public works crew to care for expanded town properties, then ways to pay for these desired services while maintaining an affordable tax rate will be an ongoing challenge. The task will be to generate greater revenue to the Town and more savings to tax payers than the costs for providing the needed governmental services to make the greater revenues and lesser taxes become a reality. For example, by spending some money on a new public sewer system or full-time codes enforcement employees, there may result even greater future revenue to the Town from expanded businesses and new properties that complement the Town by having been assured that they conform to all the Town's rules including newly detailed aesthetic regulations.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM PUBLIC SAFETY The changing social environment in the Mid-Coast region with the arrival of more retirees and second home dwellers along the shoreline but also more working families spread out among the inland portions of the suburban towns surrounding the region's employment centers, is increasing the work-load of public safety providers. In West Bath, the responsibility to respond to retiree needs for sometimes rapid medical attention, such as a heart attack, and for providing a sense of security in sometimes spread-out houses along the coast and inland, is coupled with West Bath's responsibilities to provide back-up rescue services to neighboring towns, themselves increasing in retiree and working family populations. In addition, the West Bath Fire Department needs to be prepared to respond effectively, if called upon, for security-type emergencies at the Bath Iron Works and the Brunswick Naval Air Station.
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The key to meeting the demands of the changing social environment is education of both the public safety personnel and West Bath residents. The Town will have the opportunity during the planning period to support the Fire Department personnel in acquiring more knowledge of and proficiency in using new fire fighting, rescue, security-emergency and hazardous material equipment and techniques. In addition, Fire Department personnel will need to keep up with evolving federal and State life safety codes to provide knowledge, advise and education to the Town's property owners while fairly enforcing the life safety codes. Preparation of integrated regional protocols and education of County and municipal public safety personnel in implementing these protocols is likely to be as important as having the latest public safety technology such as two-way telecommunication devices, ambulances and hazardous materials handling equipment. Well thought-out regional cooperation protocols, known and practiced in advance by the Mid-Coast participating municipalities, will likely not only save money for West Bath but also potentially save lives and reduce injury during emergencies if they ever arise. To reduce the potential for emergencies involving teens and young adults, consideration of communitybased locales and activities should inform discussion on the provision of more Town playing fields, gymnasium space, meeting space for dances and other recreational activities, and for academic and research studies such as local library space.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM PUBLIC WORKS The Town's responsibility for more town facilities and services are likely to increase over the planning period to 2015. Significant reconstruction of dated, pre-1970s local roads plus maintenance of former state-aid roads and new subdivision roads will place an expanded work-load on the Road Commissioner. Added to this may be the maintenance and operating needs at new Town-owned community meeting place(s): parks, ball fields and expanded or new boat landing facilities. Expansion of the State Road Business/Commercial Zone may make it cost-effective to expand public water supply to new businesses and possibly for a new public sewer system serving the same area, but also south of State Road and down Fosters Point Road to the Bull Rock and Kings Point densely populated shoreland areas. The seemingly inevitable increase in costs for solid waste management will continue to challenge the Town and Recycling Committee to respond to resident's demand to maintain an affordable tax rate. The only way to reduce the Town's solid waste management costs is to reduce - reuse - and recycle the solid waste stream. In 2004, the Recycling Committee was trying to move solid waste management toward a pay-as-you-go system based on fees charged to resident household and businesses at the Town Drop-Off Center. The fees would be for accepting solid waste that would need to be transferred to the Bath land fill, Biddeford incinerator or some other disposal facility; drop off of recyclables would be free. Eventual elimination of curbside pick-up of trash was being contemplated by expanding the Drop-Off Center's services and facilities to recycle (free for residents) more kinds of solid wastes. The market for recycled goods is likely to grow over the long term thus providing some income to the Town from a contracted vendor for some percentage of the profits, or, if the Drop-Off Center were completely operated by the Town. Alternately, consideration was given to expanding the Drop-Off Center to a regional transfer station to capture more fees and greater revenue from greater volume of recyclables sold. Thirdly, consideration was being given to relocating the Drop-Off Center, thereby expanding its space for new recycling services and facilities. Expanded and new town facilities and services for transportation, recreation, community meeting space, solid waste management, expanded public water supply service area and a public sewer system would
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require the Town to weigh the benefits and costs for their operation and maintenance. Careful planning with respect to user fees, regional service areas and State funding, such as MDOT local roads funds, would all be potential sources of operating and maintenance funds. Capital costs for purchasing and developing expanded or new Town public facilities can ease town tax payer burden by careful capital improvement budgeting by the Town, tax increment financing, state and private grants for open space, water and wastewater facilities, recreational facilities, historic preservation and community meeting space development.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM MARINE FACILITIES AND SERVICES The continuing development of new homes along the Town's shoreline will continue to increase the threats of closing off traditional access to clam flats by harvesters and to traditional moorings by boat owners. To protect these traditional but informal accesses, the Town is faced with the quandary of whether and how to maintain the proper balance between the privacy and access rights of new shoreline owners versus the informal rights of traditional shellfish harvesters, boaters and shoreline recreationists. Maintenance of an equitable balance may entail Town purchase of more land for the parking of vehicles at the existing Sabino, Bull Rock and Mountain Road boat launch sites, as well as consideration of new town launch sites at Winnegance Bay, Birch Point and Fosters Point. The Town may need to establish more formal protection of hitherto informal shoreline accesses by exploration of `adverse possession' rights by the public to continue to use traditional access-ways to the shore. The Town may also need to explore the purchase of some public access easements to continue to allow pedestrian access on traditional paths to the shore. To continue to capitalize on recent gains in coastal water quality and the reopening of closed clam flats, the Town will need to maintain its comprehensive but flexible approach to clam flats and aquacultural development. The natural abundance of clam seedlings produced by the Town's clam flats can be enhanced by holding clam license holders to their full commitment to reseeding. This could make possible the sustainable sale of seedlings to commercial clammers, producing revenue to support the Town's marine resources. Additional clam flats could possibly be opened at Berry's Mill Cove, Dam Cove and New Meadows Lake by facilitating greater tidal flows to these areas. Receptivity to development of identified mollusk aquaculture sites compatible to maintaining navigation and shoreline owners access rights, especially for oyster farming, could further enhance town revenue. Vigorous monitoring of bird-bourne pollution events by exploring ways to legitimately control duck populations and migrating geese populations may be needed. Pollution control methods may include monitoring of bird flock accumulations, strategic chasing away or by maximizing hunting season periods and bag limits, or a combination of these plus other measures. Continuing occasional disputes between new shoreline home owners and traditional boat owners over location of moorings may prompt the Harbor & Waterways Committee to contemplate an enhanced town-wide moorings plan that lays out mooring areas that are sensitive to both new and traditional boat owner's mooring access needs, the location of potential aquaculture sites and for the overall ease of navigation. If the use of boats of all kinds continues to increase by about 5% to 10% per year, the enforcement needs for protection of clam flats from erosion caused by wave wakes from excessive boat speeds will certainly continue. Public education of Town navigation rules, perhaps by succinctly written and easily read flyers, available at Town Hall for boat registration applicants and at local marinas, plus vigorous enforcement on the water, may successfully protect the Town's shellfish resources and possible future
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aquaculture sites from unnecessary wave-caused erosion.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM FISCAL CAPACITY According to the Maine Revenue Service's calculated full value (100%) assessment of West Bath, the value (after correcting for inflation) of the Town's overall property increased by 40% between 1994 and 2004. On a per capita basis, this full-value inflation-corrected assessment, yielded a 33% increase in the Town's value per West Bath inhabitant. The full-value assessed value of West Bath grew more quickly than those of most of the neighboring towns and faster than Sagadahoc County as a whole (+11%). Given the Towns suburban location between Bath and Brunswick and its desirable but finite coastline, it is very likely that the value of land and houses will continue to appreciate over the planning period 2005 - 2015. This will continue to provide an expanding tax base in the Town, albeit a residence-based tax base. In contrast, because the Town did not conduct a revaluation of property between 1994 and 2004, it showed only a 3% increase in the overall value of the Town's property during this period. And based on the Town's property values, the per capita (inflation corrected) assessment of property dropped by 2% between 1994 and 2004. It may be assumed that during this period new houses built in Town were likely to have been valued closer to their current market value than houses constructed (and assessed) before 1994. Between 1994 and 2004, after correcting for inflation, the cost of operating West Bath Town government rose by 59% or about +6% per year over this period. This was about twice the rate of inflation (+3%/year) for the same period. To raise taxes from property, the Town had to increase the tax rate (or mill rate) over this period by 51% from $9.95 per $1,000 of property value in 1994 to $17.00 per $1,000 in 2004. In terms of the State's full-value calculation of the Town's assessed value, the tax rate was increased by 17% over the period, from (an inflation corrected) rate of $13.25/ $1,000 in 1994 to $15.50/$1,000 in 2004. Among neighboring towns, West Bath's full-value tax rate of $12.87/$1,000 in 2004 was in the middle range between the low of Arrowsic ($8.91/$1,000) and the high of Bath ($20.06/$1,000). As long as West Bath does not revalue its property, the Town will need to continue to rely on increasing the tax rate (aka mill rate) as the primary means of increasing taxes collected from property. If and when the Town may decide to conduct a revaluation, the higher assessed values of all properties would enable the lowering of the tax rate while still yielding the same amount of tax revenue as before. Between 1994 and 2004, the (inflation corrected) cost of operating Town government increased by 17% or less than cost of inflation (+29% over this period). Over this period, about 62% of the budget went to the schools; 30% to town government; and 8% to the County. A large increase (+160%) within the Town budget was for Fire Department costs, likely for responding to post 9/11 training and new equipment needs. Taxes and fees to the State for motor vehicles and to the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife increased by 113% over the period; County taxes increased by 66%. West Bath is likely to need to continue to rely primarily on property taxes to fund the town budget. In 2004, 69% of town revenue was from property taxes; 13% from State Aid to Education; and 9% from excise taxes. User fees, mostly from shellfish licenses and mooring fees, contributed only 2% to town revenue in 2004. Some coastal towns, which own town beaches, town docks for visitor boat tie-ups, town coastal parks or town parking lots, charge fees to (non-residents) for using these facilities to bolster
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their town revenue streams. To the extent that West Bath could begin, or increase, user fees for town boat ramps, new town landings, new town parks or municipal parking lots, additional revenue could come to the Town. Intergovernmental transfers - federal, State and non-profit agency grants - contributed only 5% to West Bath income in 2004. To the extent that the Town could seek and secure more grants, it could significantly increase town income. Federal and State grants (as well as low interest government loans), for infrastructure in particular, could enable financing of large scale long-term projects such as for water supply or wastewater disposal. Such large-scale projects can be very cost-effective by the long-term increasing of the tax base (e.g. in the commercial zone along State Road) which would increase nonresidential property tax revenue. If the Town maintains its annual outlays for debt service around 10%, it will be able to continue to borrow money for long-term capital projects at very favorable interest rates. There is capacity for highly trusted municipalities, such as West Bath, to occasionally take on debt up to 25% of the municipal operating budget if need be. Again, the ability to easily borrow for long-term projects and have the town's taxpayers pay for them over time as they use the facilities, is a sound planning strategy for acquiring desired (and planned) major facilities. In turn, such facilities can result in long-term expansion of the town tax base and revenue stream thus paying for themselves many times over, not only economically, but also socially and environmentally.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM TRANSPORTATION The region's service and employment centers, Bath and Brunswick, receive the largest inflows and outflows of daily regional traffic. Because of West Bath's location between these two service centers, the Town gets much of this regional traffic passing through. But since Route One is a limited access highway with just the one access to/from New Meadows Road, the daily regional traffic flows do not really affect West Bath's local traffic. Aside from some thru-travel on State Road and Old Brunswick Road, traffic in Town is primarily for the usual array of purposes for rural and suburban towns: commuting, local shopping, schools, recreation/cultural trips and the like. The volume of traffic has increased with the Town's increasing population and driving habits of taking more trips per day. However, the local roads have accommodated well the traffic increase over the past 30 years and appear capable of continuing to handle traffic volumes during the planning period to 2015. Aside from some heavier volume intersections, including the 4 Corners at State Road and New Meadows Road, that may need possible safety improvements, no major new local road projects are foreseen. Today's heavier trucks and cars have been placing increasing wear and tear on local roads. Because most local roads were constructed before 1970 under lesser standards, some are now breaking down under the increased pressure. Over the planning period to 2015, there will be need to reconstruct some of the Town's roads up to 21st century standards including new sub-base, culverts, ditches and paving. The early 2000s will present a number of opportunities to further connect the Town into alternative forms of regional and country-wide transportation modes. The Androscoggin-to-Kennebec bikeway along Route One is being incorporated into the East Coast Greenway (an 'Urban Appalachian Trail') from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine. There is opportunity to access the Greenway by bike or pedestrian means through development of a local bike/ped trail from the North End perhaps over the old
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Railroad bridge over the New Meadows River. There is opportunity to maintain local road shoulders for local bike trails and make connections to open space footpaths into the interior wooded portions of Town. There may be an opportunity to participate in bringing commuter rail service to Brunswick, which would allow Portland area commuters from Town to just have to drive to the Brunswick Railroad Station. In general, the 2000s may become known for promoting much more multi-modalism, the interconnecting of different forms of travel. For example, the reestablishment of ferry commuter service in Casco Bay between Harpswell, perhaps West Bath too, would open up additional ways of moving about and experiencing the region. PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM EDUCATION Similar to other municipalities in Maine, education is the most important responsibility of West Bath. Whether the primary education of West Bath children remains in the West Bath Elementary School or is transferred out of town to a regional school, it is likely that the majority of the Town's budget (62% in 2004) will continue to be devoted to education. The perennial balancing act is how to provide the fullest public education possible for the Town's children - and for the town's future - while keeping the costs affordable for local tax payers. In the future, whether the West Bath Elementary School has school children in it or not, the school building will remain a significant town-owned public facility within significant public open space. The School as a community focal point could be enhanced to be more so. The changing demographic of West Bath includes more retirees as well as commuting families, both are likely to be seeking more community space to meet, recreate and socialize. There is an opportunity to bring adult education to the School, performing arts, graphic arts and crafts, also recreational uses such as early morning senior walking, basketball, volleyball leagues, aerobics classes, etc. With space available, there could be meeting rooms and perhaps a branch library exchange. Expanded playing fields, perhaps little league fields, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, could extend the School's community usefulness through the summer months. The School could become the central destination within a community center for the northern part of Town or even for the Town as a whole. If the zoning around the School were modified to allow for mixed uses and low-impact businesses, the School could become the central destination for community activities within a small village-type concentration of local offices and light retail stores. Decision by the Town to enhance the School and surroundings as a community center would, however, also trigger town deliberation on issues such as the benefits and costs of providing public sewer service to the upper New Meadows Road area. On the other hand, if the Elementary School became vacant, the Town could decide to sell it with the knowledge that significant town-owned open space were being converted to non-community use.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM CULTURAL RESOURCES West Bath's cultural resources will remain regional in scope from throughout the Mid-coast, centered upon the larger cultural institutions in Bath and Brunswick. These will continue to include Bath's Public Library, which serves West Bath residents, and the many resources of Bowdoin College.
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As the West Bath Historical Society continues its local collection, preservation and protection efforts, the basis for developing local cultural resources more fully will also evolve. The Town-owned historic buildings: Old West Bath Meeting House, the Grange and Littlefield School, could be developed into museums for local history and for community meeting spaces, including for cultural pursuits. If the Town were also to reach an accord with the Elementary School for expanded use by residents of all ages, a larger number of local cultural activities could be offered. Among the beneficiaries of expanded cultural opportunities would certainly be the growing number of retirees in town, who would have the time and inclination to support such activities.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM HISTORIC & ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES The historic buildings, structures, objects, cemeteries, other sites and right-of-ways of West Bath constitute the community's memory. The Town's historic heritage helps the present inhabitants know who we are by knowing where we came from, why and how. By knowing how the Town's character was formed, we can better preserve those aspects of the rural character that contribute most to enhancing the future vision for the Town. The West Bath Historical Society is instrumental in providing this essential community planning function of researching, identifying, collecting, preserving and protecting the Town's historic resources. As a private non-profit, the Historical Society can be a bridge between the Town's (Planning Board's) public policies and the private landowners who own significant historical artifacts and sites. This could include working with land owners in preserving historic farms, farmland and right-of-ways for limited public uses, such as pedestrian/equestrian trails, in exchange for some benefits from the Town through such means as conservation easements or assistance on seeking tax abatement. Historic buildings, either Town owned, non-profit or privately owned, could assist in the cultural life of the Town, especially for retirees, by providing museum and archival space and meeting rooms for community groups such as book groups or for small group musical presentations. In cooperation with the Town and affected landowners, the Historical Society can lead the efforts in having historical properties gain National Register of Historic Places status. Such designation can confer federal and State tax abatement for rehabilitation projects on non-residentially used buildings. To maximize use of historic buildings and sites for public uses, there would need to be review of the Town Land Use Ordinance to determine if such uses would be possible. One approach might be an overlay historic zone allowing for identified non-residential uses for designated historic properties, especially those historic buildings located in residential zones, such as the lower Berry's Mill Road area. In effect, careful mapping of historic resources can be a prime element of the overall pattern of land use in West Bath, as part of the mix of public and private uses permitted in Town. The identification, excavation, study, collection and archiving of archeological artifacts extends the knowledge of West Bath, the Mid-coast and Maine father back into the past. But archeological sites, not only because they are below ground but also presumed to be mostly located along shorelines, are less endangered in West Bath than historical buildings and structures. State shoreland zoning requires as one of its purposes to protect archeological and historic resources. This zone extends 250 feet inland from the shoreline. The State Subdivision statute requires review by municipalities on impacts from proposed subdivision on historic sites. This includes both National Register designated and non-Registered historic buildings, structures, sights and archeological sites. The MHPC recommends that municipalities put in place methods to review all construction and ground-disturbing proposals in designated historic and archeological areas. The MHPC is prepared to be contacted by West Bath for its expert review and
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opinions to assist the Town in preserving and protecting its historic and archeological resources. This can be done by imposing appropriate conditions within building, land use and subdivision permits issued by the Town to landowners who have identified historic or archeological resources on their property.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM RECREATION & OPEN SPACE While the tradition of informal access to the shore for walkers, clammers and boaters and access to the interior woods in town has served West Bath residents well in the past, there may be more pressure for closing off coastal access and recreational use of interior woodland in the 21st Century due to increased subdivision of land and subsequent new house development. Newcomers to Town may not be as public minded as some of the traditional landowners. But with more people in Town, some long term large landowners may also be becoming more reluctant to increasing public access to their land. Liability from accidents is a concern. The same recreation issues continue in the 21st Century that were expressed in the 1992 Comprehensive Plan concerning the development and protection of outdoor recreation opportunities. There continues the opportunity to integrate and formalize erstwhile informal trails and accesses before continuing development pressure changes open space into house lots. 1. COASTLINE TRAIL: Below the highwater line, between public access points, where the terrain is suitable and where it does not adversely impact existing land uses. 2. RIDGE LINE, POND & WETLAND TRAIL: Connecting the view points and other scenic amenities. 3. SENIORS PATH, CROSS COUNTRY SKIING TRAIL: A wider path, with gentle slopes for alternating seasonal use by walkers, bicyclers and skiers, connected to parks and community buildings. 4. NATURE, WETLANDS TRAIL: A short trail or boardwalk, with various plants and habitats identified and interpreted. 5. CONNECTOR TO ANDROSCOGGIN/KENNEBEC BIKE TRAIL: Connection from Elementary School and other places in Town, perhaps via old RR bridge over New Meadows River, to the Androscoggin/ Kennebec/ Rt. One Bicycle Path. The Town would not necessarily need to own most of these trails. In many cases, acquisition of conservation easements underneath these trails for the public's use could protect them from future development, where the Town's immunity from liability would free the private landowner from liability concerns. Maintenance by Volunteers of such trails could keep their operation costs relatively low. And unobtrusive, unadvertised trail heads (without signage) can keep the knowledge of such trails mostly local, thereby reducing the volume of usage. Parking at trailheads can be purposefully limited. If, however, federal funds are used to purchase trail land or easements, for instance through Land & Water Conservation Fund grants, then no restrictions to any public use can be applied to such trails. Continuing from the 1990s, there appears to be some attention to the fact that there is no developed water front/water access park for West Bath (internal) residents in Town. Such a park could have picnic facilities, playground and playing fields for volleyball, etc, and perhaps a boat landing (instead of or in addition to just a launch ramp) for tie-ups for visiting boaters. Perhaps a small restaurant/convenience store and refueling facilities would be considered appropriate.
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Smaller neighborhood parks as a focal point for discrete neighborhoods may also be a continuing concern in town. The nucleus for a North End community park exists at the Elementary School site. The traditional coastal cottage colonies, such as at Sabino Cove, offer coastal neighborhood parks. If new large-scale residential subdivisions occur in the 21st Century, clustering provisions could be used to create small neighborhood parks for these developments. Otherwise, it is likely the Town would need to buy parcels in order to create neighborhood parks. Lack of public access to the upper New Meadows River and to Winnegance Pond, other than from road right-of-ways, are also cited as ongoing concerns. These may be only the most prominent coastal areas in Town that could benefit from formal town access to complement traditional informal accesses. Other coastal areas may be the lower New Meadows River, Fosters Point, Mountain Road Point and Birch Point.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM LAND USE TREND It is probable that the recent land use trend of 1996 - 2003 will continue, as an upper projection, during the planning period 2005 - 2015. Barring a major oil crises to slow or stop the current suburbanization trend, the outward movement of households from Bath, Brunswick, even Portland and LewistonAuburn, will continue to seek houselots in West Bath among other rural towns. As long as it is perceived that it costs less to commute to work into urban work places rather than to pay the characteristically higher taxes for also living in those urban work places, the mid-coast suburbanization trend will likely continue to 2015. On the other hand, the desirability of coastal retirement homes for recent retirees and seasonal homes for affluent families from the major east coast metropolitan areas, will likely continue to bid up the cost of land in West Bath. As these costs for increasingly scarce shoreline land rises, the cost for near-shore land may be expected to also rise and spread slowly inward. As conjectured by the Code Enforcement Officer, the perhaps two or three full-time coastal fishing families remaining on the Town's coastline, are likely to experience continued upward tax bills for their increasingly higher valued coastal land. Thirdly, much of the very large parcels of land remaining between the existing road network, some likely former farmland, the rest forested, is still owned by native families. Similar to other former farming areas situated on the expanding urban/suburban fringe, increasing valuation and taxation of these lands may prompt their sale, in part or whole, to developers at some point rather than being maintained as open space. If the three major land use trends don't actually collide during the planning period: 2005 - 2015, they will certainly be moving towards a confrontation and continue influencing the changing character of Town. While new year-round commuting families will be seeking relatively cheap land to build a house or locate a mobile home, new affluent retirees will be seeking the peace and quiet of a shoreline retreat in either a primary or secondary house, while native fishing families and former farming families will be increasingly coping with how to hang onto their ancestral land in the face of rising property valuation and, perhaps, taxes. At some point, either before 2015 or after, all the available frontage along the existing roads in Town will have been developed prompting developers to turn toward the abundant interior land behind the roadside lots. As of Spring, 2004, there was speculation that a large Tree Growth internal parcel was
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being considered for sale to develop a 50-lot subdivision. Whether this becomes true or not, it may be assumed that interior lots may be increasingly subject to research by developers for possible subdivision development during the planning period 2005 - 2015. To the extent that the large parcel interior landowners sell their land because of higher taxes, attainment of retirement age or any other reason, a new land use trend may begin. Because it is expensive to build new subdivision roads into interior land, it is likely that developers may seek larger subdivisions to capitalize on the economy of scale by offering more subdivision lots per road length rather than fewer. If and when the Town's interior parcels begin to be developed, issues concerning how to best use these lands will become important. Should all the former interior land be used for residential subdivisions? What portion, if any, should remain in open space, either developed or undeveloped. New year-round commuter families may support some developed open space such as for Little League or for other playing fields. Coastal retirees may desire paths into and through the former interior areas for strolling, bicycling and birding. Land may need to be set aside, while still available, for a future new school to accommodate the new commuter families. There may be desire to seek development of more job opportunities closer to home, where current interior land could be used for expansion of the Business Commercial or Wing Farm Urban Zone. Could these new commercial areas be designed for business park or research opportunities? How would new commercial areas relate to the existing State Road Commercial area and its evolution? As the number of retirees in Town may continue to increase, their collective desire for new or expanded amenities may increase apace. These amenities may include such things as a community center to meet, socialize and recreate; a branch library; outdoor park for summertime and trails, both coastal and inland, for example to a community center. On the other hand, year-round working families will certainly not want their access cut off to Casco Bay by dense retiree houses and properties. Their land use desires, aside from playing fields for the children are likely to include town docks, moorings and boat launch sites as well as continued access to clam beds. Planning considerations for the 2005 - 2015 period will, therefore, need to seek balances between both the competing and complementary land use trends and desires between working families, retirees and natives in order to blend and guide the land use pattern toward the town character the townspeople desire. The challenge is to find workable consensus among these groups of citizens.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY In West Bath and Sagadahoc County, the existing amount of residential and commercial land coupled with the relatively small size of land parcels still in open space, precludes the easy development of largescale commercial agricultural or timber harvesting operations compared to Aroostook or Piscataquis Counties. Transportation-dependent and chemical-intensive agribusiness cultivation and marketing of agricultural produce and livestock from elsewhere in the U.S., and the enormous paper company holdings in the Maine North Woods, are likely to continue to maintain the low prices at local supermarkets and lumber stores during the near future against which the family farm in West Bath or elsewhere will continue to have such a difficult time competing. However, the growing consumer trend for more organically cultivated produce and livestock may create expanding opportunities during the first decades of the 21st Century for new West Bath farming operations dedicated to supplying local natural food and fresh food consumers - so-called truck farms. College towns, for instance, are notorious consumers of fresh/organic foods. Such farming operations could be either full-time or part-time. In 2003, the Maine Department of Agriculture reported three Farmer's Markets in Sagadahoc County, 17 farmstands, five pick-your-own farms and five restaurants
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that feature Maine ingredients in their menus. Also, there was one 'community farm' in Sagadahoc County, to which customers pay in advance for fresh produce from the farm as it becomes available over the growing season. This enables the community farm farmer to receive his revenue up front to pay his initial capital costs for seeds, field preparations and labor. The contract with the customers is for whatever fresh produce results from that growing season out of the array of vegetables and fruits planted, so that vagaries of weather and pests detrimental to one crop but not to another, cushions the farmer from financial ruin. To the extent that small-scale farming operations on relatively small lots can serve the local fresh/organic market, there may be opportunity to do so in West Bath by employing the Open Space tax program, which lowers the property tax on such land. Similarly, there may be expanding opportunity to supply local artisans and crafts persons with wool and other fiber from local farms. To the extent that subdivision of large 'land-locked' interior parcels of land for new houselots occurs during the planning period to 2015, there will be a loss of land for truck farms and timber growth in Town. This suggests that if these larger interior parcels are to be preserved in forest or agriculture land, the Town may need to act sooner rather than later. There is also opportunity for multi-uses of the remaining interior forestland for town parkland and wildlife habitat as well as for wilderness preservation and timber management. The Tree Growth Tax reduction program for timberland allows for such multi-uses of designated Tree Growth land. The on-going 910 acres of Tree Growth land in 2003, demonstrates that with careful management including selective cutting and shelterwood regenerative cutting, small woodlots in West Bath can continue to be a profitable commercial plus multiuse venture. The worldwide demand for wood products is likely to maintain high prices for wood products of all kinds.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM HOUSING TRENDS Between 2000 and 2003 the median price for a house in West Bath doubled from $126,400 to $265,000. An annual household income of $89,200 would be required to purchase a $265,000 home. The median income of west Bath households was $50,510 allowing for only the purchase of homes up to $150, 050 (based on expenditure of 30% of annual income on housing). Lower income households (earning 80% or less than the median income) of $40,120 or less were largely priced out of the market in West Bath. The influx of retirees to the shorelines of the mid-coast since the 1990s will likely continue to contribute to bidding up house prices throughout the planning period to 2015. This will continue to shift the demographic of West Bath towards a more retirement type community. As fewer young working families will be able to find an affordable house, fewer town employees including teachers, firemen, policemen, clerks, public works crew members and professionals such as accountants and inspectors will live in town. This will continue to shift demand more toward elderly services such as community meeting places and less so on community playing fields. The housing market will continue to cater to what it can realize as the highest profits. If West Bath wants to retain a community with more young families as well as more retirees, the Town would need to take active steps to do so. It would not be enough to create more jobs in Town by expanding the Business/Commercial Zone out from State Road unless some of those new jobs paid considerably higher than the region's median (2002) annual income of $46,610. Changes in the Town land use ordinances would also be necessary to reduce land costs. In order to provide some smaller lots or some duplexes, four-plexes or other multi-units, only provision of public water and sewer services would enable lot sizes less than a half-acre. It would not be enough to change the Town's rules for cluster development to make it more attractive to developers, such as allowing a bonus of more houses if clustered, but to also
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require that some of those clustered houses be affordable to those families earning 80% or less than the Town median income. To meet the State Growth Management mandate, the Town would need to strive to make 10% of its new housing affordable over the planning period; this would entail about 10 new dwelling units out of the 101 forecast for the 2005-2015 period. To maintain the 2004 mix of owner and rental units, 80 new owner-occupied units would need to be constructed and 21 renter-occupied units. This results in an average of one new affordable dwelling-unit per year between 2005 and 2015. Clearly, a combination of zoning changes and provision of public water and sewer services coupled with Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) programs. One MSHA program is the Section 8 rental supplements to landlords who rent to Section 8 participating households. In 2004 there were nine elderly households who participated in the Section 8 program in Town. Also, the Town could participate with charitable groups, such Habitat for Humanity, by providing, for example, Town acquired tax default lots at no cost to build affordable houses. Without a mix of Town measures, the current trend of pricing working families largely out of purchasing a house or renting a dwelling-unit will likely continue in West Bath.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FROM COMMUNITY CHARACTER In contrast to the 1960's, when nearly everyone in Town was native born, 21st Century West Bath is a heterogeneous community of long-term native landowners, more recent local commuting families, second-home part-timers and both part-time and year-round retirees most of whom are not natives of the Town. This recent mix of people of differing backgrounds gives rise to a community with both its sense of history and tradition but also with a newfound sense of cosmopolitanism. While there are tensions between the differing groups in Town, there are also similarities. By emphasizing the generally shared value among West Bath residents for maintaining the rural character of West Bath, a basis for comprehensive planning exists. Maintenance of rural character means, in general, preservation of some farmland and woods of the long-term natives; preservation of shoreline commercial fishing facilities for remaining local fishing families; preservation of public access to clam flats and boat moorings; low impact commercial strip and low density rural housing as well as historic buildings and existing community meeting spaces such as the Elementary School. Within the context of preserving rural character, the Town is challenged to balance sometimes competing objectives between differing groups within the community. There is a need to balance the rights and needs of clammers and long-term residents' traditional access to clam flats and traditional boat launches and moorings with the rights and needs for the privacy and access to moorings of newer retiree and second home shoreline owners. Preservation of the community identity that the West Bath Elementary School provides balanced by the benefits of perhaps saving some taxpayer dollars by completely regionalizing all the SAD #47 schools is an ongoing issue. Provision of more jobs in town for West Bath residents needs to be balanced by the size, extent and character of the State Road commercial strip in town. Development of more community and cultural facilities in Town, such as a public library branch, town parks or Little League and other playing fields versus going out of town for cultural and recreational activities is another long-term planning issue. In general, what should the balance be between providing new or expanded community facilities and amenities in Town to help preserve West Bath's rural character versus saving taxpayer's dollars (but increasing transportation costs)
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by relying on greater regionalization of education, employment, cultural and recreational activities? Balances to competing objectives are likely to entail further consideration of cluster development, open space conservation, public land ownership, historic preservation programs and tax benefits including the Tree Growth, Open Space and Farmland Preservation Tax Programs. Consideration is needed on the extent of the State Road Business Zone, the type and character of commercial activity allowed in Town and perhaps a cap on the size of retail stores to prevent "super stores" in Town. Public facilities planning is needed to balance the benefits and costs of providing regional public water and sewage facilities to support local employment and commercial development in Town through the consideration of tax increment financing, bonds and user fees. An in depth study would be helpful in considering the benefits and costs of closing the West Bath Elementary School and regionalizing the school system versus the costs and benefits of continuing the Elementary School in Town. In general, the Town is faced with the ongoing desirability of finding the mix most favorable to the residents between regionalization and preservation of West Bath's community identity in terms of costs and in terms of sense of well being of the residents.

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