HEBRON — Voters at town meeting Saturday approved a $675,000 town budget and a mass-gathering ordinance but failed to OK a plan to create a town lending library at Hebron Station School.
About 45 voters tackled a 59-article budget in about four hours at Hebron Station School.
Voters turned down a plan to create a lending library that would be called Moody Library at the elementary school and instead decided to regroup and come up with a plan that everyone could agree to after some voters questioned the need for another library.
Moody Library is housed in the former Brighton Hill Schoolhouse on Brighton Hill Road, but it is open only when volunteers can staff the building and it contains only historical books and other old reading material.
Money was donated by a woman in the 1920s to establish Moody Library, and over the years it has been housed in a number of locations, including the Grange Hall.
Oxford Hills School District Director Elizabeth Swift, who represents Hebron, told voters the board of directors years ago had approved space and $20,000 to establish a town lending library at Hebron Station School. The plan was not to replace the Brighton Hill Schoolhouse library but rather to set up a lending library at Hebron Station School as a first step toward developing a town library.
Moody Library trustees, however, say they want to preserve the library and historic schoolhouse building as one.
Swift told voters the wording of the article created some confusion. It was not the intention of the proponents to take any books from the Brighton Hill library. The move to name the proposed lending library Moody Library was simply a way to honor and continue the town library’s namesake, she said. The plan would be based on the availability of volunteers to staff it and on people donating books.
“There will be no cost to the town right now,” Swift said. “We just wanted to start out by taking baby steps.”
Townspeople agreed to talk more about the idea after the meeting.
The mass-gathering ordinance was proposed by selectmen to protect the health, safety and general welfare of residents when more than 300 people gather. Owners of facilities such as campgrounds are excluded as long as the “mass gathering” takes place on the property. The town is exempt, as well as public and private school functions.
Selectmen were informed Saturday morning that Road Commissioner Warren Packard, whose elected term ended next year, had resigned unexpectedly.