Greenwood voters to decide what to do with town hall

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GREENWOOD — Voters will be asked Saturday to approve a $1.1 million town budget and decide on the fate of the town hall, among other issues at the annual town meeting.

Action on the 36-article warrant, including the election of a selectman and SAD 44 school board director, gets under way at 10 a.m. May 21 at the Jackson Silver American Legion Post, 595 Gore Road.

The proposed budget is  12 percent more than this year and includes a 3 percent raise for employees, Town Manager Kim Sparks said. Employees have not been given a raise in three years, she said.

Sparks said she expects a lot of discussion on articles such as the town hall and a mutual aid program with the Woodstock Fire Department.

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Sparks said selectmen and Budget Committee want voters to decide whether to keep the town hall, move the town office back there, which would require mold removal, or sell the building.

In 2009, the town’s insurance agent inspected the facility and, according to a letter from Sparks to voters,  the agent “strongly recommended” to the town manager not to allow employees or residents to the the hall until the mold in the building was removed.

“We used to hold our town meetings there. We don’t allow anyone to use it now due to the mold issue,” Sparks said. The building has also been used in the past for basketball games, suppers and dances.

Sparks said that if the town decided to retain the hall a water issue would have to be resolved to keep the mold from growing.

Estimates received by the town show that to lift the town hall up and place it back down for alterations and repairs to the 40- by 60-foot foundation would cost about $30,000. It would cost another 50,000 to $60,000 to fill the foundation with crushed stone and to pour a slab and leave a three-foot crawl space and eight-inch sills around the entire building.

In other action, voters will be asked to approve a plan to maintain safety standards and respond immediately to emergencies with the towns of Woodstock and Greenwood. The plan is to have Greenwood and Woodstock share alternate day, coverage between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with a two-person crew.

If the plan is accepted, the town would vote to reduce the Fire Department’s proposed $64,000 budget by $6,000 to pay for its share of the costs.

Voters will be asked to approve Tri-Town Ambulance and Emergency Services of West Paris as the town’s ambulance service for the next fiscal year. The plan will cost taxpayers $12,030.

Voters will also act on requests for $80,000 to operate the transfer station, $425,115 for the Highway Department and $30,000 for the reserve fund.

Voters will also be asked to take $130,000 from the Highway Department Reserve Fund and $35,000 from the Highway Department budget to buy a new plow truck. The selectmen and Budget Committee have recommended passage of this article.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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