Mexico selectmen seek information on fitness center plan


MEXICO – The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Tuesday evening to table further discussion on the possibility of reopening the Mexico Fitness Center until resident Rich Vitale can answer questions at a board meeting.

Vitale, who is attempting to reopen the fitness center after it was shut down on Oct. 23, 2012, was scheduled to attend Tuesday’s meeting with a detailed schedule of how many hours he plans to keep the fitness center open. He was also to inform the board whether he would pay rent monthly or weekly and whether there would be any volunteers.

However, Vitale called the selectmen prior to the meeting and said he wouldn’t be able to make it. He emailed them his plan, which stated that he planned for somebody to be at the gym from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

He also said there would be an “ID punch card system for members to have 24-hour access,” as well as the opportunity to pay $60 for four sessions of self-defense and personal protection classes. The membership cost for the fitness center would be $30 a month, with a discounted price of $20 a month for senior citizens, police and fire department officers and EMT employees, among other select groups. 

Selectman Reggie Arsenault thought the discussion should be tabled until the next meeting Feb. 12, when Vitale can be present to answer questions.

Chairman Richie Philbrick agreed. “I think it’s awesome that he has a vision for the future of this place, but we need to be able to speak to Mr. Vitale face to face before we can authorize his plan.”

Selectman Byron Ouellette said he wasn’t in favor of members having 24-hour access to the fitness center, especially since there wouldn’t be anybody there all day to supervise.

“Financially, everything seems good with his plan,” Ouellette said. “Speaking to Rich in person will be a big help.”

In other business, the board voted to ask Roxbury if Mexico could wait until the beginning of their next budget cycle before paying for a new cemetery sign to replace one that was vandalized in late 2012.

The cemetery sign was one of three installed last October at cemeteries in the Roxbury-Mexico area. On Oct. 13, 2012, police discovered that the sign at the entrance to Old Frye Cemetery beside Swift River Road at the Mexico town line, was torn down and broken in half. The sign was jointly purchased by Roxbury and Mexico and installed by Mexico workers.

Town Manager John Madigan said the reason for waiting is because “upon looking at the appropriations control report, there’s no money in the sign account.”

“It’s all been spent, and then some,” Madigan told the board. “Last time we paid for the sign, we split the cost with Roxbury. I think we should let them know we’ll reimburse them during our next budget cycle.”

Ouellette suggested the board place a donation jar at the Town Office to raise money for the new sign. According to Madigan, the cost of the sign is $175 overall, with both Mexico and Roxbury required to provide $87.50 each.

Selectmen also unanimously voted to renew the liquor license for the Oakdale Country Club, as well as the pawnbroker’s license for the Mexico Trading Post.

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