Strong selectmen take assignments

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STRONG — Selectman agreed Tuesday night to be the primary contact person for a wide range of municipal categories, including cemeteries, roads, recreation and use of town services.

They include:

• Dick Worthley: cemeteries, solid waste, office, waster haulers, septic system;

• Rodney Spiller: town park, animal control, snowmobile/ATV clubs;

• Mike Pond: Forster Memorial Building, highways, custodial, recreation;

• Rodney Cook: Planning Board, Fire Department, library; and

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• Rob Elliott: beach, tennis courts, Christmas lights

Pond asked selectmen for approval to take about $1,500 for accessories for the newly purchased one-ton truck. The money will come from the Special Equipment Fund.

Pond also discussed the first-year plans for the new town ball field. The American Legion agreed to let the town have a long-term lease.

According to Pond, several youth groups would like to use the field. The Strong Elementary School students are using it because their field is still snow-covered.

He has asked the coaches to meet with him Wednesday night.

Pond also said selectmen have given $600 to the Cal Ripken teams each year, but he recommended that the coaches have a spending plan to receive future donations.

“I believe (they are) no different than the town park,” Pond said.

Selectmen also revisited the option to maintain the public tennis court. Selectman Rob Elliott said he has been contacted by people who would like to see the town continue to keep them open. They get used often when they are open, but many of the players may be coming from other towns.

The town owns and maintains a public park, public beach and public tennis courts, without regard for whether users are residents.

Elliott expressed frustration that residents protest decisions made at town meetings which the complainants did not attend.

“How can they complain to us now?” he asked.

At the town meeting, voters tabled a warrant article to pave a section of the Pond Road beyond the tarred section.

Selectman Rod Spiller said he couldn’t understand why a subject couldn’t be discussed before residents voted on it.

One resident at the meeting made a motion to have the warrant article tabled indefinitely, and it was seconded. Voters tabled the article, which meant it couldn’t be discussed further. Spiller called the action “childish.”

“There are things that need to be discussed,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be dropped.”

Selectmen debated the possibility of having a special town meeting about paving the Pond Road but agreed to put a package of information together before scheduling a public meeting.

In other matters, selectmen also agreed to raise the charge for bounced checks from $25 to $35.

They also reviewed the proposed revisions to the administration of tax-acquired property. The town has the authority to foreclose on properties if the property owner has not paid taxes for three years and has made no attempt to meet with selectmen to develop a payment plan.

Selectmen agreed that if a delinquent taxpayer pays all of the back taxes, accrued interests, administrative costs and taxes due for the current year, they can receive a quitclaim deed. Otherwise, the property can be sold or auctioned.

Town Clerk Betsy DuBois presented selectmen with draft policy.

Pond suggested specifying the last possible date for a delinquent taxpayer to make restitution.

Also Tuesday, the Boston Post Cane will be presented to Dorris Brackley on Saturday afternoon at the Forster Memorial Building.

The board has to appoint a health officer, because Dr. Ann Schwink , the town’s health officer for many years, has declined to take the job this year.

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