What You Need to Know: Buckfield Board of Selectmen

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Buckfield Board of Selectmen

April 18, 2017

Buckfield Town Office

Liquor license

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What happened: After a four-month delay, selectmen approved a liquor license application and granted a special amusement permit for the Buck-It Grill & Pub at 371 Turner St.

What it means: New property owner Lee Johnson’s request for the two items was tabled in December 2016 after Captain Bly’s Tavern owner Mark McAlister, who rented the property from former owners Steve and Denny Bly, said he had a valid lease and sued Johnson for locking him out of the business. Last month, a judge ruled in favor of Johnson regarding his forcible entry and detainer motion, saying Johnson owned the property. The town’s attorney, John “Jack” Conway, reviewed the paperwork and said the town should be able to move forward with considering Johnson’s applications.

What’s next: The liquor license needs to be approved by the state before Johnson can open for business. The lawsuit from McAlister against Johnson is still working its way through the court. 

Town manager search

What happened: Selectmen voted to hire a consultant to assist them with the town manager search and look at the town’s current structure and future governance.

What it means: No one was hired in that capacity, because selectmen want to pursue finding a consultant. An anonymous Buckfield resident offered such services for $2,000, plus incidentals. Maine Municipal Association charges a flat fee of $4,900, but could not help the town for at least three months. Town Manager Cindy Dunn announced last month she was resigning in that capacity when her contract expires June 30, but she will remain as town clerk. After multiple residents told selectmen they wanted an outside consultant to help with the town manager search, Selectboard Chairman Warren Wright changed course from wanting an interim town manager to also serve as the consultant and voted to hire a consultant.

What’s next: Dunn will research other possible consultants and report to selectmen.

Library renovations

What happened: Selectmen tabled awarding the Zadoc Long Free Library interior renovations contract until two questions are answered.

What it means: Selectman Maida DeMers-Dobson expressed concern regarding the mention of the knob-and-tube wiring remaining in the library. Selectmen want to know if the wiring is still active and if not, will it affect the town’s insurance. Bidders for the project include Robert Peer for the carpentry work for $10,350 and JNC Electric Inc. for $4,150, H.E. Callahan Construction Co. for $32,553 — $14,842 for carpentry and $17,711 for electrical — and Doten’s Construction Inc. for $29,055 — $18,715 for carpentry and $10,340 for electrical.

What’s next: Once the questions are answered, selectmen will vote on the bids at their next meeting Tuesday, May 2.

Foreclosed properties

What happened: Selectmen voted to have Dunn offer to sell back two foreclosed properties to the former owners with the selling price to include all the back taxes, current taxes, accrued interests and liens costs.

What it means: The town foreclosed the two properties April 7 and Dunn originally sent out 22 foreclosure notices, with the other 20 owners paying the back taxes from 2014-15. Lawrence Stanley of 60 Depot St. owes $11,648 in back taxes and fees. William Stover III of 97 Morrill St. owes $6,781 in back taxes and fees.

What’s next: The owners will have until June 30 to buy back their properties. If they do not, the issue will come back before selectmen who can sell the properties.

Assessing agent

What happened: Selectmen tabled voting on a new assessing agent for the town until Dunn could check the references for two of the three bidders.

What it means: Bidders included Wilson Hennessey Appraisal as a subcontractor for $6,300, Curt E. Lebel as a subcontractor for $8,850 and Rob Stevens as a town employee for $6,200. Former Assessor Jerry Samson is retiring and Dunn had sent requests for proposals to 24 certified Maine assessors to replace Samson. Selectmen did not want to hire Stevens as a town employee, so Dunn will check references for Level and Hennessey.

What’s next: Dunn will report to selectmen after she checks their references and they will vote on the bids at a future meeting.

Rescue reserves

What happened: Selectmen voted to dissolve three rescue reserve accounts and add the money to the Rescue Department’s equipment reserve.

What it means: The Rescue Department would not request funds for the Ambulance Reserve, AED Reserve, and Uniforms and Turnout Gear Reserve. The reserves include $135 for ambulance, $360 for AED and $1,946 for uniforms and turnout gear.

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Lee Johnson, back right, owner of the Buck-It Grill and Pub at 371 Turner St. in Buckfield, speaks during a hearing for his liquor license application and special amusement permit at a selelctmen’s meeting Tuesday night. 

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