Two separate groups of Legionnaires have spoken out about the town policy.

BETHEL – Determining who sets policy to raise the town’s American flags on village poles is a public hearing priority at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 5.

Thanks to America’s War with Iraq, selectmen have been forced to revamp their thinking after being confronted last month by several Legionnaires upset at the board’s decision to post the flags for a week at war’s end.

On April 7, a small group of Legionnaires convinced selectmen to not allow the town’s flags to be posted until President George Bush Jr. declared hostilities with Iraq over.

That vote was rescinded at the board’s April 14 meeting when selectmen and Budget Committee members were interrupted by a more vocal crowd of Legionnaires, demanding that the flags be put up immediately. The board acquiesced, allowing the flags to be flown starting on April 15.

Following the hearing in the town office, selectmen are slated to:

• Authorize execution of a hangar lease agreement with Greg Webb of Scituate, Mass., for construction of two four-unit T-hangars, which will yield the town about $2,200 per year from land rent.

• Authorize execution of the Cole Block painting contract, won by low bidder Denny Wheeler of Bethel, for $26,000 split over two seasons, said Town Manager Scott Cole.

• Edit a draft of the Police Referendum fact sheet.

• Review a draft of the annual town meeting warrant.

• Authorize execution of an agreement with Mark Tempesta of Waterford to construct a 12-foot-by-12-foot universal waste storage shed for $5,500 at the transfer station. Money from a state grant will cover the cost, Cole said.

• Review a Maine Department of Environmental Protection notice of violation the town received after the regionwide power failure on March 28 that caused the town’s sewer pump station on Mill Hill Road to overflow 3,600 gallons into Mill Brook.

The town, which reported the violation, was ordered to outfit the station’s four pumps with generator hookups and buy a portable generator, Cole said. The penalty must be met by the end of June.

Two executive sessions are scheduled to discuss the Oakes v. Town of Bethel litigation with the town attorney via phone, and to discuss the annual town manager’s job performance evaluation. Afterward, the board is slated to take action on the litigation issue, Cole said.


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