BETHEL – A public hearing Monday night about the town’s flags posting policy drew about 15 people, said Town Manager Scott Cole.

Determining who sets policy to raise Old Glory on village poles was the topic.

Town officials adopted a posting schedule last year, but a quandary over when to post the flags developed when America went to war with Iraq.

One group of Legionnaires wanted the flags posted during the war in a show of patriotism, while another smaller group of Legionnaires initially convinced selectmen to post the flags when President George Bush declared hostilities with Iraq over.

Cole said that based on comments at the hearing, selectmen decided to stick with their regular schedule and treat other reasons like military actions and such on a case-by-case basis.

The flags will be up through Memorial Day observation on Monday, May 26; for three weeks in July, honoring Independence Day and Mollyockett Day on July 19; for one week in remembrance of Sept. 11; and for Veterans Day, Old Glory will fly for five days.

In other business, pending review by the town’s attorney, selectmen approved a hangar lease agreement with Greg Webb of Scituate, Mass. That will yield the town about $2,200 per year from rent for construction of two four-unit T-hangars, Cole said.

Contractor Denny Wheeler of Bethel will be painting the Cole Block over two seasons at a cost of $13,000 per year.

“Selectmen budgeted $15,000 for each of the two years to cover his costs and other incidents that will crop up,” Cole said.

A working group consisting of Selectmen Reggie Brown and Don Bennett, Cole and Police Chief Darren M. Tripp was designated to edit a draft of the Police Referendum fact sheet for the Thursday, May 29, public hearing for referendum questions.

The law enforcement referendum – one of three to be decided by voters on June 10, the day before town meeting – asks if the town will authorize selectmen to enter into an agreement with Oxford County and Oxford County Sheriff’s Department to provide law enforcement services to Bethel on terms and conditions deemed acceptable to the board.



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