MINOT — The Board of Selectmen and the School Committee Monday night came to an agreement that will allow logging on a portion of the 70 acres the town purchased a little over a year ago to proceed in a timely fashion.

Two weeks ago, selectmen asked the School Committee to delay the logging operation.

The problem, according to Board of Selectmen Chairman, George “Buster” Downing, stemmed from the wording of question 7 on the referendum ballot at the November 2002 special town meeting.

“Voters approved cutting the wood 588 to 383, but the article didn’t give authority to anyone or set a time limit for the cutting. Because it doesn’t say who, authority goes back to the selectman,” said Downing.

However, believing it had approval, the School Committee, in early spring, advertised for bids and awarded a contract for harvesting at the end of May.

“We didn’t set about to circumvent selectmen. We assumed, because it was a school article, the money raised was going into an escrow for the school and we assumed we knew what should be cut, it seemed most logical that we do it,” said School Committee Chairman, Lisa Bridgham.

Members of both boards agreed that an honest mistake had been made and that it was in the best interest of the town to act on voters’ wishes to do what is necessary to make the action legal.

Both boards agreed to withdraw the notice of intent to log submitted by the School Union 29 and to file another from selectmen in order to get a state permit for the wood harvesting.

Both boards also agreed that the scope of the work be limited to cutting and that no preparatory work for the proposed athletic field be undertaken at this time.

Addressing another instance of miscommunication, selectmen tabled action on David Wyman’s request that the board waive the $2,000 community impact fee on his home building permit.

Wyman had detailed to the board how he went to the town office on March 13, days after town meeting voters had approved setting up impact fees, and had asked office clerks if he was subject to the impact fee.

According to Wyman, who obtained a driveway permit at that time but did not fill out a building permit because he didn’t know what he would be building or who would be the contractor, was told that he wouldn’t be charged an impact fee.

However, when his contractor went in to obtain a building permit on June 11, he was told the impact fee was required.

Selectman Eda Tripp was doubtful that the board had the right to waive the fee. She noted that the process for setting up the impact fee was well publicized with public meetings held with the Planning Board prior to putting the fee into effect on May 28.

Unsure of what Wyman had been told when he came to town office, selectman delayed action until they could hear the other side of the story.

In his report, Road Manager Arlan Saunders, told the board paving was scheduled to begin July 15 on Millett Road and that other paving will go forward with the exception of the section of Pottle Hill Road between Goodwin and Verrill roads. Saunders said that delay in moving a utility pole could likely postpone the paving until October. He said that it could be dusty in the meantime but that he would probably put calcium on it to minimize problems.


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