WOODSTOCK – Residents voted 23-7 on Tuesday to rescind a decision to sell the old fire station by sealed bid and instead use it for a town recreation center.

They also voted unanimously not to accept a $20,000 anonymous donation at this time in connection with a recreation center.

Selectman Steve Bies said he opposed rescinding the March vote on the Railroad Street station because the $20,000 selectmen thought was to go toward finishing the addition on the new fire station is actually for developing the old station into a recreation and activities center.

“I’m going to have to speak against this. Ten minutes ago I was all for this, but after being told the money was not given to go toward the price of the new fire station I see this article was drafted incorrectly,” he said.

“It was the intent of the donor to give the money to the Recreation Department for renovation of the old fire station. That doesn’t fit our original plan,” he said.

“I am opposed because giving the money to the Recreation Department removes our ability to sell the building to help with the new fire station addition. It turns it over to the boosters with no guarantee that the town will get any money toward the other project,” he added.

Town Manager Vern Maxfield advocated voting down both articles.

“I was taken aback when all this came to a head,” he said. “It boils down to using a wrong word on the warrant. I guess my thinking tonight is that both articles be defeated and we start over. We need to rewrite the articles and start over. We have time to meet again in the next six weeks.”

Voters decided though to pass the fire station article and reject the money article, which stipulated that the $20,000 help pay for the new station addition and keep the old station for a community center.

Maxfield plans to rewrite the article for another vote next month.

Several people asked if the town has surplus money to finish the station addition and were told it has, but selectmen don’t think that fund should be used now.

Norman Putnam was elected moderator for the special town meeting.


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