The town of Leeds on Saturday voted on numerous articles that would help preserve its town’s past, ensuring that essential components of its days from long-ago would be rekindled, reminding all of where their town came from and where it is going.

The Leeds Old Townhouse Committee proposed its plans to the 77 taxpayers in attendance in hopes that it would be given clearance to revive the old town hall building and turn it into the Leeds Townhouse History Center.

“It is the oldest town hall in Androscoggin County,” committee member Marilyn Burgess said. “Maine Preservation has placed it on Maine’s Most Endangered Historic Properties list.”

The committed proposed turning the 180-year-old townhouse into a genealogical research room, a public library using the state collection and a museum to house historical artifacts, some which have been loaned to Monmouth because of lack of storage space.

“Currently, most of that stuff is in my attic,” Burgess said. “And I don’t need to tell you that is not a good place for it.”

The town passed the proposed plan, allotting $1,500 to the project, which committee member Coreene Bauman said would “keep the lights on and the heat going.” The committee has and will continue to seek additional state funding to help limit its need of seeking much financial support from the town.

After urging the town to reduce the requested funds asked for by charities in need from $19,696 to $13,000, funding the two Leeds-based organizations only, selectmen’s recommendations were ruled against after representatives from all article-listed charities made their case.

One resident scornfully said he was shocked that earlier Saturday afternoon, the town approved the $13,450 request to maintain the local cemeteries and sandblast stones that had become weathered or vandalized, yet were debating funding the nonprofit organizations that continue to help his community.

“We’re taking care of the headstone,” he said. “How about taking care of the ones still living?”

In other spending, the town approved the prospective $19,434.62 tax hike recommended to accommodate payroll, repair and maintenance needed for town common roads.

An allotment of $24,050 will go towards the new building at the transfer station, which, according to selectmen, will help address numerous environmental issues.

After Friday night’s vote, Selectman A. Theodore Barker, Road Commissioner Robert Addision Jr., MSAD #52 Director Catherine Carey and Fire Chief Glenn Holt were re-elected. Holt received 159 of the 161 votes cast.


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