CANTON – The curious as well as serious potential bidders trekked through many of the seven houses on Monday that will be auctioned Saturday afternoon.

The seven houses are part of the town’s buyout of properties located on the flood plain, and are part of efforts to build a new village center on higher ground.

This is the third round of buyouts, said Diane Ray, director of the Special Projects Committee.

Whoever buys the homes must pay on Saturday, then remove or demolish the buildings within 30 days. Farmington auctioneer Adrian Harris will hold the auction at 2 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

Todd Wardwell, a local business owner from Mexico, was among those checking out the buildings during the Monday’s open house.

He’s looking at the buildings for salvage, he said.

Others, such as an unidentified couple, said they were just curious as they walked through the former Canton Community Church of Christ at 191 School St. The church is unique. It was built in the early 1980s in the shape of a geodesic dome, but has been vacant for about two years.

Another home, previously owned by the Hanmer family, was moved from its original site along Pleasant Street, further back and set on a large mound, following the 1987 flood.

But the couple decided to sell out under the Federal Emergency Management Agency program.

Selectman Rick Ray said that although chances are water would not rise to the home, such a scenario would create a danger because first responders or firefighters would have a difficult time getting to the site.

The town’s administrative assistant, Kathy Hutchins, said if people don’t buy the homes on Saturday, then the town would demolish and remove them.

The buyouts began after the plan to relocate the village center to higher ground was formulated after the 2003 flood.

Diane Ray said with this buyout, 22 properties will have been purchased. About 34 remain.

Auction proceeds will go into the buyout and village center fund.

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