MEXICO – Selectmen are accepting bids to buy tax-acquired property on Roxbury Road, which is also Route 17. The minimum bid for the mortgage-free three-story apartment building at 54 Roxbury Road is $15,000.

Town Manager John Madigan said Friday afternoon that the minimum bid was set at $15,000 so the town could recoup taxes owed and legal fees.

Citing nonpayment of back taxes in April, the town foreclosed on the building, which was owned by Norman and Rita Hutchinson of Mexico. Last month, the last legal hurdle with the company that held the mortgage was overcome.

Selectmen will open and review bids and possibly award the property at their 6:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday, Dec. 12, Madigan said. Bids are due by 4 p.m. that day.

In other business, selectmen voted to send a letter seeking easement deeds to landowners along Partridge Lane, a road that serves a private development. Selectmen would like to change the road into a public way and then extend it to residents on the Mexico side of the end of Coburn Avenue in Dixfield.

A bridge over Webb River, which separates Mexico from Dixfield, was rendered unusable last month by oil and gas delivery trucks, and town sand and plow trucks when the Maine Department of Transportation downgraded the bridge’s safety rating from eight tons to three tons.

Soldiers say time in Iraq made them closer

AUBURN – The first time Army Sgt. Tim Verreault saw the woman who would become his wife, he rolled his eyes and thought, “Ohhh, another private.”

He and Jessica were stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., in 2004. She was a newly arrived private who needed to be shown around the base. Tim was assigned to be her guide, but he wasn’t thrilled because privates are more work, he said. “They don’t know the ropes. I might be personally responsible for their behavior.”

But they became friends. He was impressed by how serious and intelligent she was. He grew on her. “I couldn’t get him off my mind,” said Jessica, 25, who is from Michigan. “It made me crazy because I kept saying, ‘I don’t need this right now.'”

His military nursing school ended before hers. He came back to Maine, when both admitted they were in love. “I asked her to come up,” said Tim, 31, who grew up in Auburn and graduated from Edward Little High School.

When her schooling was over, she moved to Maine and transferred to his unit, the 399th Combat Support Hospital based in Auburn.

By the next year he was planning to propose. “We knew we were going to Iraq. I couldn’t let her go over there without being my wife and having that commitment.”

He took her to dinner and gave her a necklace, hoping she’d think that’s all she was getting. Then outside the car door he knelt, offered her a ring and asked her to marry him. “I started squeaking,” she said.

They married on April 8, 2006, at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. Some businesses found out the couple was headed to Iraq and gave them cost reductions. “At the reception the DJ called us out,” she said. “We danced to ‘Proud to be an American.'” There weren’t many dry eyes.

Two months later they left for training. By October they were in Iraq, nurses with the 399th.

Both said they worked well together, and serving in Iraq made them closer. When soldiers they were working to save died, they didn’t talk about it. They didn’t have to.

Home from Iraq since Oct. 1, they’re enjoying simple things – dinner, a movie, reading on separate ends of the couch.

She’s planning to return to civilian life as a nurse. He’s attending Lewiston-Auburn College to get a four-year nursing degree. Afterward, he intends to return to active duty in the Army.

She said he adds strength to her life. “I hate to sound corny, but he fills me out.”

Once he met her, “I knew that I didn’t want to be married to anybody else,” Tim said. “I didn’t want to spend my life with anybody else.”

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