ANDOVER – Selectmen and residents agreed Tuesday that they need to put past conflicts behind them for the good of the town.

Librarian Janet Farrington had submitted a citizen request to the board asking that Chairwoman Susan Merrow apologize for comments she made regarding library spending.

“I’m sorry if anything I said offended you,” Merrow said, adding that she applauded Farrington’s efforts to present a fiscally responsible library budget during her years as librarian.

Less finger-pointing

“I do hope that going forward we can work together more and have less finger-pointing,” Merrow said. She noted that Farrington had asked for more employee workshops for town workers to help them better serve the community, “and I actually appreciate that.”

Farrington said she hoped for “fewer comments without talking to someone first,” and several residents agreed it was important to hear a variety of viewpoints on the issues being discussed.

Merrow, who is the target of a citizen recall petition, added in a follow-up e-mail Tuesday night that she had not done anything legally wrong. “Hence, the real apology should be to me,” she wrote. “I don’t appreciate the roadblocks and attacks, but they hurt the town more than they hurt me personally.”

Merrow noted there have been five new ad hoc committees, an indication of greater participation in government.

Windmill approval

In other business, Planning Board Chairman Mark Thurston said Upton Road resident Larry Costa is seeking Planning Board approval to build a windmill on his land and is looking for a variance to the town’s 60-foot height ordinance.

Thurston noted that Costa had presented three plans, with the possibility of having the windmill be 100 feet to 140 feet high. According to Thurston, there is one windmill in South Andover that is 60 feet high and it is located on the Gammon property, and another in East Andover that has existed for a number of years.

“I don’t know if it will catch on, but there’s some more coming, I believe,” Thurston said.

The town’s site plan review ordinance has a section pertaining to windmills, and there is a possibility, Thurston said, that Andover will eventually have to create a separate windmill ordinance. A public hearing on Costa’s plans is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 30.

Keith Farrington, Andover’s representative to the SAD 44 Board of Directors, outlined the latest stage of the school district consolidation efforts between SAD 44 and Union 37 in Rangeley.

“The consolidation efforts are moving ahead,” he said. “We didn’t actually approve a plan yet. We just approved developing one.”

He noted that the two districts will submit the proposal to the state to be approved, and then voters will have the final say. Consolidation committee meetings are being held every Thursday.

The recreation committee is putting together its budget for next year, and the backstop at Grimaldi Field has been one spot identified as needing attention. Poles holding it up are crooked and the backstop is leaning to one side. A new backstop is estimated to cost around $3,200.

Recreation committee member Paul Hutchins noted that other projects at the field need to be done as well, such as a bench that got severely damaged by a snowmobile last year.

The town clerk will be in the office from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22 instead of the usual 1 to 6 p.m.


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