LIVERMORE FALLS – Selectmen voted 3-0 Monday to sell a vacant lot at 90 Main St. to the adjacent Dunkin’ Donuts for $4,005.

It was the only bid the town received for the property. Up until last month, the property had a burned-out apartment building and garage on it. Townspeople voted to transfer $25,000 from surplus to demolish the building, get rid of the debris including hazard materials and have the cellar hole filled in.

The franchise plans to extend the parking lot on the property and to landscape it.

Town Manager Jim Chaousis read the letter out loud that accompanied the bid. Selectmen accepted the payment plan to put $2,005 down on it and pay the remaining $2,000 within 30 days.

In other business, Chaousis told selectmen he located in the meeting minutes where the board, acting as Sewer Department trustees, amended the sewer ordinance on Oct. 6, 2008.

A resident asked to have the change in the ordinance to go before voters at the last meeting but it was too late to get it on the warrant for the June 9 annual town meeting.

In 2003, voters amended the original sewer ordinance to make the homeowner responsible for repairs to the sewer line to the end of the property line, Chaousis said. The Department paid for the repairs from the property line to the connection at the main, according to the ordinance back then.

In 2008, trustees reversed the practice to have homeowners be responsible for the line from their home to the connection at the sewer main.

The board made the change because the practice cost the Department about $20,000 a year to pay for the portion from the property lines to the main and contributed to a deficit, board Chairwoman Louise Chabot said last year. Trustees also raised the sewer rates that went into effect Jan. 1.

Chaousis said he checked with legal counsel and the trustees had the right to make the change and it is legal.

But to make an ordinance ironclad to hold up in court, the best way would be to put amendments to the public for vote at a town meeting, he said.

It could become a possible gray area if someone took the ordinance to court, Selectman Bill Demaray said.

Since it is too late to do it for the upcoming town meeting, Demaray said, they should put the change out to hearing and then a public vote in the future to make it more defendable.


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