PERU – It is unclear what the future of several Peru buildings will be, and a recent town referendum turning down $10,000 to maintain the former school further muddied the waters.

At Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, Chairman James Pulsifer noted that the future of the school building, Rockemeka Grange, and former town office building are all open to speculation. A committee has been formed to look at the disposition of vacant town buildings, and Pulsifer noted that he would like to see it come to a decision by this fall.

“We should have a solid plan by then,” he said. “We need to so something so we can take care of it before next winter.”

Road Commissioner Joe Roach stated that it would be in the road department’s best interest to have the right of first refusal on the Rockemeka Grange and former town office properties, which abut road department facilities.

“The buildings may not be valuable to the road department or town, but the property certainly is,” he said, noting it could be used for expansion or to store equipment.

Town Clerk Vera Parent suggested having any decision by voters on the future of the buildings be accomplished through a referendum as opposed to an open town meeting. She noted that more citizens tend to show up at referendums at the polls.

Pulsifer believed that the vote on the disposition of town buildings could take place in conjunction with the November balloting. He added that enough public informational meetings on the various options associated with the buildings could be held by that time.

Resident Pauline Mackinnon asked if the town had the authority to put the school building up for sale.

Pulsifer said the town has the authority to lease it, but it can’t sell it because voters haven’t authorized a sale.

At the June referendum, Peru residents also rejected an article containing $70,000 toward the purchase of a new plow truck for the highway department. This concerned Mackinnon, who noted that the town is operating with several older trucks and a breakdown of one of them would hamper sanding and snow removal.

“I’m worried about the town truck,” she told selectmen. “Do they (voters) realize the seriousness of it?”

Pulsifer indicated that selectmen would be discussing and addressing this issue at future meetings.

Selectmen are accepting ideas for what to do with a doublewide trailer located behind the current town office. It was once used to house school supplies when the Peru Elementary School was operating on the property.

Residents are encouraged to come to selectmen’s meetings with their thoughts on the trailer or contact the town office or selectmen. Pulsifer noted that the trailer has two bathrooms and plenty of space.

“That would make a good office,” he said.

The board approved a trailer for a bottle drive that will be parked under the trees in front of the old school building parallel to Dickvale Road. The bottle drive is to benefit Peru resident Tyler Child, who was burned recently in a fire.

In other business, the board approved a ready built shed and footings to stabilize a barn at Nick Waugh and Ann Stickney’s residence on Dickvale Road. They also approved a 12- by 10-foot storage shed for Maryann Melville on Dickvale Road.


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