PERU — While selectmen approved the sale of a portable building behind the town office at their Monday meeting, they continued to be dogged by procedural questions surrounding the sale.

At a prior meeting, the board had indicated their intent to sell it for $1,200 to Mexico resident Todd Wardwell. Peru resident Dennis Thibodeau asked why they wouldn’t accept his offer even though it was higher.

“I guess what you’re saying is that you’d rather sell it to an out-of-towner than someone in town with a higher bid,” he said. “It is not a bid,” clarified chairman James Pulsifer. “It was a proposal.”

He stated that the bid process had closed before Thibodeau’s offer was received. Pulsifer said that selectmen had waited until citizens approved the portable sale at a July 26 special town meeting.

“None of it was done right to start with,” Thibodeau said in disgust.

“I really resent you saying that,” Pulsifer shot back.

Thibodeau pointed out that the envelope he had put his offer into indicated that it was a bid, and Pulsifer confirmed this. The selectmen declined to accept Thibodeau’s offer.

The board discussed other options, and decided that accepting Wardwell’s proposal was the best one. Pulsifer observed that the only other choice would be to take all of the offers off the table and have a public auction on the portable.

Selectman Laurieann Milligan noted that the town had advertised the bid with a start and end date, and nothing came in. She cautioned the board against changing the process “just because it’s an out-of-town person.”

The selectmen voted in favor of giving Wardwell the portable for $1,200.

Peru’s ATV Club will be putting together a formal request per the selectmen’s instructions to ask for access to Hammond Hill Road. The club needs to conduct trail maintenance and no town roads are currently open to ATV traffic.

Club member Wally Kazregis pointed out that ATV operators can ride for no more than 500 yards on town roads to access ATV trails and must be at least 16 years old to ride on roads.

“None of the roads are open for ATV access until we approach you for access,” he told the selectmen.

The board noted there had been complaints about ATVs speeding on town roads. While the selectmen agreed that club members generally followed the rules, they expressed concern about nonclub members behaving recklessly.

“We live in western Maine. We want to be able to gain access to all trails,” said Milligan, adding that ATVers gave the region’s businesses an economic boost.

The board debated an ordinance pertaining to animal control expenses for handling an animal after a complaint is made. It states that if a tenant fails to make restitution, the property owner is deemed responsible for bill payment within 30 days of receipt.

Holland made a motion for the selectmen to initially go after the animal’s owner to further collection of bills, regardless of whether the individual was a landowner. Selectman Eric Horn pointed out that the ordinance prohibits the town from doing this.

“I maintain that we make a platform and go after them,” Holland said.

“If you don’t make an attempt to do something, it’s not fair to the people that do pay,” agreed secretary Kathy Hussey.

The selectmen approved Holland’s motion 3-1, with Horn opposing. The ordinance will be discussed in more detail at future meetings.

According to Road Commissioner Joe Roach, some proactive erosion control has been done at the end of Burbank Road to prevent sediment from getting into water bodies. Runoff control will be done where pine trees were removed next to the town office by seeding and haying that area.


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