BUCKFIELD — Town Manager Glen Holmes told selectmen Tuesday night that there are five options being considered for the lights at Bessey Memorial Field on Paris Hill Road.

In June, beekeeper Tony Bachelder offered to buy the property and move the lights to another ball field because they threaten his business, one of the largest in the state with up to 800 hives. He said the lights draw the bees from their hives and the bees get lost when the lights are turned off. Also, since there is no nectar for the bees at night, they are likely to become aggressive and pose a danger to those at the field, he said.

He offered the town $50,000 for the field and relocation of its lights for nighttime games.

A committee appointed to study the issue presented the following options:

• Leave the lights where they are.

• Move the lights to the Buckfield High School ball field.

• Move the lights to the football field behind the Municipal Building.

• Move the lights to the town recreational field in the village.

• Move the lights to a piece of land that might be donated to the town.

After the meeting, the board went to the football field where Holmes had staked out where the lights might be positioned.

Holmes said the committee is meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at the Town Office; the public is welcome, including anyone interested in serving on the panel.

Holmes informed the board that he and Road Foreman Phil Savage researched a salt and sand shed and are looking at putting a 50- by 100-foot reinforced cloth facility near the Town Garage. He said he should have an estimate on excavation, paving and other preparations by the next board meeting. He said town workers plan to erect the building.

Holmes complimented town workers for keeping the grounds and ball fields looking great.

The board signed letters to the towns that sent equipment and manpower to help fight the recent R.E. Lowell Lumber mill fire. At the debriefing last week, firefighters talked about what could have been done better. One thing that was a problem, according to Holmes, was that Route 117 had to be blocked for several hours while water was pumped from the Nezinscot River. He said the town would be looking at a landing of some sort to help get to the water.

Holmes read a letter from Richard Flewelling, assistant director of legal services for the Maine Municipal Association, addressing the question about whether Selectman Eileen Hotham’s bank employment created a conflict of interest.

Flewelling said, “To suggest that a selectman is precluded by incompatibility of office from simultaneously holding a position with a local bank is simply ludicrous.”


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