BUCKFIELD — An informational dinner using federal Homeland Security Grant funds will be held in March to inform residents of their local emergency organizations and how they can serve, according to Town Manager Glen Holmes.

Residents and members of all organizations in the towns of Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner will be asked to attend to learn how they can best serve themselves, their neighbors and their community during an emergency.

Additional information will be coming out in a newsletter to the three communities.

In other news, the board voted to go with a recommendation from Holmes to take the Regional School Unit 10 carryover funds over three years, but to raise money in a reserve account to help with school costs to help keep the tax rate down.

Holmes said this would allow the RSU to have cash flow through this initial period.

The board also voted to award the lowest bidder, R.E. Lowell Lumber Inc., the bid for materials to finish the sand/salt shed.

Selectmen also opted to put the sustainable forest thinning harvest of Bessey Field out to bid.

Holmes reported that the Planning Board is on track to have the wind power ordinance ready by June. Holmes demonstrated on a large map of the town how different distances from windmills would cover homes in an area. 

The state recommends 600 feet of buffer, which Holmes demonstrated by using a disc, showing that no homes are within that distance. The 2,000-foot setback could still work, he said, but the 1 mile disc showed that there was no place in Buckfield for a windmill to meet that distance. Holmes said the committee is presently sticking to the 1 mile distance but no vote has been taken.

Holmes also reported that the court has granted a stay of enforcement to Roger Bennett’s graveyard appeal, which gives Bennett more time to comply.

Holmes told the board that by putting in new thermostats and closing the office one day a week, the town has saved $713.56 in the Municipal Center in oil and $123.83 in electricity usage. He said the town garage has made several adjustments that are saving money as well.

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