GILEAD — Whether or not this small town will have a new highway garage will likely not be determined until the March 26 annual town meeting.

Residents at a Nov. 20 special town meeting authorized selectmen to negotiate a price for a 40- by 70-foot building owned by Gilead Fire Chief Ken Cole, then to bring the question back to voters.

Selectmen were expected to try to work out a deal with Cole’s Custom Auto.

Selectman Fran Head recused herself from the deal because her realty company is handling the sale of Cole’s property.

Cole said neither he nor his Realtor have been contacted by selectmen.

“My Realtor has pursued them,” Cole said.

In the meantime, petitions have been presented to the board asking them to contract for the purchase of the building.

Selectman Jeremy Morin said neither he nor Selectman Steve McLain are licensed brokers so he wants to hire a buyer’s broker to work on behalf of the town. They also want to have the building appraised, Morin said.

The original asking price was $159,000. However that figure has been reduced. The total price for the town could also be higher because of the costs associated with an appraisal and closing fees, along with the need to install a well.

Morin said he has found an agent to represent the town contingent upon receiving a percentage of the purchase price.

He said the holdup in negotiating a purchase price has been caused in part because too many people are involved.

“Every time someone brings in paperwork, that slows us down,” he said. “The selectmen are exhausted with this.”

Morin also does not believe the town should buy a separate building to house highway equipment.

Others, however, believe that both fire department and highway equipment should be stored inside a building. Right now, equipment for both departments share the fire station, resulting in some pieces remaining outside.

The Cole building is stick-built, contains six bays and is eight years old.

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