BUCKFIELD — Town Manager Glen Holmes informed selectmen and the public Tuesday night that in the last 30 to 45 days, two local pets have had encounters with rabid skunks.

“I contacted the center for disease control and they said we should get the word out to the public,” he said.

Holmes said the CDC advised that if anyone sees any animal that seems to be acting strange to call the animal control officer and keep pets inside.  He said one pet had to be destroyed and one was in quarantine.

Owners are advised to get their pets vaccinated against rabies. Holmes said there are  places to get the shots, which are good for a year, and the cost is minimal compared to the cost of quarantining them.

Selectman Eileen Hotham said that it would cost at least $1,500 for pets to be in quarantine.

In other news, the board voted to offer a five-year agreement to the snowmobile and ATV clubs for use of the railroad bed recreational trail. The town had formerly given a one-year agreement, with a clause that allowed it to cancel it within six months. The five-year agreement will have a three-month clause to cancel.

Hotham said she thought the longer time might give the clubs more opportunities to apply for grants to work on the trails. The clubs do a lot of upkeep on the trails, Holmes said.

Selectman Robin Buswell had a question concerning hiring contractors for road jobs that are too large for the town crew. He said one contractor felt his hands were tied as to what work he could do.

Holmes said the town will work with whoever has the contract, and if the town feels like it is not being treated fairly by the contractor, they can rebid the job.

Hotham said the contractor can always call Holmes and ask questions.

The ordinance to provide home energy audits and low-cost loans to homeowners, which was defeated last November, is still drawing concerns.

Joyce Hartson said the town had soundly defeated the measure and the board had tried to overrule that vote, she said, by scheduling a special town meeting Feb. 26 to vote on it again. That meeting was voted down by a 2-to-1 margin.

“I want this on the ballot with the town elections in June,” Hartson said.


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