POLAND — The newly reconstituted Board of Selectmen wasted no time Tuesday getting down to business, starting with the acquisition of the McConaghy property.

Coming out of an executive session which began the meeting, the board announced that it had reached a purchase and sale agreement with the owner, with closing scheduled for March 6.

In April 2012, voters approved the acquisition of the McConaghy property, the large red house which lies between the Town Hall and the Ricker Memorial Library, as a means for the town to gain full control of the stretch of land along Route 26 from the library to the Town Office.

Full details of the purchase and sales agreement were not released, but the board did vote to amend the original agreement, allowing the current occupant to remain on the property until Aug. 31.

After a brief discussion acknowledging the conclusions of the McConaghy Property Use Study Committee, the board authorized Town Manager Rosemary Roy to seek requests for proposals from landscape architects to develop a master plan for the property.

John Cleveland, economic development consultant to the town, said that the plan, estimated to cost about $8,000, could be paid for through revenue from the town’s downtown tax increment financing district.

Selectmen also asked Roy to prepare a warrant article for the April town meeting, which would authorize the board to sell the house, since it had been determined that the property would be of most value to the town if the house were removed. The house itself would be for sale, and the purchaser of the building would move it.

In other business, selectmen approved a plan whereby town employees will receive their health insurance through the Maine Municipal Association’s PPO stand-alone program.

Roy told the board that the move would provide employees coverage equal to what they have now — however, the change should save the town about $32,000.

Roy also told selectmen that she and Town Clerk Judy Akers had been interviewed by representatives of the Communities of Distinction Program. With a series of further interviews planned, she said, it appears that Poland has a good chance of being chosen to participate in the program.

Roy noted that the town stands to gain some good publicity should it be chosen for the program, since the spokesman is Terry Bradshaw, former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The program could be aired within the calendar year.

Roy hopes to have more information available for the board’s March 19 meeting, at which time selectmen will have an opportunity to approve whether the town will proceed with the project.

Selectmen also:

* Elected Steve Robinson and Janice Kimball to serve as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Kimball, Stanley Tenenman and Walter Gallagher were elected Monday to replace James Fernald, Lawrence Moreau and Wendy Sanborn who were recalled Jan. 3. Lester Stevens is also on the board.

* Accepted, with thanks for his good work, the resignation of Robert Brown from the Planning Board and appointed William Foster to replace him; and

* Appointed Patricia Nash to serve as the town’s health officer through January 2016.


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