POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday agreed that the hours the Town Office is open will remain unchanged, but there may have to be times when the public will have to wait for service.

Town Manager Rosemary Roy, noting that the office is so busy that upon occasion workers are neglecting to take required breaks and sometimes are postponing lunch until 2 p.m., suggested closing the office for a noon break.

“The office is beyond busy, especially on Mondays,” Roy said.

She suggested on Mondays, when the office is open for 10 hours, that it be closed an hour, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; and on Tuesday through Friday, it be closed from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Roy said the effect of a recent decision to reduce the office staff from three-and-a-half to three positions has been magnified this summer with one of the three on maternity leave.

Roy noted that the two working now, Judith Akers and Lynda Carey, are totally dedicated to serving the public.

“It’s just not that easy for them to pull away,” Roy said in answer to selectmen’s suggestion that they simply put up a sign saying they are closed for a break.

Compounding the problem, Roy said, is the fact that when either of the two takes their vacation, there will be only one clerk available.

Selectmen agreed that the clerks must take the breaks required by law and, at least through the end of August, they will have to put up a sign saying they are closed briefly, as necessary.

In other business, selectmen appointed Michelle Arsenault to the town budget committee, and accepted the Ricker Memorial Library management policy upon learning that library trustees had also agreed to the policy. They also agreed to continue efforts to find someone interested in moving the former McConaghy building out of the municipal complex.

To date, advertisements have failed to attract any takers, but selectmen agreed to continue placing ads in Lewiston and Portland papers, as well as “free” publications, at least through July.

In addition to finding what it would cost to move the building, selectmen also asked Roy to find the cost to salvage and demolish the building, and to look into the feasibility of the garage portion to the public works area.

In her town manager’s report, Roy noted that she had signed an agreement with Irving Oil to provide the town with diesel, unleaded gasoline, No. 2 heating oil and propane.

Irving Oil, Roy said, had been the low bidder for supplying diesel, unleaded gasoline and the heating oil, and, when contacted, had agreed to meet a lower price for propane as submitted by another bidder.

When Selectman Stan Tetenman took issue with Roy’s decision to negotiate a lower price with Irving, Selectman Walter Gallagher said he suggested Roy take that move as a way to simplify management of the energy accounts.

Gallagher agreed that perhaps such a negotiation might not be the best way to conduct business, however Roy noted that in years past that’s exactly what the town manager did and the reason why she followed Gallagher’s suggestion.


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