WOODSTOCK — Residents voted at Monday evening’s annual town meeting for the Board of Selectmen to form an ad hoc committee that would decide the future of the old Union Church in South Woodstock.

Voters originally were asked whether to raise and appropriate up to $4,500 to make repairs to the church’s granite foundation.

Resident Elizabeth Gallagher said that the building was “a part of our community” and is “not only a piece of our town’s history, but a piece of Maine history as well.

“Would you rather see this historic building be turned into a Big Apple or something else?” Gallagher said.

Another resident asked the Board of Selectmen their opinion about the building.

Selectman Ronald Deegan said, “First off, I want to say that, personally, I feel a little sentimental about this building. There’s a lot of history surrounding that building. However, as a selectman, I feel that the most responsible thing to do would be sell the building. We’re not in the business to maintain this building. We’re not a real estate agent.

“Personally, do I want the building to be fixed up?” Deegan continued. “Sure I do. But I think that, as a selectman, the right thing to do would be sell it.”

One resident suggested that instead of voting on whether to fix the building or sell it, that the Board of Selectmen should form a committee to figure out what the most prudent course of action would be.

“We’ll take all the guidance we can get,” Deegan said. “If the powers that be want us to make an ad hoc committee, we’ll take all the ideas and suggestions that we can. We’re here to help the town.”

The voters overwhelmingly voted against raising and appropriating $4,500, and agreed to let the Board of Selectmen form an ad hoc committee.

In other business, residents voted to approve $138,707 for the town’s administrative expenses.

The $138,707 total is $8,461 more than in the 2013/2014 fiscal year.

The rise in administrative expenses, Deegan told residents, was due to an increase from $1,700 to $2,000 in the annual stipend for selectmen.

“The selectmen haven’t received a raise for 10 years,” Deegan said. “We decided to raise the stipend by $300 for each selectman.”

The town also authorized the Board of Selectmen to purchase a used grader for the Highway Department to use for road maintenance, and to appropriate up to $30,000 from the Major Highway Equipment Reserve Fund.

Chairman Victor Young told residents that he had personally used the grader and found that it was “old and tired.”

“It’s done a lot of work over the years,” Young said. “We can either put a lot of money into the grader to fix it or get a decent used one.”

Some residents asked Young whether it would be possible to rent a grader.

“Renting would be great, but right now, if you need to use one, you’ll have a hard time getting one,” Young replied. “I agree that renting is a real good idea, but I wonder if it would be a problem this time of year.”

Residents also voted to re-elect selectman Stephen Bies, SAD 44 school board director Marcel Polak and Whitman Memorial Library trustees Edwin Howe and Sonja Davis to three-year terms. They all ran unopposed.

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