PERU — The Board of Selectmen have passed a warrant to approve the election of three new Regional School Unit 56 board members.

Deborah Mooney is seeking the three-year position; Becky Hall, the two-year post; and Edgar Parent, a current RSU 10 board member, the one-year seat. All candidates are running unopposed.

Voting will take place Jan. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Peru Town Office.

In other business, selectmen acted on two unregistered junkyards.

Rocky Garland and Heather Smith of 234 Dickvale Road and Richard Breau of 152 Gammon Road were sent letters regarding certain items in their yard that, by legal statute, are defined as junk. Because of that statute, the items must be cleaned up, since their residences are not registered as junkyards.

Selectmen, wishing to avoid court proceedings and issuing fines, gave the owners of those properties 90 days to clean up their yards, rather than the usual 30 days. If the yards are not cleaned up by April 1, the town could seek legal action resulting in fines to the property owners.

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“We’re just hoping for voluntary compliance and a smooth proceeding,” board member Carol Roach said. 

Also, selectmen are in the process of negotiating a new contract with Friends of Peru Elementary School. The current contract is up Jan. 30. In the past, a management contract with the town meant the group could use the former elementary school at 30 Main St. to host nonprofit events and rent rooms to organizations such as the Rumford Senior Citizens and Servants Heart Food Pantry.

Selectmen hope the group will obtain its 501(c)(3) certification, which will define it as a nonprofit and give it access to more grants for operational costs. In the new contract, selectmen are asking that the group maintain its own liability insurance and repair the elevator in the building.

“By citizen initiative, voters approved a $10,000 stipend to operate the facility last June, and I suspect a similar warrant may be sought this year to help with oil and utilities,” Roach said.

Selectmen also discussed Knox Road and the potential liability the town faces on emergency vehicle access. According to Roach, the owner of the property on Knox Road demanded that the town cease maintaining it, but selectmen are concerned as to who would be liable should there be an emergency on the road and a firetruck or ambulance not be able to access it.

“It’s a potential liability we’re struggling with,”Roach said. “If there’s an emergency, who does that liability fall on? The owner or the town?”

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