PERU — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to look into inviting the National Guard to assist in revitalizing or repairing certain town properties.

Board Chairwoman Carol Roach said she learned of a program offered by the National Guard called Innovative Readiness Training Request for Military Assistance. She said some of the projects the town could request assistance for include repairing the ball field and the veterans memorial.

However, she said, applying for the program would take a “considerable amount” of legwork.

According to a document provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, any town applying for military assistance for a community project would have to advertise the project in a newspaper and obtain a statement of noncompetition from local contractors.

Roach said the town would also have to provide a list of possible donations and volunteers that may be available to the National Guard.

“They’d want to know if, while they’re working on the project, they’d have access to a place to put their equipment, or the ability to use our Town Office building,” Roach said.


She said if the town were successful in its application, “it would be well-worth our effort.”

Selectman Raquel Welch asked Roach if there were any downsides to applying for the program.

“The downside is the politics of it all,” Roach said. “The question is (whether doing this) will antagonize local business owners by us not buying from a local vendor.”

Town Clerk Vera Parent said, “Some businesses out there will want to be told via advertising what is going on.”

“You know as well as I do that even if we advertise, they’ll come in way over what we’ll be able to afford,” Parent said. “I think that we’re putting our good foot forward (looking at this program). It’s worth a shot.”

Selectman Larry Snowman said he participated in the program in the 1970s when he served in the National Guard.


“We worked at Black Mountain one year, and another year, we went north and constructed some dugouts for a high school,” Snowman said. “I think there could be a lot of political stuff that comes up, but if we can apply for it, it would be worth it.”

Welch made a motion to task Roach to look into the program and the steps that are needed to apply.

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Carol Roach, chairwoman of the Peru Board of Selectmen, and Selectman Larry Snowman talk with the board Monday evening about inviting the National Guard to help revitalize town properties.

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