OXFORD — Kathleen Dillingham, the town’s newly appointed recreation director, told the Board of Selectmen on Thursday that she favors private rentals of the Community Center, even if the gathering includes beer and wine.

Dillingham was asked about having private functions, such as weddings, that include beer and wine at a building owned by the town.

“I just don’t think the taxpayers should pay for that,” said Lois Pike, a member of the town’s Recreation Committee.

Dillingham said the decision was the Board of Selectmen’s, but she saw the possibility as one that could bring in several hundred dollars for a rental to beef up the Recreation Department’s budget. The applicant would have to be self-insured so the town would have no liability. 

Dillingham used as an example the popular “BYOB” dances the local snowmobile club used to hold.

Dillingham said that since she was appointed, changes had been made at the Community Center, including public hours. Information is available through a new brochure, online and on the Community Center bulletin board.

According to Dillingham, the proposal to allow people to consume alcohol will now go to the town manager for consideration.

Selectmen unanimously gave the go-ahead to Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman to begin court action against owners of a junkyard/nuisance property at 9 Whittemore Road. The property owner has received notices since 2004 to clean up the mess.

“We need to set a precedent that the town of Oxford is not going to allow these junkyards,” Corey-Whitman said. It could take several years to go through the legal action and get the property cleaned up, she said.

In other action:

* Selectmen agreed 3-0, with Selectman Ed Knightly abstaining because of his affiliation with the town transfer station, to allow Hebron residents to bring brush to the Oxford facility.

* Phillip Jendrick was appointed to the Planning Board. The board is critically low on members and could face a quorum issue, with a resignation looming and another potential board member running for selectman. With the current appointment, the board now has five of the seven members necessary to fill the board.

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Recreation Director Kathleen Dillingham speaks to selectmen Thursday about allowing beer and wine to be consumed by private parties renting the Community Center.

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