WOODSTOCK —At their annual town meeting Monday Woodstock voters  unanimously approved selling the former “Old Town Garage” to  Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson for $30,000.

Rosalie (left) and Leon Poland (right) were presented with the “Spirit of America Award” by Town Manager Vern Maxfield (center) at the start of Monday’s town meeting. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

Carlson recently announced that he no longer plans to use the garage for developing a new TV studio, saying the project had become too publicized.

Woodstock Town Manager said Tuesday that Carlson still plans to buy the garage, but has not yet disclosed what his plans for the space are.

Carlson has vacationed in Woodstock for decades and uses the basement of the town library to broadcast shows during the summer.

Little discussion occurred regarding the 40 articles on the warrant at Monday’s meeting, attended by 40 people.

Article 5, asking the town to “vote to purchase the Franklin Grange building from the Maine State Grange,” drew the most conversation.

An amendment was made to the article noting that the town will not spend more than $50,000 on the building. Funds from the sale of the “old town garage” will go toward the Grange.

The $50,000 would only be used to purchase the Grange.

The price could be lowered if the Maine State Grange is willing to negotiate further. Their original proposal was $75,000. Woodstock countered with a $35,000 offer. They have not received another counter offer yet, according to Selectman Ron Deegan.

“We took a look at what we feel the building is worth to the town and we actually thought $50,000 would probably buy it,” Deegan said.

If Maine State Grange rejects the $50,000, a special town meeting would likely be held.

The kitchen and the roof would require the most maintenance, Deegan said.

“On the open market that building should not bring more than $35,000-40,000. I’m not really sure what the end game is,” resident Don Lawrence said.

Lawrence said he recognizes the need to control real estate, but does not think the building is worth $50,000.

“I think it’s a really critically important historical building. I trust the selectman, they’ve done their homework and I would love to see the town control it,” resident Marcel Polak said.

The article passed with minor opposition.

Maxfield said that under the budget, the town’s taxes will increase by less than 1 percent (2018 -$2,647,342, proposed 2019 – $2,682,593, including projected school and county shares).

Other news

The towns Accident Recovery Fee Ordinance was approved unanimously. The ordinance permits Woodstock to collect fees for the service of the Fire Department at a commercial vehicle accident if the work on scene exceeds four hours.

Lawrence wondered what was going to be defined as a “commercial vehicle.”

State Police will determine if the vehicle is commercial or not in their report, according to Town Manager Vern Maxfield.

Incumbent selectman Deegan was re-elected unopposed for another three-year term, receiving 21 votes.

Incumbent Jane Mills was re-elected for another three-year term as a library trustee, and Sue Staples was nominated for the other vacant spot. Marta Clements had served as a trustee, but did not  seek re-election.

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