STRONG — The Board of Selectmen turned its attention Tuesday night to the decline in property maintenance downtown.

A once-welcoming Main Street, lined with maple trees and well-maintained homes and yards, is no longer the standard, according to Terry and Michael Parker, who shared their concerns about increasing laxness by many property owners.

Terry Parker asked selectmen what they could do to turn the problem around and offered to help with whatever efforts were necessary. She referred, as an example, to the many junk cars sitting beside and in front of the former EJ’s Market, across from her.

“I don’t want to be mean to anybody,” she said, “but I’ve been here 48 years and nobody ever had a mess in their front yards.”

Terry Parker said she has done some research and knows a property owner with more than two unregistered vehicles, putting the person in violation of state law.

Parker spoke of creating a property maintenance law, which, while not a perfect solution, would allow the town to set standards and restrictions.

An important concern, Parker said, is the devaluation of other properties and the overall appeal of the town to prospective home buyers and business owners.

“My property is devaluing by the day,” she said.

Parker suggested volunteers might be willing to help with the cleanup effort, and board Chairman Rob Elliott suggested approaching individual property owners as a first step.

In other matters, selectmen congratulated Fire Chief Duayne Boyd for receiving a Spirit of America award from the Franklin County Commissioners.

Boyd, also the town’s Highway Department foreman, used this as an opportunity to remind residents that state law prohibits property owners from moving snow into roadways.

“The wet snow freezes and can be dangerous to drivers and snowplows,” he said.

Also on Tuesday night, Town Clerk Betsy Dubois said she has papers available at the Town Office for one selectmen position, two school board positions and at least one budget committee position.


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