WOODSTOCK — Via an online Zoom meeting, Woodstock selectmen Tuesday reviewed plans and procedures for dealing with the coronavirus situation and restrictions.

The annual town meeting, originally scheduled for March 30, has been postponed indefinitely and Town Manager Vern Maxfield noted it would likely not take place until at least late May, “if then.”

The town received a letter through the Maine Municipal Association stating that the governor and Legislature have authorized towns to conduct town business based on their 2019 municipal budgets until they are able to pass a new one.  Current town officers whose positions would otherwise be up for a vote can continue to serve until that time.

The town office closed to the public late last week with a plan for phone calls to be forwarded to Maxfield as he works from home, and for either he or Deputy Town Clerk Rose Fraser to stop in to the office when needed to check mail and do the payroll.

But on Tuesday Maxfield said he thought it would be better if one of them plans to work from the office every other day for a half day or so, in order to keep business running smoothly. They will provide window service at those times, he said. Maxfield said it has been helpful for the phone calls to be forwarded to him.

The Highway Department has been on call since last week, but Maxfield said he has recently told Road Foreman Josh Campbell to periodically check the town roads for problems and to go ahead with spring road sweeping if any crew members involved can safely socially distance from each other.

Maxfield reported that excise and property tax totals for March were up some, but he expects the excise tax revenue to decline for the next couple of months. He expressed hope that some months down the road car companies may offer good deals on new vehicles and the town may see more excise funds as a result. He also reported that the state projects revenue sharing for towns to be down for July and August, but hopes it will be able to make up for the shortfall later in the year.

Selectmen voted to earmark $1,500 to cover costs for town citizens to participate in the annual Household Hazardous Waste collection day in Bethel or Norway, scheduled for Sept. 19 and June 13, respectively.

Maxfield said a heating system project at the Public Safety Building has been completed and a new overhead garage door has been installed at the Town Garage for $14,000 and $4,950, respectively.  Work on a new roof for the sand shed is expected to begin soon, at a projected cost of $15,000.


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