GREENWOOD — Bethel selectmen unanimously decided June 16, not to hold an annual town meeting this year because of COVID-19.

Town Manager Kim Sparks said the town cannot have a gathering of more than 50 people and that their average attendance for town meeting has been around 60 people.

The town is going to operate on the same budget as last year. Sparks said the town report will contain info on last years budget.

Unlike Woodstock, Sparks thought it would be a challenge holding a meeting outside the town office because of limited parking space.

Greenwood is the only town in the district to announce they will forego having an annual town meeting. Bethel is aiming to hold its in July, Newry is looking at September as a possible date and Woodstock’s town meeting is June 22.

Sparks said pushing the meeting back any further would have been challenging because the town needs to commit taxes by August so it can get its tax bills out in September.

Selectman Arnie Jordan, who was up for re-election this year, will remain on the board until the next town meeting.

Both Jordan and Select Woman Amy Chapman will be up for re-election in 2021. Jordan’s seat will be for two years and Chapman’s will be for three.

Jordan did not have any known challengers for this year.

In other business, selectmen approved request for a Smokey The Bear fire danger sign.

Selectmen asked that the fire department try and get the sign for free from the Forest Service in West Paris and then try and repair it. If costs for repairs are close to the cost for new one, Sparks said the town would then just buy a new sign.

Town Fire Chief Ken Cole said the fire department responded to many brush fires in the area during the last month.

Cole has said previously that whether or not someone can acquire a burn permit is based on a morning weather forecast out of Augusta. He said anyone interested in having a fire should contact their local fire chief or warden to inquire about the local weather conditions for the day.

Fire wardens have told Cole that calls for brush fires have double compared to last year.

Selectmen approved donating $200 to the SAD 44 Project Graduation. One hundred dollars went toward this year’s project grad and another $100 for next year’s.

June 2 meeting

Selectman Norman Milliard said a resident asked him what the town’s stance was on out-of-town residents using the town beach. According to the minutes, the resident asked if it would be possible for the town to provide permits or parking stickers for residents.

Milliard asked the board if this had previously been discussed.

Chapman said it had not been discussed in the past and that the town would most-likely have to hire someone to monitor activity at the beach.

Milliard stated that if the town were to issue permits, then someone would need to be at the beach to watch for possible;e violators. Another question Milliard asked was what would happen if an individual was caught without a permit at the beach.

Chapman then asked if someone renting property in town would be allowed to have a permit for the beach. She also mentioned that there is already a sign at the beach reminding people that it is for resident use only and that considering many people already break that rule, many will also probably not abide with getting a permit, if the town were to start issuing them.

Chapman said if the area still had local police, the situation may be different. Milliard said he felt it would be a “waste of resources” to ask the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department to patrol the beach.






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