BUCKFIELD —The Town Office, closed since Nov. 17 after the resignation of the town clerk, will remain closed for another two weeks, the Select Board decided Tuesday evening.

New Town Manager John Andrews requested to continue the closure through Dec. 15 in order to get staff fully trained and due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region.

“More training would be invaluable,” Andrews said.

The Town Office was left in disarray following the surprise resignation of longtime Town Clerk Cindy Dunn last month. Dunn, who had worked for the town since 1983, has twice filled the role as town manager.

Andrews, a state representative in Augusta representing Buckfield, Paris and Hebron in House District 73, was hired by the town in early November following the resignation of Joe Roach, who left in August to become Town Manager of Rangeley. Mitchell Berkowitz bridged the gap for nearly three months until Andrews’ hiring.

Since coming aboard, Andrews has been serving multiple roles for Buckfield during the lack of administrative staff. He announced Tuesday night that he has hired Melissa Wolf as a part-time town clerk.

The town has posted the town clerk opening and hopes to hire one shortly.

Andrews said the town is conducting business by appointment, such as tax collecting, marriage licenses and dog licenses. Neighboring Paris is handling all car registrations in the interim, a temporary solution that is working well, Andrews said.

The board will decide at its next meeting Dec. 15 if the Town Office will reopen or remain closed.

The town’s email accounts will switch from Megalink to Gmail, a decision hailed by the three board members.

A decision to move future Select Board meetings from Tuesday to either Monday or Wednesday was postponed until Dec. 15.

The board also authorized Public Works Director Weldon Lucas to look into the purchase of another plow truck — a 2009 International Workstar — for $32,500. Lucas was to test drive the plow and get a Maine inspection sticker on the vehicle, which has a New Hampshire sticker. The plow would serve as a backup and complete the inventory for the next five years, Andrews said.


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