The Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry at the Municipal Center on Pleasant Street is searching for a new location because the town office building is up for sale. President Karen Miller asked selectmen Thursday for options on a new site in town. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

OXFORD — Members of the Oxford Helping Hands Food Pantry asked selectmen Thursday evening for options for relocating, now that the Municipal Center at 85 Pleasant St. is for sale.

Volunteers who operate the nonprofit pantry had presented a plan to Town Manager Adam Garland about possibly moving into a storage area at the Station House Recreation Center on King Street, but selectmen were not in favor because the Recreation Department has plans to ramp up children’s programs next year.

Selectmen are considering two other town properties: the 1830 Center Meeting House at 476 Main St. and the Kay House Museum next to the Municipal Center, both of which are not heated and have no running water in the winter.

Karen Miller, president of the pantry’s board of directors, told selectmen that Good Shepherd Food Bank advised that a food pantry needs heat, hot and cold running water, restrooms, handicap access and accommodations for delivery trucks. Also, entry and exit needs to be in one direction so volunteers can load vehicles.

Selectmen directed Garland to get estimates for retrofitting the Meeting House and the museum barn, which houses Oxford Historical Society’s exhibits and large artifacts. The Meeting House is on the National Registry of Historic Places and would be subject to federal rules on modifications.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Caldwell Jackson assured the five board members attending the meeting — Miller, Vice President Sue Milligan, Treasurer Linda Hooker, Secretary Ann Bellwood and Beth Barton —  that the town will work diligently to help find a new home. He said he was part of the group that started the food assistance program more than a decade ago.

Garland and board Vice Chairwoman Sharon Jackson echoed his words, with Jackson saying selectmen support the pantry 100%.

Earlier in the meeting, selectmen agreed that the town would not cover the full cost of winterizing or renovating any space.

Miller said there is nothing available in Oxford within the food pantry’s budget. Although the pantry was founded as a resource to support Oxford residents, she said they were not ruling out reestablishing the service in another community.

Helping Hands has been searching for a new home since last year. It requires 1,200 to 1,400 square feet, including dry goods and cold/freezer storage. The pantry also needs volunteers to stock shelves and load cars during Thursday pickup hours. People interested in getting involved may contact Miller at [email protected]

The Municipal Center, which sits on 1.2 acres, is listed by Broker Patrick Casalinova of The Fletcher Group in Portland. The 12,420-square-foot, two-story building was constructed about 1900 and served as Oxford’s school for decades. The town acquired it in 1998 and converted it to municipal offices.

At least three times in recent years attempts have been made to clean and sanitize the building to remove mold but conditions have continued to worsen. It was put on the market July 16.

In other business, Garland reported the east and west gates of the Thompson Lake dam have been replaced and the center gate has been delivered. He did not specify a schedule for its installation.

The town manager said he talked with an abutter to the Welchville dam about getting access to the channel from Hogan and Whitney ponds leading to the dam. The owner is receptive to a temporary easement, which the town’s lawyers are drafting, Garland said.

Garland also said the town has received just over $200,000 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The second and final payment will bring the total to $411,000. He asked selectmen to be prepared to discuss plans for the money at their Oct. 21 meeting.

In another matter, Sewer Department Superintendent Zhenya Schevchenko advised that one of the wastewater treatment plant’s two actuators, a device that helps physical movements by converting energy into mechanical force, needs to be replaced at a cost of $8,375.

A new one must be custom manufactured and Garland asked selectmen to waive the requirement to get three bids, which was approved. The new one is expected to be delivered in about 14 weeks. Once installed, the old one will be refurbished and kept as a spare. If it fails before the replacement is received,  the plant will be able to only operate at 50% capacity.

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