Gilead residents voted to add another $1,000 for Town Hall, right, renovations. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

GILEAD — A ladder leaning against the side of town hall reminded voters entering the adjacent town office why they were not meeting at town hall this year for their annual town meeting.

A leaky roof is just one of the issues selectmen and townspeople face regarding the 1883 structure. “We need to sit down and really think about what we’re going to do about it,” said Select Board Chairman, Freeman Corriveau at the Saturday night meeting.

Article 8 was a recommendation by the selectmen to raise $1,000 and carry the balance forward. When a resident asked about the money that had been approved at a previous town meeting, Corriveau said that the additional $1,000 would, “keep it on the table.” According to the annual report, the current balance for town hall repairs is $64,282.16.

Treasurer, Town Clerk and Registrar of Voters Patsy Cox said there was more damage to the building than they previously thought.

Other selectmen, Alfred Leighton and Jon Howe, along with some of the 11 other voters present, weighed in, as well. Everything seemed to be on the table as people talked over one another, discussing the possibility of a new foundation, replacing the entire structure, and alternatively, the historical value of the building.

“Fix it the right way, all at once” said one voter.


Resident and Highway Commissioner Fred Corriveau said, “I think we ought to connect all the buildings and a have a generator system so when the power goes out, I don’t have to come over and make sure the heat is on or hook a generator up to keep it heated …Then you’ve got a place to come for people that don’t have a warm house. They can come over to this town hall and keep warm.”

The town hall is currently heated by a wood-burning stove and a fan.

Article 8 passed, as did all of the other 38 articles on the warrant.

Article 4, asking that credit and debit cards be used as a form of payment at town office with the resident charged the convenience fee, passed after failing at last year’s meeting. Prior to this meeting, the town office accepted cash only. Cox said residents wanted the convenience and noted that you could pay the 2% fee or spend money on gas driving to the ATM in Bethel for cash.

Selectmen recommended $4,000 for maintenance of cemeteries and decorating veterans’ graves in article 23. “We’d like to keep it local,” said Corriveau of the search for someone to do the job.

Vern Maxfield, Woodstock town manager, moderated.  He sprinkled his signature humor into the discussion. At the conclusion of the second to last article, he joked, “would now be a good time to take a break?”

Residents voted to adjourn in under an hour, heading back into the snowy March night.

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