ANSON — Residents on Saturday rejected a proposal to pay for repairs to the Town Office building, which has been plagued with a rodent infestation, mold and air quality problems over the last eight months.
Rather than fix the nearly 100-year-old building, residents opted to have selectmen develop an alternative plan to bring before townspeople within the next six months.
About 65 people attended Saturday’s Town Meeting, which was held at Garrett Schenck School. Anson administrative assistant Bob Worthley, who has managed the Town Office for 16 years, announced at the meeting that he will be retiring, and residents approved a new ordinance about where sex offenders may live. A $1.63 million budget was adopted.
“We can come up with some different things, but we are going to need help and input with it,” said Arnold Luce, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, about the Town office issue.
Since July, horrible odor and air quality problems have forced municipal offices to move temporarily to an office on Kennebec Street. The problems stem from a leak of sewer gases, a mold problem in the building basement and a rodent infestation.
On Saturday, the board asked residents to approve using $35,000 to pay for repairs and maintenance to the Town Office, but the proposal was defeated. Instead, selectmen will seek input from residents and come up with alternative options, which could include relocating to another building and demolishing the current Town Office. A special town meeting probably will be held in the coming months, Worthley said.
In the middle of the meeting, selectmen announced Worthley’s retirement.
“He’s going to be hard to replace. Bob has made the job of a selectman easy. His integrity and honesty have always been there,” said Luce, who presented Worthley with a plaque and a golf club membership.
“I want to say thank you to all the citizens of Anson and North Anson who have made my job easy, and to the Board of Selectmen, who have always been great throughout my time here,” Worthley said.
A $1,634,628 budget was approved, a roughly 5 percent increase from the current budget of $1.55 million.
Among items that residents approved were the following lien items: $29,550 for the tax collector budget, $197,622 for administrative budget, $42,142 recycling subsidy, $443,518 for the highway department, $106,664 for the Fire Department, $90,000 for waste management, $110,742 for the fire hydrant budget, $23,000 for street lights, $26,280 for the town recreation budget and $5,000 for Madison-Anson Days.
Residents also voted to adopt a new ordinance about sex offenders and gave permission to selectmen to develop an ordinance that would regulate live entertainment.
The sex offender ordinance states that no registered sex offender is permitted to live within a 750-foot radius of the property line of a school or property restricted by the town.
In elections, incumbent Inez Moody was re-elected to the Board of Selectmen for a three-year term with 50 votes. George W. Rugh and Dana Beaulieu were elected to three-year terms on the School Administrative District 74 Board of Directors. Rugh received 54 votes; and Beaulieu, 47.
Raymond Moody was elected to a three-year term on the Anson-Madison Sanitary District Board of Trustees with 61 votes.
Harry R. Withee was elected to a three-year term on the Anson-Madison Water District Board of Trustees with 58 votes.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368ro[email protected]