PALERMO — Selectmen have a chance to acquire, for free, a strip of land that would provide access to Beech Pond off Cain Hill Road.

Code Enforcement Officer Darryl McKenney said Walter Haggett has offered to donate a piece of land running from the road to the pond. The gift parcel would be at least 100 feet wide, perhaps larger, McKenney said.

The property is part of an area involved in boundary disputes. There were plans to subdivide and McKenney is not issuing any building permits until the lot lines are resolved. Haggett is addressing the problem by getting rid of the parcel he’s offering to the town.

McKenney said a lot of the area is wetland. He expects access to the pond would be on foot only, not by road — although at some point, a road was built on part of the land, he said.

Selectmen decided they should look at the area to see how much dry land there is.

Any decision to accept the land would be made by Town Meeting voters, not selectmen.

Board Chairman Sophia Glidden proposed another question that voters may address at the 2012 Town Meeting: Whether volunteer firefighters should be offered money for responding to fires.

She thought a stipend to help cover the cost of gas would be an incentive for more people to join — or stay in — the Fire Department.

Ilene McKenney, a member of the Palermo Compensation Committee, said four of six towns the committee is studying for comparison with Palermo offer some compensation to their volunteer firefighters.

Selectmen gave themselves two additional assignments:

* Board member Harry Dean Potter said the town’s auditor recommended board members draft policies on the town’s undesignated fund balance, investments and tracking capital assets.

Board members agreed to begin the process at a workshop session after their Oct. 20 meeting.

* Resident Richard Reitchel asked if selectmen were ready again to consider inviting a cable company into Palermo. Selectmen said that, if Reitchel would draft a letter to Time Warner, they would sign it.

Selectmen may need to seek voter approval to amend the town’s cable TV ordinance, which says if any part of Palermo gets cable service, the entire town must be covered. The usual procedure is for cable companies to serve the most densely populated areas first and the roads where houses are widely separated later or never.

Town Clerk Sheila McCarty said absentee ballots for Nov. 8 are available at the Town Office during office hours. Rules for requesting them have changed and telephone requests are no longer allowed, she said.

McCarty said 2012 dog licenses will be available beginning Oct. 15. She intends to be at the rabies clinic scheduled from 1 to 2 that afternoon at the Palermo fire house to sell tags to residents whose dogs get vaccinated.

Mary Grow is a Kennebec Journal correspondent who lives in China.


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