ANSON — Residents will be asked to consider three options for a temporary town office Monday night, following a decision at the annual Town Meeting to not finance repairs to the existing office, plagued with odor and air quality problems.

The Board of Selectmen is recommending that the town continue to lease property at 5 Kennebec St., where the town office has relocated since last July. The property is owned by William and Jan Lynds and would cost the town $25,000 to lease for two years.

The special Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Garret Schenck Elementary School.

“We need everyone who wants to have a say in the decision to be there,” said Arnold Luce, who is chairman of both the Board of Selectmen and the building committee. “It’s a fairly big decision for the town, and the more people we have the better.”

Other options on the meeting warrant include leasing property at 19 Main St. in North Anson or 51 New Portland Road in North Anson.

The 19 Main St. property is owned by Jason B. Lattin and would cost the town $65,124 to rent for three years. The cost would be paid in a monthly rent of $1,809.

The 51 New Portland Road property, which Luce said is the least preferable to the board and committee, is owned by Bruce and Crystal Manzer. The town could use the building for two years rent free, but would have to pay to make improvements needed for office space. The cost of the repairs is unknown, said Luce.

All of the options represent short-term fixes to the town office situation, which has been of concern since the annual Town Meeting in March, when residents voted against using $35,000 from the town’s property reserve account to clean and renovate the town office at 62 Main St. The building is more than 100 years old and in the last year has had air quality and odor problems because of a rodent infestation, sewer gas leaks and mold in the basement.

“The town people didn’t want to fix it, so it hasn’t been brought back up. It could be brought up again, but these are other options,” said Luce. In the long term, he said the town will need to come up with more affirmative plans, whether they include buying and renovating a building, building a new town office or the possibility of the local school district consolidating and giving up a building.

Although not listed on the meeting warrant, there is a possibility to buy the 5 Kennebec St. property for $100,000, to be paid over three years, said Luce.

As it is, the building doesn’t have enough meeting space, and selectmen are still meeting in the 62 Main St. building, but Luce said the building could be renovated to fit the town’s needs.

The current lease on the building is up in September.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]


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