Elected officials in Dresden are considering buying the property adjacent to the Town Office, and will hold a public hearing Tuesday to solicit comments on the proposal.

The property at 540 Gardiner Road was listed for sale last fall. Acquiring it would give town officials options they do not have currently, including space for parking and possible future expansion.

“There’s not a lot parking available in the village of Dresden Mills,” Town Administrator Michael Henderson said.

It would also give the town a chance to upgrade its property by putting in a septic system to serve the Town Office. Currently, the Town Office has only a holding tank.

“They (the owner) wanted $56,000 for it,” Third Selectman Allan Moeller Sr. said. “We’ve got a tentative agreement to buy it for $50,000. But before we negotiate any further, we’ll hold a public hearing on it.”

The public hearing will be held after all other business is concluded at the Board of Selectmen meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pownalborough Hall.

Town residents will have the chance to weigh in on the proposed warrant article, which seeks authorization to spend $50,000 from the town’s surplus funds for the property.

The town’s property tax commitment describes 540 Gardiner Road as a 1-acre lot with a house, valued for property tax purposes at $64,310.

“We scheduled a special town meeting for (6 p.m. on) Jan. 15,” Moeller said. “If everyone disagrees with this, we may not go forward with that.”

This is the second time the town has expressed interest in the property. A decade ago, Moeller said, the first selectman at the time tried to put together a deal to buy it, but the seller wanted to lease the property for three years. At that time, he said, town officials did not want to be landlords and nixed the deal.

If residents agree to buy it, Henderson said, the house is expected to be demolished.

“I don’t think the house has been well maintained,” he said, and keeping it would be a liability to the town.

Additional parking would be created by putting down gravel on the lot. Henderson said with the amount of paving that needs to be done in Dresden, it would be hard to prioritize parking over road paving.

Henderson said Marilyn Baker had sold the property to Tina Fitzsimmons and Leonard Santos a number of years ago and acquired it again last July by paying the taxes owed on the property.




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