NORRIDGEWOCK — Voters authorized town officials Tuesday to buy a 2.5-acre property on Gilman Drive so a food pantry can be opened on the land, Town Manager Richard LaBelle said.

Unofficial results show 946 votes were cast in favor of the land acquisition and 556 in opposition, according to Town Clerk Aimee Robinson.

The question asked Norridgewock voters whether they would authorize the purchase of the land at a price of no more than $100,000, but did not specify how the land would be used.

LaBelle said Thursday some residents who voted against the measure said later they wished the question had specified the land was to be used for a food pantry, because they might have voted differently.

LaBelle said the town attorney drafted that language and, regardless of its ambiguity, the proposal was accepted by voters.

Town officials expect to close soon on the property, which had an asking price of $97,000, and begin working with partners, such as Good Shepherd Food Bank, to get a food pantry in operation, he said.


The pantry is to operate out of a three-car garage structure on the land. Gilman Drive is a short section of private road in the town’s center.

LaBelle said it is “not the perfect location” for a pantry, but it is more than adequate for meeting the community’s needs. It is also a far cheaper option than new construction, he said.

The need for a food pantry became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the town’s only pantry, which was privately run, closed, LaBelle said.

This new pantry is also to be privately operated, according to LaBelle, but the town will retain ownership of the land.

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