Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 17, 2013
Repairs to town office prompt call for special town meeting in Sedgwick
by Bette Britt
Selectmen on Thursday, October 10, reviewed and signed a warrant for a special town meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24. The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote on four warrant articles, with the first being a request for $30,000 to be used to upgrade and make repairs to the town office, as required by the town’s property and casualty insurance. Other articles ask for $2,000 to cover an overdraft in the fiscal year 2013 Fire Protection account, $750 for the continuing Road Sign account and $5,000 for the continuing Legal account. Funding for all four articles would come from surplus.
According to Selectmen Neil Davis and Victor Smith, repairs to the town office are extensive and will require bids from several types of contractors: for excavation in the basement, pouring a concrete pad under the furnace, constructing a wall around the furnace and replacing the rotten wooden floor. Indications are that special attention will be paid to a long-standing drainage issue in the basement. In addition to work in the basement, repairs to the bathroom are on the list, as are installation of covers on some light bulbs. The town office computer system is also in the process of being upgraded, Smith noted.
A recent workers’ safety and health inspection by the Department of Labor revealed a number of “minor violations” that needed attention, and these were discussed by Davis and Smith during the regular meeting of selectmen on October 10. It was agreed many violations have already been corrected at the town office, as well as at the fire station. According to Fire Chief David Carter, who spoke before the meeting was called to order, there is an ongoing need for better traffic control at fire scenes, such as the one in Blue Hill recently.
Relative to the inspection, Smith offered to either put a handrail on the basement stairs himself or find somebody else to do it; Town Clerk/Treasurer Cynthia Reilly will take care of putting up an exit sign inside the town office.
Discussion during the regular meeting included concern about the number of foreclosures on the books, a sign of tough times. “I’m worried about the people,” said Davis. Code Enforcement Officer Duane Ford prompted discussion about the increased work load of town committees, updating ordinances and job descriptions. Ford also suggested consideration be given to salary increases for the selectmen. Reilly gave first call for renewal of dog licenses. Warrant for $5,673 was signed, with $3,430 going to accountant James Wadman.