LIVERMORE — The Livermore Select Board denied a request Tuesday, Jan. 18, to contribute in-kind work for improvements on the tennis courts at Spruce Mountain Elementary School.
The renovations are being led by the Hollandstrong Community Foundation, created in memory of Michael Holland who died when the SS El Faro sank on Oct. 1, 2015, near the Bahamas, according to President Deb Roberts, Holland’s mother.
At the board’s Nov. 9 meeting, Roberts said the two tennis courts have been unusable for more than 10 years, according to the Livermore Falls Advertiser.
Roberts was asking the towns of Livermore, Jay and Livermore Falls to contribute $9,067 each in in-kind work for a total of $27,202.35.
During the meeting, Selectperson Scott Richmond suggested the board “should just put it on the warrant and let people decide.”
Select Board Vice-Chair Brett Deyling was not in favor of putting it on the warrant.
“Aren’t we [the board] deciding by putting [the court funding] on the warrant?” Deyling asked.
“It should be up to the townspeople to decide,” Richmond replied.
Deyling disagreed that the townspeople need a say on contributing to charities.
“I’m never in favor of the charity stuff we give to all the organizations anyway,” Deyling said. “I think if people want to give that they should give it but it shouldn’t be forced upon them.”
Selectperson Tracey Martin added that there are concerns about the town’s “liability” for paying for their own road crew to do in-kind work for a nonprofit organization.
Deyling also said that he didn’t “see [the renovations] being a benefit to the town of Livermore, honestly” because the courts are at the elementary school in Jay and owned by Regional School Unit 73.
It’s a benefit to the town of Jay, he said.
Select person Randy Ouellette agreed with Deyling.
“I just think there’s other things our money could be spent on,” Ouellette said.
“If we’re going to have our own crew doing work, it could be for the people of Livermore,” Deyling said. “There’s plenty of stuff around our town that people could use. And otherwise they’re gonna have to drive [to] another town.”
There are trails, the town forest in Livermore that could use the money, he added.
Martin also informed the board that Livermore Falls already denied the request. At the Livermore Falls Select Board’s Nov. 9 meeting, selectpersons voted 4-0 to deny the in-kind work request.
Ouellette said that he does “applaud” Roberts’ efforts, but perhaps “another time” — to which the board agreed.
The board approved a motion put forth by Deyling to deny the request 3-0-1. Deyling, Martin and Ouellette voted in favor, Richmond abstained and Chair Mark Chretien was not present.
In other business, the board also approved a motion to move forward with assuming town property on Butter Hill Road as a turnaround.
The property would be 3,325 square feet at the end of Butter Hill Road.
Deyling said that over the 20 or so years the town has maintained the road, “the property lines have gotten lost or skewed so that there’s no real identification of where the town’s property ends and other people’s property begins.”
Deyling said the town has had conversations, “tried to work with the property owner on this and it hasn’t been fruitful.”
The original draft of the new map would have assumed 2,100 sq. ft. Deyling amended the map to add an additional approx. 1,225 square feet. Administrative Assistant Miller said that some of the uses of this additional land include an area to push snow.
Deyling added that he “could see” the landowner putting up a fence to establish a property line if they didn’t further extend the town’s property. He said this would put the town back “in the same boat” that they were in before they redefined the property lines.
“We need enough space to get our trucks turned around if we’re going to do this,” he said.
The motion, approved unanimously, will accept Deyling’s amendments to the map, inform Main Land Development Consultants of the plan and send everything to the town attorney in order to draft up a warrant article.
The amended town map will need to be approved at a special town meeting. The timeline of that meeting is still to be determined, but Miller is hoping it will be held in the near future. The meeting needs to be announced, with public notified at least a week beforehand.
At the end of the meeting, Martin also emphasized that townspeople should register their dogs before Feb. 1. After that, residents will incur a $25 late fee on top of the $6 registration fee.