June 22, 2018
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Greenville to vote on proposed land swap

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

GREENVILLE, Maine — A proposed land and building swap will be up for action at a special town meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Greenville Municipal Building.

Residents will decide whether to swap the town’s recycling and public works garage and land in Moosehead Junction Township for property and a building in the Greenville Industrial Park owned by resident Mike Theriault of Mike Theriault Construction.

“I would hope the voters could see there are pros and cons to this and evaluate all of this on their own and vote accordingly,” Greenville Town Manager John Simko said Monday.

The idea of the swap was suggested by the town’s transfer station development committee, Simko said. The committee considers town-owned property in the industrial park next to Theriault’s property as the best location for a transfer station. The committee believes the site would be permitted more easily by the Department of Environmental Protection than other locations.

Simko said if the site is permitted, it is possible that part of Theriault’s adjoining land could be used for wood waste destined for the transfer station. That could save the town money in transfer station construction costs, he said. The plan is for the recycling center to share space in the transfer station and for Theriault’s building to be used by the public works department. The swap would locate the transfer station centrally with recycling and public works within town limits.

“It just seemed to make a lot of sense,” Simko said.

Theriault also sees merit in the proposal because he recently purchased land adjacent to the town’s property in Moosehead Junction Township, according to Simko. Rather than a sale-purchase agreement, Theriault favored a swap, he said.

“So strategically there is a reason why he’d like to be there and why we’d like to be where he is,” Simko said.

Town officials say there plenty of pros and cons regarding the swap. For one, the town no longer would pay about $1,400 a year in property taxes to the state, which it now does because the town garage and recycling center are located in the Unorganized Territory. On the flip side, Theriault’s property would be off the tax rolls.

The swap would give the town more land and Theriault more building, Simko said. Both properties have asphalt sand and salt pads, but if the swap were approved, the town would have to expand the pad for town use. Simko also said that Theriault has insulated his building and as a result, his building burns about one-third less fuel than the town now burns in its facility.

If the swap were not approved, the town’s building in the junction would be half-empty once the recycling center is moved to the transfer station. Simko said the town has no need for that type of space.

Residents at the special town meeting also will be asked to act on matters involving the Shaw Public Library. Among them is a request to apply for a Public Facilities Grant to remove architectural barriers at the library. The project, which involves rear entryway work and restroom improvements, would not exceed $150,000. The town’s share of the grant, if awarded, would be $37,500.

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