LINCOLN, Maine — Town officials are asking Ayer Street residents to buy a boarded-up building on their street to spare taxpayers the expense of razing it.
Town Treasurer Gilberte Mayo is contacting abutting property owners about buying the building, which has portions of its deck collapsing, Code Enforcement Officer Dan Whittier said earlier this week.
“It could cause problems if kids get into it,” Whittier said.
The town foreclosed on the building months ago and Mayo has said she believes the property is more valuable with the house on it, according to Planning Department documents.
The Planning Board voted 4-0 during its meeting on Monday to adopt Mayo’s recommendation and see whether the property can be sold.
The Planning Department also is assembling a database of the town’s abandoned or vacant buildings to ensure they are properly maintained and not safety hazards. As many as 25 buildings are being entered into the database, Whittier said.
In other planning news:
• The board voted 4-0 to grant a new business permit to Floral Remembrance & Ranch Hand Associates at 357 Main St.
The business, Whittier said, has a very novel concept: Floral Remembrance workers will design and maintain grave site decorations for friends and relatives of the deceased. Whittier said he was mystified at the idea until Code Enforcement Supervisor Ruth Birtz explained it.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Birtz said. “You may not have the access or time to devote to [the gravestone of] a loved one and this service will give them peace of mind.”
“I know a lot of people [former Lincoln residents] who struggle to get home to put flowers on family grave sites,” Birtz added.
Such a service, Birtz said, might be useful before visits to grave sites to help spare grieving friends and relatives some of the shock and pain of mourning.
“Historically it is the relatives of the deceased who come and put wreaths or real flowers on the memorials of loved ones,” Birtz said.
Whittier seemed to think the concept ingenious.
“I would not have thought of that in a million years,” he said.
The business will supplement the town’s cemetery maintenance services. Town workers regularly plant, mow and trim grass around monuments and town officials hire a contractor to clean and straighten gravestones, said Ron Weatherbee, the town’s director of cemetery, parks and recreation.
The gravestone cleaning contractor handles portions of the town’s cemeteries annually so that all gravestones are cleaned once every four or five years, he said.
• The board voted 4-0 to grant a new business permit to Sunshine Long Arm Quilting at 9045 Lee Road. Owner Caroline Breznyak is starting her home-based handmade quilt production and might want to install signs for it, which would require a new business permit.
• Angel Ireland of 70 Taylor St. received a new business permit to start a home-cleaning business. The board voted 4-0 to grant the permit.
• The board informally agreed to allow Birtz to develop regulations for digital signs. Fearing that signs might blind or confuse motorists, the Maine Department of Transportation does not allow such signs in DOT rights of way, but state law allows towns to adopt their own regulations.
The owners of a town insurance agency, F.A. Peabody, raised the issue with the board to clarify that their business has a legally permitted sign. Board members agreed that it was.