Palmyra residents will vote again on fate of community center

Posted March 07, 2013, at 6:12 p.m.

PALMYRA, Maine — Once again, the voters of Palmyra are being asked what should be done with the town’s community center, located in the former Palmyra Consolidated School.

At Saturday’s town meeting, residents will be asked whether the town office should be moved to the former school, whether funds should be raised to support the community center or whether the town should sell the building.

Residents voted last year to leave the building as it was.

Article 18 on the town warrant asks residents to move the town office to the Palmyra Community Center and appropriate $40,000 for the cost of moving and expenses to operate the community center.

“There’s a lot more room up there. The building we’re in now is small. It’s crowded,” said Selectman Priscilla Jones on Thursday.

Jones said the building is full of activity. People play basketball in the gym, and it hosts middle school and adult dances, Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as birthday parties.

“It’s a good idea to have the town office up there to have a presence and to keep an eye on everything,” she said. “I think the building is a real asset for the community and it makes sense to have everything up there.”

Fellow Selectman Don Harriman said on Thursday that he was opposed to the move, but wouldn’t elaborate.

The school was built in 1954 and the building was renovated twice, according to Don Hill, a community center booster. After the Palmyra Consolidated School closed in 2010, it was given to the town by RSU 19.

The warrant also asks whether to allow residents to use the classrooms in the community center for nonprofit events such as birthday parties and baby showers at no cost.

“It’s a policy in place right now that we’re not charging citizens [to use the classrooms for nonprofit events],” said Jones.

Article 20 asks residents to appropriate $35,000 to support the community center, while Article 19 asks residents to sell the building.

“I think there’s a lot of support for the building,” said Jones. “I hope it won’t go that way, but it’s up to the people to decide.”

The Palmyra town meeting is at 10 a.m. Saturday at the community center.

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