Palmyra votes to move town office to community center

Posted March 12, 2013, at 3:59 p.m.

PALMYRA, Maine — Voters in Palmyra have chosen to move the town’s office to the community center.

In a nearly two-to-one vote during Saturday’s town meeting, Palmyra residents decided to move the town office from near the library on Main Street about a half-mile up the road to the Palmyra Community Center. The written ballot vote was 61 to 32 in favor of the move.

“It will be awhile before we move,” Town Clerk Val Sprague said on Tuesday.

The community center, formerly the Palmyra Consolidated School, was built in 1954 and the building has been 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.

In addition to moving the town office to the community center, Article 18 also appropriates $40,000 to pay for the cost of moving and related expenses associated with operating the community center. The town will raise $20,000 and will take $20,000 from surplus to come up with the money.

Selectman Priscilla Jones said last week that the community center 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,” Jones said last week. “I think the building is a real asset for the community and it makes sense to have everything up there.”

Sprague said there is no specific timeframe for the move yet. There is also no set plan for the current building that houses the town office.

The board of selectmen will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the town office. In executive session, they will discuss who will succeed Diane Abbott-Cookson as Palmyra’s administrative assistant, treasurer and deputy clerk.

Cookson’s last day with Palmyra is on Friday. Cookson said she will be moving on to Guilford to take over deputy positions of treasurer, clerk and tax collector.

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