May 30, 2020
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Sangerville residents to decide building’s future

SANGERVILLE, Maine — Three options for the future of the former Abbie Fowler Elementary School will be up for action at the annual March 27 town meeting.

Since the town is paying more to maintain the building than it is getting in rent, selectmen felt it best that residents decided whether they wanted to sell the building, tear it down, or continue to own and lease the facility, according to Town Manager Joe Clark.

A public informational meeting to discuss the options and to view the building will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, at the Abbie Fowler building. The meeting is being held so residents can make an informed decision at the town meeting, Clark said Thursday.

After that informational meeting, selectmen will hold a public hearing on a proposed Community Development Block Grant for weatherization of homes of income-eligible families. The grant is a joint venture with the towns of Wellington and Parkman.

Regarding the former school, Clark said Friends of Community Fitness and SAD 4 now lease space in the facility, but there are additional rooms that are vacant. Those rents are on a year-to-year basis. “The rental money we’re getting from it doesn’t cover the costs,” Clark said.

About $30,000 was budgeted for the building’s upkeep last year, but the account is overdrawn by about $3,300, he said.

If the town votes to keep the building, Clark said residents would need to budget funds to install a new boiler system and a hot water heater, along with funds for roof repair.

While no grants have been sought to help make the improvements, Clark said he had applied for a brownfields grant for the removal of any hazardous materials in the event residents vote to demolish the building. That grant is pending.

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