DEXTER, Maine — A former hospital and health center will soon have a new owner who wants to renovate it to serve as a medical space and for possible expansion of the growing Tri-County Technical Center.
The former Reddy Health Center building that once had been Plummer Memorial Hospital will be sold from the town to Frank Spizuoco Commercial LLC, following the Dexter Town Council’s acceptance of a $50,000 bid for the 51 High St. property during its Oct. 14 meeting.
The property was donated by Dr. Challa Reddy to the town in the spring and since then has been leased to Frank Spizuoco Commercial LLC. Last fall Spizuoco told town officials that programming at the Tri-County Technical Center in Dexter is growing, and the Reddy Building could be used to house future TCTC growth.
Though councilor Steve Gudroe questioned the $50,000 bid, saying some of the homes in worse condition in town would be sold for more, councilors all voted to accept Spizuoco’s bid.
“Anytime we have a business in Dexter that wants to move forward, we should grease the skids to help it be successful,” Councilor David Palmer said.
Councilor Chuck Ellms said the $50,000 would be money the town did not have before, and under Spizuoco’s ownership the 51 High St. building would not fall into disrepair.
“I just want to thank you, Frank, for doing it because, as Chuck said, otherwise it would be an empty building and we’re littered with empty buildings,” Council Andrew Bermudez said.
“The $50,000 is more than we had and we get property taxes now,” Councilor Heidi Kinney said.
Last month, each member of the council indicated they were in favor of putting the 51 High St. property up for sale. One bid came in.
“I had three people who were interested, two people took out paperwork, and one submitted a bid,” Town Manager Trampas King said.
King said he and Spizuoco have been discussing the property since the spring. Since then Spizuoco has made $28,000 in capital improvements such as redoing the roof, flooring, and painting, and installing exterior lights with the hope of purchasing the building in the future or having his company be reimbursed should there be a sales agreement with another buyer.
In other business, a dangerous building order was declared for 85 High St.
“This building can’t be fixed,” Code Enforcement Officer Al Tempesta said during a public hearing held as part of the dangerous building declaration process. “It’s a dangerous building in danger of collapsing and kids playing around it could get hurt.”
The home was destroyed by a fire in the fall of 2020. According to the minutes of the August council meeting, King reported property owner Katrina Mitchell of Orrington cannot afford to have the site cleaned up and this is not fair to neighbors. A lien can be placed on the parcel after cleanup.
Thirty days are now in place for the site to be cleaned up, after which the council can vote to proceed with taking corrective action.
The council also accepted a $9,300 bid — the lowest of four — from Grants Plumbing and Heating for a boiler furnace at the Abbott Memorial Library.
King said the installation would be done the following week in advance of late fall and winter. He said each bid received would include a $1,000 heater to go under the library counter.
When asked, the town manager said the A.E. Robinson Oil Company, which submitted two of the other three bids, could still service the library furnace in an emergency as the town buys fuel from the company.