Hodgdon officials mull salt/sand shed construction

10 years ago

HODGDON, Maine — Should the town move forward with a plan to construct a winter salt and sand shed? That is the question on the minds of selectmen in Hodgdon.

The town’s board of selectmen discussed the matter during a Sept. 2, 2014 meeting when Town Manager Jim Griffin brought up the subject.
According to Griffin, the state will discontinue its reimbursement to towns for building salt and sand sheds in 2016. The program has been in existence for 27 years. The town of Hodgdon could be reimbursed as much as 50 percent to erect such a structure.
“I thought maybe now might be a good idea to take a look at this to see if we can get one built,” he said. “I don’t think this is an issue that is going to go away.”
In 1996, the town explored the notion of constructing such a building. At that time, the cost estimate was $141,000. The town elected not to build a shed at that time.
No official action was taken at the Sept. 2 meeting.
In other business, residents David and Nancy Ingraham spoke to the board, asking them to fix an issue with dogs barking on the Westford Hill Road. The couple stated they have tried contacting the town’s animal control officer, Royce Quint, but have not been successful in remedying the matter.
“We try to live a peaceful life up there,” David said.
The Ingrahams also questioned whether the animal control officer had the proper training and up to date certification.
Griffin stated he had spoken to the ACO and informed him that he needed to do additional training to become certified and would then be required to do eight hours of training on a yearly basis.
Residents Debra and Tim Wynes expressed a concern to the selectmen over how the notes of the selectmen meetings were being kept. Debra Wynes suggested the board consider a third-party to be brought in to document their meetings or consider video or audio recordings of their meetings to provide a more accurate account of what transpires.
Board members rejected her suggestion, opting to keep things the same as they have been done historically.
In other agenda items, selectmen took no action on a request from the town of Houlton for funding assistance for the Visitor Information Center. Houlton officials have been approaching other communities to see if they would be willing to provide financial assistance for maintaining the tourist information center.
Several selectmen expressed concern that the request for funding did not include a dollar amount sought, and therefore were not comfortable donating to the cause.
Selectmen also stated they would be happy to listen to a presentation from Houlton Town Manager Butch Asselin on the merits of funding the center, but added the town was not in a financial position to increase its expenses.
Hodgdon also received a letter from the town of Houlton asking if they would like to join forces to share Houlton’s animal control officer. In order for that to happen, the town of Hodgdon would have to sign a contract agreement with the Houlton Humane Society to drop off animals.
Hodgdon currently contracts with an animal shelter in Lincoln for strays. The town pays $3,000 for its animal control officer and $800 to the Lincoln Animal Shelter. Selectmen expressed no desire to enter into a contract with the Houlton shelter, which would cost their town more money.