UNION — Several residents spoke at the Union Select Board meeting July 20 to express their desire for the town to keep certain tax-acquired property.

The property in question is on Coggins Hill Road.

The board voted to put the property on the market with a realtor at their July 6 meeting.

Resident Kathleen Thornton asked what the process was for the town to sell such property. Thornton pointed out that some property, such as the one parcel on Stone Road, had been town property for several years.

Thornton also asked why the board had decided to sell this property through a realtor instead of putting it out to bid.

Select Board Chair Adam Fuller explained the town had only taken possession of the Coggins Hill Road property that year. Part of the board’s duty to the town was to keep property like this on the tax records so it could continue to provide tax income for the town.

As for the Stone Road property, Fuller explained that property was formerly a dump site. It could not be built on in the current condition of the land.

Board member Bill Lombardi said the town decided to go with a realtor to sell the property because historically the property could be sold for more money through a realtor than with the bid process.

Lombardi did say that the board did not realize residents used that space when they voted to sell it, and perhaps that decision should be reconsidered.

Municipal officer Josh White added that the town also believed that property to be landlocked.

After a realtor performed a proper assessment, the town realized that property has an access.

This will increase the value of the property substantially, White said.

Town Manager Jay Feyler later clarified in an email that the property could be landlocked with no access, although the realtor believe there is a right of way in an old deed. “The Town really does not know and does not imply there is one or not,” Feyler said.

Thornton, as well as Karina Shorten, Clairlynn Rountree and Leanne and Patrick Sebrey spoke passionately about their desire for the town to keep the Coggins Hill Road property.

Many local residents, as well as visitors, use that space for recreation, they argued. The space is used for hiking, walking dogs and riding horses.

Fuller said he loved the idea of keeping green space, but the community would need to organize a fundraising effort and purchase the land.

With no formal citizens group to make an offer on the property, Fuller said, the board could not pull the land off the market.

In other business, the board discussed possible options “The Future of the Thompson Community Center” committee might recommend to the board, and how those options could be accomplished.

Board member Martha Johnston-Nash, who is a member of the committee, said the committee is very concerned about the deterioration of the building and the maintenance of the ground.

Johnston-Nash said the committee heard presentations from representatives who were interested in taking control of the space.

Feyler said he might be able to coordinate a meeting between members of the committee and members of the Thompson Community Center board.

Feyler will also be giving a report at the next committee meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Resident Richard Morgan spoke to the select board about installing “children playing” signs near his property on Payson Road.

Children and teens often use his property to swim, and Morgan was concerned about vehicles speeding around the corner and possibly hitting the children.

The board said they would look into the possibility of purchasing the signs.

Fuller agreed that people drive around that corner by Morgan’s property very fast.

The board approved a five-year lease to purchase a new loader for Public Works.

The lease is $689 per month.

The board agreed to close the town office from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 14 for training.

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