ROCKPORT — There is a metal box on the floor in Town Manager Jon Duke’s office with the words, “Modern Pest Services,” printed on it.

It is a trap, one of many deployed to deal with the problem of mice running around the Town Office, and Duke said the issue is worse at the Opera House.

Experts called in to deal with the town’s pest problems discovered in the Opera House mice, rats, carpenter ants, spiders, wood roaches and one other thing.

“They said there is ‘something larger than a rat,’” Duke said.

He joked that hopefully that ‘something larger’ is just a ghost and will actually help the town in renting out the space, but in either case, professionals were brought in to deal with the problems.

He said Modern Pest Services deployed traps and installed equipment to monitor the situation, even checking on traps after hours via a Wi-Fi network.

Solving this challenge, which he said hit right about the time he started the job as new town manager, will cost $5,000 per building per year.

In his Aug. 9 report to the Select Board, he noted a rash of building issues at the Town Office including a sewer line that needed to be repaired and an air conditioning unit that failed.

“I am meeting with David Leighton this week to investigate our options, but effectively our system is so outdated that we may be unable to find the parts — and more directly, the coolant — necessary to repair it. From what I have come to learn, this system has been problematic for a long time.”

He also informed them of the pest problem, which was determined to be “significant.”

In other news, discussion in town continues to revolve around the issue of the hotel under construction by Stuart, Marianne and Tyler Smith in the village. A group of residents appealed the project first through the town Zoning Board of Appeals and now in court.

Duke said the issue may be decided in the fall but noted a court decision could also be appealed further.

So far, the legal costs for the town reached $87,547 to have attorneys defend town staff, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board in the proceedings. The fees include money spent to have attorneys present throughout several lengthy Zoning Board meetings. These are just the costs as of June 30 with the case still ongoing.

In yet other news, Duke noted in his report for the week, “We have two new hires at the Opera House. Nancy Albertson as our marketing booking agent for rentals and Kari Luehman as our marketing booking agent for produced events. We are very excited to have them both as part of our team.”