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Thomaston forms Green task force

By Christine Simmonds | Nov 10, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Thomaston Select Board meets via Zoom Nov. 9.

Thomaston — The Thomaston Select Board has created a task force to decide the future of the Thomaston Green.

The decision came during the board’s Nov. 9 meeting, held over Zoom.

The Thomaston Green, formerly the prison site, has been a debated topic since the town brought forward two housing proposals in September, which were both voted down. Some residents wish to develop part of the land, and some residents feel the land should be left as open park space.

Resident Sumner Kinney spoke out against the formation of a task force, saying such a group was created 15 years ago. “The plan is there,” he said, “why rehash it?”

“I think this whole thing with that piece of property has been out of whack and is an embarrassment to this community,” Kinney added.

Resident Chris Crosman spoke in favor of the task force. Crosman noted the town had many new residents since the original plan was made 15 years ago, and the town might see an economic benefit from leaving the space open.

Select Board Chairman Pete Lammert pointed out that the current directive regarding the Green is to develop it, according to the last town vote on the matter.

Board member Bill Hahn said while some of the directive is 15 years old, other parts of it are only five years old, as is when the town voted to spend money installing infrastructure in the Green for future development.

Resident Sue Howard said while the town voted to develop the land 15 years ago, neither viable candidate for development passed this year. Howard said perhaps the town was sending a message they did not want to develop the space.

Town Manager Kara George made the point that while both projects were voted down, the last directive from voters was still to develop there. She added that if the residents want something different, a new plan will have to be voted on by the town.

Board member Diane Giese said the September vote was not the two developments or nothing, and added that presenting a new directive for the voters may be part of the task force’s duties.

Any Thomaston residents interested in being on the task force can contact George at kgeorge@thomastonmaine.gov for a board and committee application.

In other business, the board discussed the imminent installation of a new two-boiler system for the Municipal Building, which has been without heat since the boiler broke in October.

The board voted to replace the boiler with a two boiler system at an earlier meeting, but since then learned that the building's original boiler, which was unused but still in the building, has an asbestos jacket.

The board has five quotes from different companies to remove the unused boiler.

Kinney questioned why the boiler had to be replaced so soon after the renovation and opening of the new Municipal Building. “What in the hell happened that we missed this?” he asked.

Kinney was informed that the boiler came from RSU 13 with the purchase of the Lura Libby building, and did not come with a warranty.

The board decided to move forward with installing only one of the two boilers, removing the boiler with asbestos within one month, and installing the second boiler at that time.

The board authorized George to contact the town attorney regarding the liability of the old boiler and the asbestos, and choose a company accordingly.

The board set guidelines regarding public participation, and how future meetings would be held.

Public comments on each topic now will have a three minute time limit during meetings. Residents who would like to be added to the agenda can contact George.

It was determined that the next board meeting would be held over Zoom, and the nature of the next meeting would be decided at that time.

J.T. O’Hare was named Emergency Management Agency Director, and Amy Drinkwater as Alternate Emergency Management Director.

A traffic workshop was set for Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.

John Snyder, Patti Spaulding, Robert Armstrong and Nancy Armstrong were reappointed to the Harbor Committee.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Nov 12, 2020 06:25

The boiler issues should of been addressed as part of the rehabilitation financing process.  It could of been anticipated easily I would contend.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Nov 11, 2020 10:51

At least Thomaston gets to utilize their tax dollars unlike Rockland did with their old high school. We spent all kinds of money on repairs and turned it over to a non-profit.



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