Alna selectmen

Vandalism spree through ex-Alna town office puts sale plans on hold

Posted:  Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 8:00am
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Vandals spray-painted and smashed up the inside of Alna’s former town office, leaving it such a mess it needs cleanup and repainting over profane words and images before the town can try to sell it, selectmen said June 12.

They said once they have a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department report, they can get it to the town’s insurer to help with costs. Those total nearly $4,000 in damages First Selectman Melissa Spinney said Deputy Town Clerk Lynnette Eastman discovered June 7. The list Spinney provided includes $24 worth of new picture frames, $4.50 in switchplates, a $50 emergency light, a $133 convex security mirror, two bookcases that would cost about $2,500 to replace, a $98 sheet of plate glass, a $35 desk lamp, a $149 wheelchair, a $19 light fixture, two bathroom mirrors totaling $110, a $40 telephone, and a framed 19th century rural life print. The list puts the print at $100 and states it had “sentimental value to old town officers.”

The list also notes some paint and drywall damage, paint on doors and graffiti on most walls. The board agreed to hire Joe Kelley to paint for $2,500.

All records the town needs were already next door at the new town office, so only those set to be shredded were impacted, thankfully, Spinney said when she took reporters’ questions after the meeting.

Asked how the board felt about what happened, Spinney said horrible. “That was our office. We were attached to it. So to see that, is awful.”

During and after the meeting, selectmen said two male teens, both minors, allegedly did the vandalism and face the juvenile justice system. The sheriff’s department has been to the scene and the insurer will go there after the department issues its report, selectmen said. Meanwhile, the town’s plans to show the building to try to sell it are on hold, they said.

The Wiscasset Newspaper has asked the sheriff’s department about the incident.

The board did not yet know how much the insurance and the town each will pay toward the damages. Selectmen said the deductible for those could range from $1,000 to $10,000; hopefully, closer to the $1,000, Spinney said.

The windows were about the only things not smashed that could have been, selectmen said. Maybe the vandals thought broken windows would draw attention, Second Selectman Doug Baston said. He said he would like any disposition of the case to include banning the juveniles from all properties the town owns. One of the teens is under a court-ordered ban from the old and new town office properties, selectmen said. The board discussed possibly getting security cameras, maybe set up to monitor both the old and new ones.

A trespassing incident at the site of the new one during construction targeted an excavator and some of the rebar for the foundation,  selectmen said. Damage was minimal, they said.

Selectmen asked Fire Chief Mike Trask about the cameras the fire department got for the station across Route 218 from the two buildings. The cameras take video, can be monitored anytime, and cost about $200, Trask said.