Edgecomb closes town hall due to COVID-19 concerns

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 11:00am

    Edgecomb selectmen moved their Nov. 16 meeting from in-person to a Zoom conference citing rising COVID-19 infection rates in Maine. Selectmen have closed the town hall for the week. This resulted in the selectmen and the planning board, ordinance review committee and Schmid committee having to hold video conference meetings, if they meet this week. 

    Fire Chief Roy Potter announced during the Zoom conference the fire station was closed except to official personnel until further notice. Later in the meeting, a discussion occurred indicating a town employee may have been exposed to the virus and was undergoing testing. Edgecomb has three town employees who regularly work in the town hall and Town Clerk Claudia Coffin reported all three are being tested. 

    Board Chairman Mike Smith also announced the selectmen would meet by Zoom conference until further notice. The board would like to meet declared selectman’s candidate Dawn Murray and any others seeking to fill the seat left vacant by Jack Sarmanian’s resignation. So far, Murray is the only candidate on the Dec. 5 ballot. Once a third selectmen is elected, the board would like that person to attend government assistance training along with Selectman Ted Hugger who took over distributing aid to needy residents, a role previously held by Sarmanian. 

    Selectmen want to meet with local legislators who recently won new terms. Rep. Holly Stover won a second term in the Maine House of Representatives and  Rep. and Senator-elect Chloe Maxmin defeated incumbent Sen. Dana Dow. Smith wants the legislators to discuss increased school funding and plans the Maine Department of Transportation has for Route 27. 

    Smith is reviewing state paperwork connected to replacing a government-funded tennis court. In 1974, Edgecomb received approximately $5,800 in federal funds for a tennis court at the former Edgecomb Eddy School. When the new school was built, Edgecomb relinquished the 2.8-acre location to Edgecomb Green. Since 2017, the town has searched for an alternate recreation property to comply with grant guidelines. Hugger will also review the paperwork prior to forwarding it to attorney Jon Pottle, who is advising the town. 

    Selectmen also plan to meet with a new U.S. Route 1 property owner seeking a tax abatement due to restrictions caused by a bald eagle’s nest. Bucky Holloway of Southport bought a parcel he later discovered had limited development potential due to the nest. Selectmen plan on seeking the tax assessor’s opinion prior to ruling. Selectmen also want more information about last August’s mold problem at Edgecomb Eddy School. The remediation was not covered by insurance. Selectmen want school officials to explain what caused the mold and explain prevention steps.

    Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.