Oxford selectmen discuss Town Office future

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Selectman Samantha Hewey speaks at the September 6 Board of Selectmen's meeting about problems with the Town Office building on Pleasant Street. Employees have been advised not to spend too much time in the basement because of the air quality and mold.

OXFORD —Town Manager Butch Asselin told selectmen that the town’s economic state will determine the plan to relocate or renovate the Town Office in the future.

“It’s all about the money,” Asselin said after Selectwoman Samantha Hewey asked what the plan was to relocate the problematic Town Office during the board’s September 6 meeting.

Ongoing issues such as water leaks, air quality, heating problems and such continue to plague the aging building on Pleasant Street. The building was formerly used as a school.

Asselin said voters would have to approve a bond to build a new town office, but the town does own land it could probably place it on.

In other business, selectmen set the Fiscal 2019 tax rate at $14.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the same as last year.

Last year the rate went up $1.50, the first increase in 12 years.

Asselin told the board he is waiting for information on a proposal to fix leaks at the Thompson Lake dam. Meanwhile, gaps in the concrete will be filled in and sandbagging will be done.

A report on air quality and mold in the Town Office was received and recommendations made to alleviate concerns in some areas of the building, particularly the basement. Employees are being asked to be cautious about how much time they spend there.

The larger question of what the town should do with the former Oxford High School building is still to be answered, officials said.

Town Clerk Beth Olsen reported on her department activities, including developing electronic systems for records, reducing workers’ compensation costs significantly by creating a safety committee, providing the public with online registrations and tax payments, and continuing preserving town records.

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