December 13, 2014

Gray Town Council decides about Stimson Hall - By Tracy Scheckel

The Gray Town Council met on Tuesday and heard a presentation from Christopher Closs of Maine Preservation regarding options for Stimson Hall. Closs shared information about historic preservation tax credits and preservations easements that might make Stimson more marketable, and noted that Maine Preservation could act as a broker for the properties. 
In November, voters in Gray voted by nearly 2 to 1 to dispose of Stimson Hall, either by sale or demolition. The council had action items on Tuesday’s agenda to consider RFPs for real estate services and demolition services for the three buildings on Shaker Road that include Stimson, the former post office and the old town hall.

During council discussion about the RFPs, Closs did note that he thought it unlikely that the Maine Preservation governing board would submit a proposal to Gray because the RFP asks for marketing proposals for all three buildings – not just historic Stimson.

The council ultimately passed motions for the Town manager to seek proposals for real estate services and the demolition of the buildings. Anne Gass of the Community Economic Development Committee made a presentation to the council for a pre-application for Community Development Block grant funding for the demolition of the post office and old town hall. Base on some conceptual budget estimates for the work, the application will seek approximately $40,000 with a match of approximately $10,000 from the town.

In order to resolve a mistake by a former Code Enforcement Officer who issued a building permit in error for a property in the shoreland zone, the council approved a consent order to allow, in perpetuity, that an existing home on Waterview Road have a 15-foot frontline setback reduction from the mandatory 25-foot setback.

In other business the council approved the winter maintenance of an additional .19 miles of Loon Lane and set a January public hearing date to repeal its conduct in parks ordinance.

The council will not have another regular meeting until January 6, 2015, but will conduct a workshop with the planning board on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

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