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Peru selectmen to review potential uses of old school

PERU – At their regular Monday night meeting, selectmen discussed the possibility of getting new tenants for the former Peru Elementary School.

Both the University of Maine at Augusta and the Veterans Administration have expressed interest in the facility, which was closed when Peru joined RSU 10 and a new regional elementary school was built.

Various local organizations are now using parts of the facility for meetings and classes, but most of it remains unused.

The selectmen will meet Monday night with the Peru Elementary School Building Committee to review changes that would be required to meet the needs of these potential occupants. Selectmen made it clear that they would not spend any money on renovations until a contract was in place with new tenants.

The selectmen discussed correspondence received from the Planning Board concerning ordinances on wind power and on a conservation commission. The selectmen agreed to hold a work session with the Planning Board next Monday at 6 p.m. following their regular selectmen’s meeting, which is rescheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Selectmen Chairman Laurieann Milligan said that the Planning Board apparently did not realize that these ordinances were in keeping with the Peru Comprehensive Plan. While former Selectman Bill Hines worked on developing both of these proposed ordinances, they are two separate issues.

Hines said the proposed Wind Power Ordinance was a regional effort developed by the Bethel Area Wind Power Committee. He said that it is neither pro- or anti-wind power but provides reasonable regulation of any proposed wind power projects. Hines pointed out that presently there is no local guidance for the Planning Board to use in considering a commercial wind power application.

Med-Care informed the board that they will hold their $16 per person assessment through June. They will increase their charge for providing ambulance service to $18 per person on July 1.

Selectman Kathy Hussey provided the board with a draft warrant for the next annual town meeting. All budget requests are due by the end of January. Road Commissioner Joe Roach said he would be ready to present his budget at the Jan. 31 meeting.

Jessica Hines, Peru’s representative to the RSU 10 School Board, met with the selectmen. Milligan said that they would appreciate being kept informed of any matters that need their attention.

Selectman Tim Holland told her that it was important to keep the school budget down to what people can afford.

Hines said the board is made up of people who are representing their small towns. She said the entire school board would serve as their budget committee and that they would go over the budget line by line.