LIVERMORE – Selectpersons on Thursday night approved a Town Assembly warrant item asking for $5,000 for the Brettuns Community Building to be spent on replacing the furnace, oil tank and hot water tank.
The Annual Municipal Meeting will be held by referendum at the polls on Tuesday April 26 at Spruce Mountain Elementary School on Gibbs Mill Road.
In the last two years, because of COVID-19, the association responsible for the building has not raised so much money, said member Tim Cox. The expenses are paid, but they cannot find the supplement, he said.
In 2014, voters approved letting the Church Street building to Friends of Livermore for $1 a year for 99 years. In 2015, the lease was signed with the Livermore Community Center Association.
The building was insulated, the interior painted and three-quarters of the roof repaired, Cox said.
“We maintained our side as much as possible,” Cox said. “It’s a pretty big hit.”
There were 35 rentals last year, 29 of which were by Livermore residents, he said.
People from all over Maine called to rent, member Pat Lallemand said. “The word is out there, we don’t advertise it.” There are more than 20 this year, she says.
Rent is $50 for Livermore residents and $75 for non-residents, she said.
“Clubs and other groups use it, giving money for upkeep,” Cox said. Alcohol is not allowed, which has cost rents, he added.
“We pump water for the garage and the city library,” Cox said. “Two or three years ago, the furnace stopped just after the installation of new bathrooms. We had to replace the toilets, the sinks.
A well on the grounds of the building supplies water to the municipal garage behind the building and to the municipal library across Church Street.
If the association had a nonprofit number, it could apply for grants, coach Scott Richmond said.
“That’s what we should be aiming for,” said member Sandra Grondin. “It costs money.”
City administrative assistant Aaron Miller mentioned a new grant program through the Governor’s Office of Policy and Innovation and Futures. The Community Resilience Partnership will provide $4.75 million over the next two years to fund projects that reduce energy use, he said.
With the amount of work involved, being ready for the first round in March would be difficult, Miller said. “The second round in September is more reasonable. I would be happy to work with you and the board moving forward.
Grants are capped at $50,000 per city or $100,000 for collaboration with another city, Miller said. The city could use it to change lights (at the town hall and fire station complex) and at the Brettuns community building, he said.
Cox estimated that the new bulbs would cost the Community Building between $500 and $600.
Bake sales held at the building’s average of $500 to $700, and Lallemand said she and her family were willing to use those profits for building needs.
Nearly $10,000 has been invested in the building since 2015, not including materials and supplies donated by businesses, she said.
Richmond said any city money spent would have to be approved by voters.
The city could still apply for the state grant of $50,000, Miller said.
Coach Tracey Martin has suggested that voters be asked for $5,000 this year.
“That would be nice,” Cox said. “I think we could increase the rest, just work a little harder.”
On February 1, selected people were told that the 40-year-old furnace needed replacing and that the fuel tank and water heater were rusting. Estimates to replace the oven ranged from $5,000 to $11,000, but did not include the other items, they were told.
In March 2015, the city leased the building to the Livermore Community Center Association for $1. Elected officials then voted to execute the Brettun Community Center lease as written.
At their last meeting, the selectees filed a decision regarding the needs of the building, as they wanted more information about the lease.
In other matters, the council voted 3 to 1 to accept the Butter Hill Road easement agreement with landowners Sherry L. Estes and Mark A. Luse for a reversal and to pay them $250. Councilors Martin, Richmond and Randy Ouellette approved, President Mark Chrétien opposed and Councilor Brett Deyling was absent.
“Sherry Estes asked us to pay $250 for the easement,” Miller said before the vote.
The money will be taken from the legal account.