Montville addresses unsafe building conditions at Special Town Meeting
Residents of Montville voted at a special town meeting to address safety issues with two town buildings that arose after the State Fire Marshall cited the buildings for a number of violations last winter.
More than 60 voters met Sept. 28 and voted to accept the draft plan for renovations to the Town House and to turn over ownership of the Montville Community Hall to the Union Harvest Grange for $1.
The draft plan for the Town House included adding an emergency exit door, adding seating, installing a UL-approved wood stove and painting the walls to satisfy code, according to the Town Meeting Warrant. Voters also authorized the Board of Selectpersons to make any changes to the plan as required by the State Fire Marshall's Office.
Several residents questioned the use of a wood stove compared to other heating devices such as a propane heater. The board cited tradition, cost and noise as the reasons to continue to use a wood stove; however, the building's current wood stove was not UL-approved and thus did not meet code.
The Montville Community Building had also been cited for violations and required repairs in order to be used by the community, according to previously published reports. At the regular Town Meeting in March, voters approved $6,500 to go to maintenance and repairs of the community building, but did not address the some of the more costly repairs required of the structure, such as the installation of a sprinkler system.
Rather than go forward with those repairs, voters decided to sell the structure to the Union Harvest Grange, which had historically operated out of the building. The deed will include language giving the Town the right of first refusal should the Grange decide to sell the property in the future, according to the warrant.
The voters agreed to change the sticker fee for trash from a flat $1.50 to $0.75 for bags under 20 gallons, $1.50 for bags between 20 and 35 gallons and $2.25 for bags in excess of 35 gallons. The change was made after a review of the use of the town's transfer station showed many of the bags were larger than the original 32-gallon limit.
The Subdivision Ordinance was changed in what the Planning Board called a "housekeeping" measure. The new ordinance is updated to reflect current state law. It would also require better land surveys to ensure accuracy.
Voters approved a citizen-initiated article that would allow both public and private groups the right to use the meeting room of the Town Office. Public groups will be able to meet free of charge, while private groups may be required to pay a fee if the Board of Selectpersons decides to set one. The article was amended to require that each meeting be initiated by a Montville resident.