At 61 degrees, it was “a little bit chilly” in the Community Building when First Selectman Kathy Littlefield opened Waldo’s traditional “meeting before town meeting” Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The building has problems, she told townspeople.

Built 17 or 18 years ago, as best the selectman could recall, the building recently had “a lot” of water seeping under the Town Office’s front door; a leaking roof since patched — but that’s only a temporary fix, she said, and the town will replace the roof “piecemeal” as other towns frequently do rather than swallow the entire cost all at once; boiler issues awaiting “two major parts” (hence the “little bit chilly” temperature); boiler room condensation — “There’s an exhaust fan in our future”; and — in a back corner — a half-inch gap where the wall has separated from the slab.

The Community Room, where the town meeting was held, also “needs some attention,” she pointed out; the walls are marred where renters have put tape on the wall.

“So there’s money in our future,” Littlefield said to laughter, “or, I should say, an absence of money in our future.”

Other issues she disclosed selectmen are grappling with include vandalism and theft at the sand shed, deferred maintenance of the town’s five cemeteries, and roads that, especially after this winter, are in “bad shape.”

Vandals have tampered with Public Works trucks, jimmied the sand shed padlock and used bolt cutters to cut the chain blocking the road to the shed. Littlefield guessed they’re taking it “to sand other driveways” to make money.

“Our cemeteries are atrocious,” she said, turning to the next item on her priority list. “I put flags on them, so I watch them deteriorate. Really something needs to be done about it.”

In one cemetery, she said, a limb came down and broke three stones that now need to be repaired. These are old cemeteries with “huge” trees, she said, adding they need to get a boom truck in to remove the trees — another big-ticket item.

One resident offered to investigate grants available to restore historic cemeteries and possibly to form a cemetery committee, an idea Littlefield applauded. Later, the same resident volunteered to work on high-speed internet for Waldo, as well.

As for roads, “This past winter has torn our hot-top roads up,” Littlefield said, mentioning a particularly bumpy recent drive down Birches Road. “They’re in bad shape. We can patch, but it won’t be enough.

“This year is unique because there is so much water in the ground.”

She mentioned testifying in Augusta about full-funding of revenue sharing and the plight of small towns, with few commercial tax revenues, in maintaining local roads. “They’ve got the money this year … but they have other things they want to do with it,” Littlefield said.

One woman said eight years ago she rolled and totaled her car on East Waldo Road during mud season. Littlefield told the group, “I, too, live on a dirt road.” The town has 8.77 miles of gravel roads, she noted.

“I’ve always said if I win the Megabucks, I’ll pave Waldo Road first,” she said later, again to laughter.

Littlefield went on to say that the town has a summer roads program, but “we also need a winter roads program – what can we be doing during winter?”

The pre-meeting ceased promptly at 9 a.m., and Town Clerk Sandra Smith called the town meeting to order. Voters approved resident Walter Whitcomb as moderator.

For the next 98 minutes, Whitcomb efficiently worked through 27 articles in the town warrant, and the 45 people in attendance approved each one, most with little or no opposition.

The first 30 minutes were devoted to elections and compensation. With the exception of two changes on the Planning Board (Walter Wagner from associate member to regular member and Mike Hodgdon elected a new associate member, both for three-year terms), all existing town officers were re-elected.

Sandra Smith was voted a $1,000 increase for her position as town clerk, up from $2,300 last year; all other compensation remained unchanged.

The only budget item to draw lengthy discussion was a request from Waldo Community Action Partners for $3,611.84, up from $2,872 last year. A WCAP representative explained that the 2018 amount was based on services the previous year to 283 town residents, while during 2018 WCAP served 331 people from Waldo.

The requested amount, she said, represents 2.5 percent of the estimated value of the services rendered to townspeople in 2018. Those services included Head Start and Early Head Start, Li-HEAP, housing programs and other community services programs. Voters approved the request.

The meeting adjourned at 10:38 a.m.