Red Brick Building sale hits a snag

By Emily Butterfield

Contributing Writer

FRYEBURG — It appears the town will still be unable to transfer ownership of the Red Brick Building on Main Street to the Historical Society. The sale of the building was approved by town voters back in June, but due to the confidential and fragile town documents stored in the building, the sale was unable to be finalized until an alternative was discovered.

At the August 20 meeting, Town Manager Sharon Jackson discussed options that would potentially mitigate the problem with few hardships for the town, such as the existing room that is used for meetings at the town office could be converted into storage space, and holding all selectmen, planning board and economic committee meetings at the American Legion Hall. To do this, it would also require the Public Works Department to be available and the town office would need to be closed to move everything.

However, Town Manager Jackson later cited in a following meeting that this would create too large of a difficulty, and rescinded the offer, but made note that they would discuss other options with the Historical Society.

At the September 17 meeting, Town Manager Jackson said she spoke with Nancy Ray, president of the Historical Society about what their plans were for the building. They hope to turn the brick building into a doll museum. “One thing we could do is [Nancy] could store the dolls until we had a place.”

Ray inquired whether or not they would be able to have someone do private work on the inside of the building if all of the boxes were moved to one side, but Town Manager Jackson was unable to allow that since “We can’t guarantee someone isn’t going to go through those boxes.”

The town would be open to the possibility of having a private contractor hired by the Historical Society paint the outside, but the person in question would need to be insured with Workman’s Compensation coverage before they started work to prevent any liability of lawsuit if they were injured.

While no final decision has been reached yet, it appears the Historical Society, who has been waiting to use the building since June, is finally able to start the basics of their work.

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