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Sharon Town Hall elevator repair due

SHARON — For more than two weeks the Town Hall elevator has not been working, preventing any public meetings from being held in the building due to access requirements.

Cost estimates for repairs were discussed at the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Jan. 10, held at the Community Center building.

First Selectman Brent Colley reviewed two repair estimates obtained by town Building Official Stanley MacMillan. Replacing the non-working pump would cost an estimated $41,000 plus $2,500 for disposal of the old hydraulic oil, Colley said. Replacing the entire motor unit, including the pump, would cost an estimated $55,000 plus the additional $2,500 to dispose of the old oil.

MacMillan had recommended that the town opt to replace the entire power unit at once due to the age of the equipment.

Selectman Casey Flanagan asked whether the oil could be useful at the Town Garage, rather than having the town pay the disposal fee.

Following discussion, the selectmen voted unanimously to adopt MacMillan’s recommendation and ask the Board of Finance to allocate funds for replacement of the entire unit, including the oil disposal fee. Colley will determine whether the oil could be used at the Town Garage.

Seeking to renew an application for federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, Robert Loucks, Commander of local American Legion Post #126, asked the selectmen to reconsider the Legion’s earlier request to add $8,000 to install air conditioning at the Legion Hall. Loucks explained that the air conditioning request should have been included with their original application for furnace replacement at a cost of an additional $8,000. The project is slated for the spring of this year when the Hotchkiss Library is expected to vacate the space it is currently renting while library renovations are underway.

The Legion Hall is used as a place of refuge during storms. Loucks reasoned that if the town should ever want to take over the building, the improvements would be desirable.

“The building is a good resource for the town,” Loucks said, seeing its use as a “refuge center” becoming more essential, particularly if the town proceeds with plans to convert the Community Center building to affordable housing apartments.

Loucks explained that it would make sense to install the evaporator unit for the air conditioning at the same time that the furnace work was being done.

The selectmen agreed to study the issue in the coming weeks, exploring whether the air conditioning could be combined with a project to install air conditioning at the dog pound.

Raising an issue of traffic safety, resident Margaret Keilty asked the selectmen to consider placing three-way stop signs at the intersection of King Hill Road and Hospital Hill Road. A recent serious collision heightened the concern, and Keilty told the selectmen that near-misses are commonplace.  Colley agreed to discuss the idea with the town’s road foreman and to gather public comment.

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