News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 25, 2013
Neighbors present Blue Hill selectmen with conditions for sale of Mill Pond property

Vaughn Leach

Chairman of the board of selectmen Jim Schatz reviews a two page list of conditions signed by 13 area residents at the April 19 board meeting. The letter refers to the property at 8 Mill Pond Lane. Also shown are newly elected Selectman Vaughn Leach, center, and Selectman John Bannister.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Faith DeAmbrose

A letter signed by 13 Blue Hill residents was delivered to the Blue Hill Board of Selectmen at its April 19 meeting, and with it came a list of conditions the undersigned would need to see in a proposed sale of the property at 8 Mill Pond Lane before they would support it.

Hand delivered by Mill Pond Lane property owner Richard Evans, the letter outlines “finance and tax issues, due diligence, use of property and condition of property, and penalties for non-compliance” that the group of signers believe should be in an agreement between the town of Blue Hill and the Clark Mountain Community Land Trust.

The selectmen said they have yet to schedule initial discussions between the board and the land trust, but John Bannister said the board wished to “proceed as quickly as possible, but carefully.”

Joining Evans at the meeting, a handful of Blue Hill residents, some also living on Mill Pond Lane, expressed concern about the land trust and its ability to execute an agreement with the town. Resident Mindy Marshuetz said that based on information she found on the Internet “in about five minutes,” she was concerned about the finances of the land trust and its ability to fulfill obligations into the future. “Why waste your time if they don’t have the resources—maybe there is someone better,” she asked.

The selectmen and the group of residents in attendance reiterated many of the issues and concerns raised over the last few years regarding the condition of the property and the health and wellbeing of Dorothy Leighton, who continues to live in the tax-acquired house as a tenant in possession.

Bannister said the board would consider the letter and the points raised within, agreeing that the neighbors, the community and the board of selectmen are all seeking a positive outcome for the protracted foreclosure issues.

Bannister also said that the town is still looking to relocate Leighton should a suitable place be found. If such a place materializes, the selectmen have the ability to call on the Hancock County Sherriff to evict Leighton, he added.

Evans also told the selectmen that having a house that qualifies for Section 8 vouchers was inappropriate for a residential neighborhood and he hopes the selectmen would not allow such a designation to occur.

Bannister said that those issues will be discussed with the land trust as soon as possible. Board chairman Jim Schatz said he would work to arrange a meeting soon, but that meetings would be held in executive session as they pertain to contract negotiations. Schatz said he would inform The Weekly Packet when such meetings would take place, as they are required to do by law.