THOMASTON – It was a short yet information packed meeting for the Thomaston Select Board on Monday, January 13 in Watts Hall. Interim town manager Kara George was unanimously (5-0) voted into the position as town manager and presented with a three-year employment contract.
Peter Lammert, chair of the select board, said the search for a town manager began last July.
“On August 28, we got a communication from the search committee saying they were not pleased with what they had found,” he said. “They suggested we appoint the town clerk [Kara George] as acting town manager and I am so glad we did do that.”
George has been the town’s interim manager since September and said the official post will be an easy transition for her.
“I’ll just keep on doing what I’ve been doing,” she said. “It’s an exciting time for Thomaston. The crematorium in the Village Cemetery is a big project. We’re wrapping up the LED street light conversion and budget season is coming up, as well.”
The town will be making a move to new offices as soon renovations of the old Lura Libby elementary school are complete.
The new space will be occupied by the town office, police department, recreation department and a food pantry.
“We will do an open house for the general public,” said George. “Probably the end of February, beginning of March, once we’re all settled in.”
John Fancy, Thomaston’s Pollution Control Supervisor, gave select board members a breakdown of what would be needed for the town to proceed with a solar panel project.
“We’re looking at the idea of putting in 1,300 to 1,400 solar panels on a site at the pollution control facility,” he said. “The panels will be used to provide most of the electricity to the municipal buildings here in town.”
Fancy said the conversion could save the town up to $132,000 per year in electricity costs.
“The project will cost an estimated $1.1 million,” he said. “We cannot proceed until Central Maine Power agrees to let us feed electricity back to them. We would then need to get proposals and a price to put this in by the end of this year.”
The board voted 5-0 to continue with the project.