Selectmen OK firehouse giveback, buyback after learning earlier sale attempts were illegal

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Called a 'cluster' by selectboard chair, latest move by BOS hoped to expedite sale of the town's old fire station. (Courtesy photo)

MILTON - After paying for auctions, advertising, appraisals, legal advice and even an ugly sign aimed at selling Milton's former dilapidated fire station, Milton's Selectmen Chairman said on Monday he'd recently learned that selectmen didn't have the authority to ever make the sale in the first place.

"I came across info that we do not have authority to sell the old fire station unless we put it up for town vote," Selectmen Chair Ryan Thibeault said on Monday.

Thibeault said the only way they could sell the property would be to put a referendum item on town ballot next March and see if residents agreed to its sale.

"It's been a cluster at the very least," Thibeault said, characterizing the many missteps by the town as a "battle of different info coming up as time has gone on."

"At the end of the day we don't have the authority to sell the building because of the way we acquired it," Thibeault said.

Selectman Andy Lucier, whose family initially donated the property to the town, suggested that they give the property back to the Lucier family, who would then sell it back to the town for $1, which would hopefully give the town more leeway in how it sells the building.

Thibeault and Selectperson Erin Hutchings voted 2-0 to approve Luicer's proposal, with Lucier recusing himself.

Now the proposal will be forwarded to the town attorney for his approval.

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