Selectmen accept bid for Derby Community Hall

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MILO — After years of uncertainty about what to do with the Derby Community Hall, the selectmen accepted a $5,501 bid made by Claude Marquis for the center during a Sept. 4 meeting. Marquis’ plans are to renovate the upper level of the building into a pair of apartments while keeping the basement open as a community space.

Marquis’ bid was the lone submission received for the Derby Community Hall and this letter was opened during the meeting, coming in at $501 over the $5,000 minimum bid price. Marquis owns other rental properties in town.

Selectman Tony Hamlin said the Derby Community Hall has been sitting mostly unoccupied for the last 20 years. “That’s $30,000 we have lost in tax revenue in that time,” he said.

He said the board should support “someone who wants want to roll the dice with $5,000 and try to make it work.” Hamlin said by accepting the bid, Marquis would be investing in the structure in order to move forward with his renovation plans.

“I do wish you the best and I hope it goes great,” Select Chair Lee McMannus said. He said the Derby section of town already has a number of apartments and his preference would have been for the facility to continue as a full community building.

In other business, Town Manager/Police Chief Damien Pickel gave a report on the summer meals program served at the Derby Community Hall property.

“Summer meals are done, we appreciate everyone’s help,” Pickel said. “We had over 850 lunches over the summer and creamed last year’s total.”

“I personally thanked every business that was involved,” he said.

McMannus thanked Pickel for all his efforts with the program to provide free meals for children and for also presenting an opportunity for adults to give back by assisting with the food distribution.

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