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Jefferson moves forward in aftermath of Town Hall fire

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
April 28, 2021
JEFFERSON — In Jefferson, following the devastating fire earlier this year that destroyed the Town Hall, things are business as usual. The Town Offices have been up and running at the old Jefferson Elementary School, now known as the Jefferson Community Center (JCC).

Jefferson Fire Chief Chris Milligan says progress is being made on all counts.

"We're in the process right now of cleaning up the site at the old Town Hall. Eventually, the Library and the Historical Society will be moved to the old school. That was the plan prior to the fire," said Milligan.

At last year's Town Meeting, residents voted to appropriate funds for the necessary upgrades at the old school.

Milligan noted that work had been taking place at the Jefferson Elementary School throughout the winter, however complications with COVID slowed things down considerably.

"We just need to keep moving forward; so far, everyone has done a great job," said Milligan.

The Town's Road Agent, Mark Dubois, has taken on the bulk of the post fire clean up.

When asked what, if any, plans are being made for the lot where the old Town Hall stood, Milligan relayed that as of now, there has been no decision made. For now, the focus is to get the JCC up and running smoothly, and all upgrades completed.

One highlight that was spoken of during a recent Select Board meeting was the potential use of the JCC by residents. The Town has received numerous requests to rent out the kitchen and gym area of the Community Center for small gatherings. When residents would previously rent the Town Hall, a deposit was required to ensure renters would clean up, post event. This may change due to the fact that a kitchen is involved and insurance riders may be necessary, (usually between $80-$100), however this is not etched in stone. Due to potential construction projects, no dates have been nailed down for any events.

The business portion of Jefferson's Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Jefferson Community Building at 178 Meadows Rd.

To obtain a copy of the 2020 Town Report, stop by the town office. Town Reports are available at the Old Corner Store, the Post Office and the Library. As of April 1, all boards are welcome to meet in person, on-site at the Jefferson Community Center. Social distancing guidelines will be mandatory, and masks will be required.

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