DOVER — The future of the Caryl Community Center continues to be a hot topic of discussion in town.

During the Selectmen's meeting on Thursday, March 8, board members discussed the two ballot questions on Caryl that will appear in the Town Meeting warrant in May.

Article 11 asks residents for fund to replace the center’s boilers, which are almost 90 years old. Article 15 requests $3.4 million to complete renovations to the center, including better handicapped accessibility.

Board members said there has been considerable discussion among residents as to whether to finish the renovations, defer the renovations pending additional studies, or consider replacing the center with a new building.

According to Selectwoman Robyn Hunter, the town’s Capital Budget Committee is not in favor of the renovations article, and is deferring a vote on the boilers until after the Warrant Committee open hearing on March 19.

Hunter serves as the board's liaison on Capital Budget.

Later in the meeting, during public comment, board Chairwoman Candace McCann reiterated her support for the boiler article; she said the replacement was not only necessary, but it could help give residents additional time to decide on what to do with the center.

As far as paying for the boilers was concerned, Town Administrator David Ramsay said should the article be approved by Town Meeting and Town Election, the boilers would be funded with free cash.

“We certainly have adequate resources to pay for it,” said Selectman John Jeffries.

Should the renovation article be approved, it would be funded by a debt exclusion.


In other news:

- The board approved $75,000 to the town's snow and ice budget. Through March 5, just before the storm on March 8, the town had spent $384,023.22 on snow and ice removal, leaving a balance of about $35,000. Board members praised the town's Highway Department for their efforts in clearing the roads after the most recent storm, which left about 8 inches of snow and up to two-thirds of the town in the dark because of fallen branches and power lines.

- The town may soon be joining the state's Community Compact, where in exchange for “best practices,” the state would provide funding for certain programs. Dover wishes to upgrade the town’s financial team’s computer system, which could be funded with a $25,000 grant from the state.

- Selectmen approved several special licenses.