Historical Society Donates $150,000 to Town House

            The work being done around the Marion Town House will continue, thanks to a $150,000 donation from Sippican Historical Society.

            Frank McNamee and Will Tifft represented Sippican Historical Society at Monday’s special, remote access meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen where the latter’s membership voted to accept the donation.

            Selectman John Waterman told the meeting that the work on the front of the Town House has exhausted Community Preservation funds, and that this donation will see the project through its next phase, which includes work on the shrubs out front to open up the front entrance area, along with the addition of new soffits and fascia boards to the building.

            Waterman said that work has started on the roof on the annex that, without this donation, would not be happening, and that next year significant work will be done without needing to ask the taxpayers for help.

            “Without their help right now, our project will be at a standstill,” said Town Administrator Jay McGrail.

            McNamee, who is handing over the reins as president of society to Tifft, said that the late 19th-century architectural gem built for Elizabeth Taber when she was in her 80s may be Marion’s most significant historical building. Having been placed at the center of Tabor Academy’s original campus, McNamee noted that someday the Town House and adjacent Taber Library will look across the park at a bronze statue of their famous benefactor.

            After the board approved the $150,000 donation, McNamee said, “We appreciate working with all of you, and we’ll be part of this project for many years.”

            Also in the meeting, the board voted to approve the proposed pay scale for union employees in the Fire Department.

            “This is sorely needed for the Fire Department; it stabilizes where we are today and where we’re going in the future,” said Fire Chief Brian Jackvony, who said the deal allows Marion to remain competitive and employ the best paramedics available. “The captains look like they fall off the scale over the next two to three years so we will take a look at that.”

            The approved pay grid for union employees begins July 1.

            McGrail noted that the impact on employees in the town’s personnel policy was approved for the FY21 budget at the June 22 town meeting.

            The board also voted to ratify union contracts for the Department of Public Works and for the Marion Town Employees Association, which serves the clerical union.

            McGrail said the deals are one-year extensions of existing contracts with a few terms added in and a plan to launch negotiations on a three-year deal in September or October. “It’s been vetted through town counsel as well; both have been ratified by their unions,” he said.

            Waterman congratulated Hills on his reelection to another three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Hills was also reelected for three more years on the Planning Board.

            Chairperson Randy Parker took the opportunity to applaud all candidates. “Thanks to all who put their name in the hat to run for the positions… congrats to those who won their elected offices,” he said.

            Waterman noted that, while there were no names on the ballot for Marion and ORR school committees, write-in campaigns produced three winners (see story on Marion election).

            McGrail said he was happy to have a successful town meeting (June 22) in the rearview mirror, and Waterman jokingly referred to the feat as “the ninth wonder of the world.” Hills added that the town can look back at 2020 and how successful Marion has been in its approach to “the whole problem” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Marion’s website announced that town offices will be closed on Friday, July 3, and will reopen on Monday, July 6. The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14.

Marion Board of Selectmen

By Mick Colageo

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