Contract Sought with Historical Society for Depot Museum Use

SANDOWN – The board of selectmen has agreed to move forward with setting up a contract between the town and the historical society for use of the Train Depot Museum. The building itself plus 10 feet of land is owned by the town but used for the historical society’s museum. While the selectmen aren’t looking at asking for a rental fee, they do want to make it clear what can and can’t be done with the space and who is responsible for maintenance.

The rest of the property the depot sits on is owned by the state. The depot has been the subject of much discussion this year. Following the failure of a warrant article to insulate the structure to temper heating costs, the selectmen have been working with the leadership of the historical society to make some changes.

Some selectmen have said they’ll look at shutting down the building in the winter to avoid high heating costs. Because of recent discussions, it was discovered that some planned changes for the structure could have knocked it off either the National or State Register of Historic Places.
That realization has those involved in the building’s upkeep looking to make sure that all changes and improvements are appropriate.

At their July 15 meeting, the selectmen directed town administrator Lynne Blaisdell to research similar agreements in surrounding towns to get an idea about how to move forward.
The board began its meeting with a site walk of the Depot grounds. The selectmen had previously asked the historical society to clean up the space. Selectman Brenda Copp said after the site walk that great strides had been made with the clean up and the spot looked much better. There’s one small space left to be cleaned, she said, but thanked the society for its efforts in making such a difference there.

In other business:
• The board gave a conditional blessing to Eagle Scout hopeful James Beucler for his planned Eagle project of creating walking trails, maps and an informational kiosk in the area of Punch and Cub Ponds. Beucler had previously met with the board to discuss his plans, as reported by the Tri-Town Times. At that time the selectmen asked the scout to bring in abutters to the project to make sure they were OK with the work. Beucler not only did as instructed but further outlined his plans, addressing some of the selectmen’s other concerns from their last meeting.

Though the board is looking to hold a public hearing on the project to make sure residents are amenable to it, they gave Beucler their blessing so that he could move forward with securing approval from the Boy Scouts for the work.

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