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GROTON — After a delay of some weeks, selectmen decided Monday night to approve their goals and objectives for the coming year.

With much unfinished business left over from 2011, many of the goals selectmen set for themselves were familiar ones including a continued focus on economic development in town and addressing the condition and use of vacant town-owned buildings such as Squannacook Hall, and the former Tarbell and Prescott School buildings.

Also carrying over from last year will be continued focus on integrating the town more tightly with increased access to information technology and finding a permanent location for a new Center Fire Station.

Other goals set for the coming year will include updating of the town’s affordable housing plan, the creation of new affordable units in town, and exploring the use of town-owned property as sites for more affordable units.

Revisiting elements of the town’s Master Plan was also set as a goal including the promotion of the concept of sustainability, the creation of a Lost Lake sewer system, and continued study of the town’s overlay districts.

Selectmen chose to delay the vote on approving the new goals because the board was shorthanded on July 18 when they were initially discussed.

Last Monday night, Stuart Schulman, Fran Dillon, Peter Cunningham, and board chairman Anna Eliot were present to make the vote.

Not in attendance was fellow member Joshua Degen who could not make the meeting due to illness but who, according to town manager Mark Haddad, had expressed his support for the goals.

In the meantime, a more immediate goal was preparing for fall Town Meeting scheduled for Oct. 17.

Although the warrant has yet to be officially drawn up, some articles to be listed were divulged by Haddad at the board’s meeting of Aug. 15 including proposed changes to the town’s dog bylaw, repair of the Squannacook dam in West Groton for an estimated $110,000, locating a new Center Fire Station on Station Avenue property currently owned by the Groton Electric Light Department, and an appropriation by the Planning Board of $15,000 to pay consultants to integrate changes in the town center overlay district to an updated Master Plan.

Haddad said that the deadline for adding articles to the warrant will be Aug. 25.

Fall town meeting is to be held at the Middle School’s auditorium.

Also last Monday night, selectmen:

n Were told by Haddad that the historic Exhibition Hall located at Hazel Grove Park is unsafe and would be dismantled at a cost of $30,000. The parts would then be saved until the town can raise the money needed to rebuild it. The town manager estimated that it would take about $250,000 to do the job.

n Were given an emergency management update by chief of police Donald Palma who also acts as the town’s emergency management director. After explaining how emergency management evolved out of the old Civil Defense network, Palma told selectmen that many of his volunteers were aging and needed to be replaced with new recruits. With hurricane season fast approaching, Palma said that more volunteers were needed to help with such tasks as setting up and operating emergency shelters, filling and placing sandbags, and numerous other duties. At times, volunteers might be asked to help in neighboring communities as well. Those interested can contact Palma at the Police Department: 978-448-5555,

n Ratified the appointment of John Weisner to the Trails Committee; Francis Forbes to the Great Ponds Advisory Committee; and Kathy Newell and Greg Steward as special police officers.

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