Plans in the works to build a town hall in Queen Anne

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEEN ANNE — The town com­mis­sion­ers in Queen Anne have been hop­ing for some time to be able to build a town hall, and now that dream ap­pears to be within reach.

If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, a new building to house the town of­fice will be erected on the piece of land in the heart of town where the va­cant Gib­son’s An­tique Store now stands, said Mayor Randy Esty.

“I have...taken the first step in ac­cept­ing the gra­cious of­fer from Gus Gib­son’s daugh­ters to do­nate the an­tique store to the town,” Esty said. Gib­son, who op­er­ated the store for many years, died ear­lier this year at the age of 93. He was the last re­main­ing char­ter mem­ber of the Queen An­neHills­boro Fire Com­pany. Esty said his daugh­ters have been try­ing to sell the store for some time.

“It’s been used less and less,” ac­cord­ing to Esty, who said it also once housed a gro­cery store. Be­cause the building has de­te­ri­o­rated over time, he said plans call for it to be torn down and re­placed with a new building that will have the same look as the present one.

The town com­mis­sion­ers have set aside $150,000 in the bud­get for the project and plans for a new struc­ture are in the process of be­ing drawn up. At this point, how­ever, there is no firm timetable, ac­cord­ing to the mayor. Bids will be put out for de­mo­li­tion of the ex­ist­ing building at some point in the fu­ture, he added.

“We’ve been plan­ning for a town of­fice for a long time,” Esty said, adding that town records have been stored at different lo­ca­tions over the years. The town board has been hold­ing its meet­ings at the fire­house, he said. “We meet ev­ery other month and we’ll use it for town busi­ness, and maybe more peo­ple will come to the meet­ings.”

The three town com­mis­sion­ers, who serve on a vol­un­tary ba­sis, are Esty, Martin Eichel­man, and Mark Turner. They are elected to three-year terms with one com­mis­sioner cho­sen as mayor by his or her col­leagues. Their meet­ings will con­tinue to be held at 7 p.m.

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