LEWIS - Taxpayer dollars in Lewis are flying out the window with every crank of the town hall's thermostat. That is the concern of town officials who debated Jan. 15 whether residents and town employees are wasting energy dollars by routinely cranking the thermostat in the town hall to the 80 degree mark. Supervisor David Blades wanted to address the abuse of the town halls heating system. I've come into the town hall and find the thermostat is cranked almost up to eighty. I think we need to be a little more proactive in reducing the temptation to turn the thermostat up, said Blades. Blades suggested purchasing keylock covers for the thermostat to keep people from cranking it up. I'm trying to reduce the expenses for the town hall - you know what the cost is to heat this place, said Blades. He added the heat was left up high overnight, heating the empty building. Councilman Charles Martin suggested speaking to all users of the facility. Along with town employees, the town hall is used by community groups. Blades agreed, but asked for permission to install keylock covers if the problem continued. He stated hed create a sign asking people to leave the temperature at 68 degrees. I know human nature, and I know good intentions may happen once or twice, but then it goes back to business as usual, said Blades. The board voted unanimously to purchase the keylock covers if people kept cranking up the heat. Heating was also on the mind of Department of Public Works Superintendent Eldred Hutchins. He brought two possible repair projects to the board for the town hall. He suggested looking into putting insolation into the structures attic to help keep the heat from going through the ceiling. He also suggested making repairs to the roof of the addition during mud season. Hutchins said he would get quotes on the materials for the project in time for Februarys board meeting. In other business:
The board passed a resolution to create two part-time clerk to the supervisor positions, to replace the one full-time position. Blades said the interim clerk, Linda Maltzan, wasn't interested in staying on full-time, but would stay on part-time if the position was changed. "I think she's a valuable person, and I don't want to lose her. I think it would be a responsible thing to approve this resolution," said Blades. The board voted unanimously to make the employee change. The switch will split the current salary for the clerk, and benefits will not be available for the part-time positions. Officials discussed the possibilities of switching health insurance providers due to employee request. Currently the town has six eligible employees, but only one person on the plan. The board authorized Blades to make the switch if a Jan. 25 meeting showed there would be cost savings to the town. Councilman James Monty asked for a committee to create an emergency preparedness plan. He said the towns plan currently on file was antiquated. We need it strictly as it pertains to the town of Lewis, said Monty. We also have to deal with public safety building and there's different factors involved in there. The board members all agreed to form a committee. Blades said the board was seeking community volunteers to help with the plan.