ORLAND — Voters overwhelming approved an article to market its empty school building and seek requests for proposals for the building’s reuse.
Ninety-one residents turned out for a special town meeting Tuesday at the school.
Orland is in the process of changing over to a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year instead of the January to December schedule it had been using.
Voters approved a $1,043,000 six-month budget, which will allow the town enough funds to start a budget anew July 1.
The town will send out six-month tax bills before the end of January. Those taxes will be due March 31.
The budget articles passed with little discussion, but the article concerning the school building generated several minutes of comments and questions.
Before the town meeting, the Orland Property Development Committee held a hearing to share results of a survey about reuse of the building.
The most popular recommendations were for a recreation center, retirement home or charter school.
Other ideas were for low income housing or space for a library or farmers market.
The article asked residents to vote to sell the school, but one resident moved to change the word “sell” to “market,” which made voters more comfortable.
After several revisions, an article asking voters to sell the school was amended to read “to allow selectmen to ask for proposals and market the property with the help of the Orland Property Development Committee and to be brought back to the school at a special or regular town meeting.”
Several residents would like the property put on the real estate database Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
“If we don’t list it, we’re not going to get an offer,” said one man.