CAPE ELIZABETH — A vacant house near the Thomas Memorial Library will be torn down following a Town Council vote Monday, authorizing the town manager to demolish the house.

The demolition of the house at 7 Holman Road will cost about $15,000. The house has been vacant for years and is now uninhabitable due to the failing structure and asbestos used for insulation, Town Manager Mike McGovern said at the meeting.

The cost to make the building habitable would be about the same as tearing it down and building a new one, he said.

The town has already spent $3,000 on the property to remove the asbestos and ruled against using it for firefighter training because it was too close to the library and residential homes.

In another council vote, the per diem program for the continued use of rescue personnel on weekdays was approved.

The council first approved funding for the program last year for a rescue responder to be available at the fire station on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to cover the busiest times of the day.

About 85 percent of all calls occur during the day shift, with 55 percent happening during the per diem shifts, according to Fire and Rescue Chief Peter Gleeson’s report to the council.

Gleeson said at the meeting the program has been successful and that the rescue team has cut their average response time in half to five minutes since the program began.

Rescue calls this year are on pace to significantly surpass last year’s, with 380 calls in seven months, compared to a total of 492 last year, Gleeson said.

The program costs about $76,000 per year and is currently paid for by the proceeds from rescue fund. In the future, the town might have decide to support the program out of the general fund, because there is not enough revenue in the rescue proceeds, McGovern said.

The council also voted to approve slight changes to the library Internet policy, which now filters all Internet content unless adults make legitimate requests to remove the filters.

In other council news, nomination papers are now available for three seats that will be up for election this November on both the Town Council and School Board. All terms are for three years and papers are due Sept. 7.

The ordinance committee canceled the Tuesday short-term rental meeting and rescheduled for 4 p.m., Sept. 6, in the William H. Jordan Conference Room at Town Hall, 320 Ocean House Road.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

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