HARPSWELL

A purchase and sales agreement between the Harpswell Coastal Academy and the town of Harpswell was finalized during the Board of Selectmen meeting on Thursday night.

The signing of this agreement will allow HCA, a regional charter school, to purchase and establish the former West Harpswell School building as their own.

According to Rick Daniel, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, the building was leased to HCA and the charter school is now exercising the opportunity to purchase the building in the second year of its lease.

“Knowing that this group was made up of Harpswell citizens to provide an alternative education to the citizens of Harpswell and those outside of our boundaries, we thought this was a decent and worthwhile cause to want to work with,” Daniel said.

The purchase price for the building was set at $50,000. With approximately $40,000 already made in lease payments, HCA will owe $10,000 for the purchase price at closing. The board also proposed that in lieu of taxes, HCA will pay the town $100,000 over the course of 10 years.

Joseph Grady, the president of the board of directors of HCA, was present at the meeting to sign the agreement, along with Selectmen Daniel, Elinor Multer and Kevin Johnson.

Multer clarified that signing this agreement would put the proposal on the agenda at the annual town meeting on March 14, and the final decision would be left up to the citizens of Harpswell.

Grady hoped the town would come out to express their opinion, and that there would be favorable approval at the town meeting. He encouraged the public to learn more about the school through its website and other resources in order to spread awareness of HCA.

“Until we get our feet fully under us, I hope this moment will be recognized as being a real win-win for everyone,” he added.

In other action, in preparation for Town Planner Carol Eyerman’s departure, the board proposed hiring Scott Hastings, the planner of Midcoast Council of Governments, for interim planning services.

“The primary focus during this interim period is so that the planning board has the support services they need,” said Town Administrator Kristi Eiane.

Daniel commended Hastings and said he was “very clear in communications and thoughtful in speech” during the Conservation Commission meeting on Wednesday night, and motioned the hiring of Hastings, which was approved by the board.

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