BELMONT — Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin told selectmen last night that the town received notice that the Belmont Mill was eligible for the state historic registry.
She said the decision came as the result of an inventory of the mill submitted to the state by the town's Heritage Commission.
"Would the board like to agree to list it or not?" she asked.
The mill has been a bit of a sore spot for selectmen since the voters overwhelmingly rejected a $3.1-million restoration project last March that would have relocated the town offices and put the edifice in good shape for the next 50 years.
Unable to restore it without town meeting approval and with the fourth floor unusable in its current condition, the town is stuck. In order to fix the fourth floor, the third floor would have to be vacated. Right now, the Belknap Family Care Center — an arm of LRGHealthcare of Laconia– occupies the third floor. LRGH has told the town it won't move temporarily, meaning fixing the fourth floor means loosing the highest paying tenant.
The ground floor hosts the senior center and a day care which is moving to bigger quarters in a different part of Belmont. The Department of Parks and Recreation has its offices on the second floor.
Selectman Ron Cormier said that it's a state historic registry and "really doesn't mean that much." He explained that if there was a change to the mill that was significant the consequences would be to remove it from the registry.
Selectman Jon Pike said he was in favor of listing it but Selectman's Chair Ruth Mooney and Cormier said they wanted more information before agreeing to add it to the registry.
Beaudin said that if the town still owns it and remains a landlord, being on the registry could benefit it in getting federal or state grants.
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