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Copyright 2014 Sun Journal

DIXFIELD -- Selectmen decided Monday to determine ownership of a new Dirigo High School electronic scoreboard before using money from the Ione Harlow Fund to build a structure to house it.

Resident Mark Thompson asked selectmen for up to $10,000 from the fund to pay for the scoreboard housing. He said Irving Forest Products recently donated $12,000 to Dirigo High School to replace the football and soccer scoreboard at Harlow Park.

"The check has been processed and the order has been placed," he said.

The old scoreboard will be installed at the field used for Dirigo High School's field hockey games.

"They have a small electronic timer that they use, but at this time, they don't have an actual scoreboard," Thompson said.

The new scoreboard is 24 feet wide, 8 feet high and features LED lights and wireless controls, he said.

Thompson said he and the other volunteers overseeing the installation were asking selectmen for up to $10,000 from the Ione Harlow fund to build a structure to house the scoreboard.

"The new scoreboard is going to be in the same place as the old scoreboard, but it's not going to be on the same structure," he said. "I spoke with someone about how much a new structure would be, and he gave me a ballpark number of $7,500 to get this thing standing in the air."

Later in the meeting, Thompson clarified that he was only asking for up to $10,000.

"If the total price was $7,500, I'd ask for $7,500," he said. "If it were $9,300, I'd ask for $9,300. I'm not looking for extra money here."

Selectman Mac Gill said the board would have to make sure there was enough money in the Ione Harlow fund before making any decision.

"I know we used money from that fund to pay for the Harlow Park lights that were installed a few years ago," he said. "If I remember correctly, there's enough money right now to cover up to $10,000. That's what the fund was designed for: To benefit the town."

Thompson said he was looking for an answer sooner rather than later.

"Pat Ryan of Ryan Mechanical Services in Rumford is going to order the steel for me, and it'd be nice to be able to tell him that we're moving forward with this," Thompson said. "The town would do the digging for the structure with their backhoe, and Ryan would be doing the welding. When we get the sign, it can either sit in a box until we raise the money, or we can put it right up before or at the beginning of the school year."

Selectman Hart Daley said if he knew there was enough money in the Ione Harlow fund to cover up to $10,000, he would vote to support the request.

Whittemore agreed with Daley, saying that he believes "the entire board would be in support of this, if we knew for sure that the money was there."

Resident Dan McKay asked Thompson and selectmen if they knew who owned the scoreboard.

Thompson said everything at Harlow Park is on town property, but Irving Forest Properties donates the money directly to Dirigo High School.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia and selectmen said they were not sure who would technically own the scoreboard.

"Don't you think this is something we should resolve before we start handing money around?" McKay asked.

Chairman Scott Belskis told Thompson, "I don't see that you're going to have too much of an issue. We just need to look into the issue before doing anything. I think the problem is the idea of putting $10,000 underneath the sign, and not having the sign belong to the park. We just need to look into the issue before doing anything."


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