MILO, Maine — For several years town officials, members of the Three Rivers Kiwanis Club and residents have been working to modernize the town hall kitchen, making the facility capable of being used for large functions in the building and compliant with state codes.

During a selectmen’s meeting on July 31 the board gave interim Town Manager Roger Raymond the authorization to approach several architectural firms about the potential costs for preparing architectural and engineering studies on the kitchen project that can then be used in the grant application process.

“This has been a project apparently that has been under discussion for several years,” Raymond said, mentioning stove replacement and installing an overhead hood as some of the larger components needed to upgrade the town hall kitchen. “We need to make sure the improvements, particularly the hood, meet the state fire marshal’s requirements.

“The issue is they were going to look at using local money [funds left over from another town hall project as well as a sum raised by the Kiwanis]. The problem is this would cost you a substantial sum of money and when you do these kinds of projects you never know what you are going to find,” Raymond said about upgrades to the older building.

“My thinking is if you are going to do a kitchen improvement, do it well,” he said, adding that the project should be a strong candidate to receive grant funding to cover a portion or all of the work. Raymond said the town hall kitchen could receive Community Development Block Grant funds because the entire community can use the facility, or Federal Emergency Management money because the town hall serves as an emergency shelter.

“To apply we really need a study that identifies the issues of the facility and what would be needed to improve it,” Raymond said, mentioning that spending only the existing funds earmarked for the kitchen would prevent selectmen from “being able to do the project the way you want.” Raymond said he has met with the Kiwanis and members agreed to let him seek grant opportunities before any existing funds are spent.

Once architectural and engineering study costs have been collected, the selectmen will review the bids and make a decision on how to proceed.

Raymond said during a special town meeting earlier in the month that it was discovered not all of the lights work in the Ed Wingler Auditorium upstairs at the town hall. He said he has received one quote from an electrician on the costs to replace the fixture and is seeking at least one more for the selectmen to consider, which they were scheduled to do at the meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The replacement material costs could be covered by funding from Efficiency Maine.

In other business, Raymond provided an update to the damage costs from the flooding that took place in late June. He said the Lake View Road had $9,212 in damage, and with paving added on, the cost comes to about $15,000. “The proposed cost will be allocated to the special project account within the highway department budget,” Raymond said.

He said the Safe Streets project is continuing and the Maine Department of Transportation would like an existing pipe to go under West Main Street toward the bridge instead of under a business, where it presently lies. Raymond said costs for the plumbing, including surveying, the hydrological study and design before the work, could reach $15,000 and he is hoping the DOT would cover the expense rather than use the project funds.

“That seems to be the only issue; everything else is dealt with,” he said.

On another matter, Raymond said in the past the selectmen have discussed erecting a new structure at Evergreen Cemetery, but plans never got past the preliminary idea stage.

“Really we need to do something, the building is deteriorating quickly,” he said, adding that he was amazed to learn a town the size of Milo has such a large cemetery.

Using some existing ideas, Raymond proposed developing a plan for a new cemetery structure. “This is not going to be a complicated building; it’s going to be done in stages and you can add on if you need to add on.”