MONSON, Maine — During a Dec. 18 selectmen’s meeting, town officials asked the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department for assistance in monitoring vandalism in the downtown area.

Teenagers who hang out outside the fire station are believed to be the ones who spray-painted graffiti on the community center’s walls, tore off the branches of the newly planted trees on Main Street and tossed the library book return box into a nearby pond.

The selectmen met with Sgt. Mike Gould, who suggested that town officials place several surveillance cameras to monitor after-hour actions in downtown.

“We’ve tried to do something to upgrade and beautify the downtown area to make it look like something, and now we get this vandalism,” said Selectman Shawn Nelson.

The board believed the vandalism would stop now that cold weather has set in. The selectmen requested that the sheriff’s department patrol more this spring to ward off potential vandals. The department will formulate a plan for the cameras this spring. Town officials expect to meet again with a sheriff’s department official to develop a plan to further deter vandalism.

Selectmen also authorized Town Manager Julie Anderson to work with Planning Board Chairman Cindy Turner to write a request for a proposal to hire a consultant. The consultant is needed to help the board draft an ordinance to prevent a privately financed highway from potentially running through town.

Last fall, the town enacted a 180-day moratorium against privately funded highways running through town. Residents voted 47-0 in September to impose the moratorium based on concerns a proposed east-west highway starting in Calais and ending in Coburn Gore would run through the town.

Selectmen will meet next at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the municipal building.