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Spencer board to hold town hall meeting Thursday to hear from residents

SPENCER — Spencer residents will have the chance to share concerns and ideas with their elected officials during a town hall-style meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Billed as a dialogue session, the meeting will give the Spencer mayor and aldermen an opportunity to hear from the public before they hold a two-day strategic planning retreat. The retreat also will be open to the public but will not allow for as much interaction with the board. The retreat is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 14 and 8:30 a.m. March 15.
Spencer residents were vocal at the Feb. 11 meeting. Issues raised included:
• Numerous concerns about a proposed 24-hour facility for homeless veterans in the middle of a residential neighborhood with no advance notice to neighbors.
• Complaints about the town’s website, which was last updated in 2012.
“The website reflects who this town is to the outside world,” Bob Oswald said. “An out of date website is probably worse than having a bad website or no website at all.”
• Lack of code enforcement. Patsy Duncan said her friend had complained about a rat-infested school bus parked in a neighbor’s yard for years.
“They have been trying for 10 or 12 years to get that bus moved,” she said.
Another house has been covered with a tarp for years, Duncan said to applause.
• Lack of use of the Spencer Library. Beth Nance said more people would use the library if the facility offered Internet service. The Spencer Woman’s Club wants to partner with the town to get the library online.
“The library is underutilized by the majority of citizens,” she said. “There are a handful of days in the year when the library and park are truly a gathering place.”
It would cost $511 to install Internet service, plus a monthly fee, Nance said. The library also would need computers donated.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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