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No pancake house, for now

Ben’s Sugar Shack owner moving operations to Rte. 101

TEMPLE — The Select Board met with Ben Fisk of Temple, the owner of Ben’s Sugar Shack, at the board’s Oct. 22 concerning his acquisition of land on Route 101. Select Board member Gail Cromwell said she had heard various rumors about what Fisk intends to do with the land, including building a pancake house there.

Fisk said a pancake house is a dream of his, but there is currently no plan to build one on the Route 101 property . He plans to use the land to build a larger, more accessible sugar shack than the one currently on his parent’s property on Webster Highway. It will also be the home of a new gift shop, where Fisk will sell his maple products on-site, although he added that most of his business is done wholesale.

“Right now, we’re lucky if we get five cars a day [at the gift shop],” Fisk said.

He also plans to use the new location for deliveries and pick-ups. There is simply not enough room at his current location, he noted, especially as two other businesses — including Fisk Builders — are run out of the same property. Storage is an issue for all of them, said Fisk. Moving the sugar shack will give him more room and free up storage space at the Webster Highway location.

Select Board Chair John Kieley asked what would be done with the current sugar shack. Fisk replied that the buildings he’s currently using are rented by him from his parents. “What would be done with them, I can’t say,” he said.

Fisk added that he is not yet at the point where he is able to submit architectural plans for the site, or apply for a building permit.

In other Select Board business, the board spoke with Will Wildes of the Temple Volunteer Fire Department. Wildes indicated that the Fire Department would like to sell the department’s extra water tanker . The department has held onto it for over six years, said Wildes, in case there was a large structural fire or forest fire where an extra tanker might be needed. However, in that time it’s never been used, he said. The town purchased the tanker in 1981. It was built by a company that specialized in oil tankers, said Wildes, and is not ideal for carrying water, which is heavier.

Wildes said he would like to get at least $5,000 from the sale of the tanker. Cromwell noted that the town should assess the scrap value of the tanker before selling it.

Wildes also reported there will be a surplus in the Fire Department budget this year. Most of the savings came from training, he said, as they did not grow the department this year, and all the current firefighters are certified as Firefighter Level I or Level II. The Fire Department will return the surplus at the end of the year, said Wildes, but will likely put in a warrant request for an air compressor to fill air tanks in March. Wildes suggested using money from the town’s unexpended fund balance for the purchase, which would make use of the returned Fire Department surplus.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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