(from the
July 2007 Maine Townsman)

Augusta : The city council has approved a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant application under the federal program's business assistance division to help Kenway Corp. finance its $1.2 million expansion and add at least 25 new manufacturing jobs to start.

Arundel: The town has hired a private company to manage the transfer station. Selectmen sought bids for the work, but got only one from Corcoran Environmental, which operates a transfer station in Kennebunk and has been hauling away bulk waste from Arundel for years. The town expects to save money under the deal, as well as resolve some of its staffing problems.

Chelsea: Residents easily defeated a proposed ordinance that would have set standards for large business projects, with the majority agreeing it would hurt the town more than help it. Meanwhile, Chelsea voters last month also approved electing members of the appeals and planning boards, rather than selectmen making the appointments. The first elections for those boards will take place in 2008.

Farmingdale: Gray Bros. Grounds Care has filed suit against the town, alleging a breach of contract. Two of the three selectmen entered into an agreement with Gray in March to clean and sweep town roads. In April, selectmen told Gray they intended to put the work back out to bid.

Frenchville: The towns of Fort Kent, Frenchville, St. Agatha and Madawaska have reached a milestone by collectively recycling 50.04 percent of their solid waste. The towns co-own the Northern Aroostook Regional Incinerator Facility in Frenchville.

Hallowell: After nearly a year of negotiations, the city has reached accord with the union representing 12 municipal employees that will give city workers a 4 percent raise in each of the three contract years.

Lewiston: The city has achieved All-American status in a contest sponsored by the National Civic League. This year was the second in which the city staff competed in the contest. Lewiston was one of 10 cities nationwide to be honored. The awards ceremony was held in Anaheim, California, in early June. Lewiston won an All-American City award for some of the positive programs that enhance the quality of life in Maine's second largest city, including a Lots to Garden program and the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council. This longstanding, prestigious municipal award program has recognized four other Maine municipalities in the past: Portland, 1950; South Portland, 1964; Presque Isle, 1966; and Auburn, 1967.

Livermore: The job of town clerk will remain an elected position after voters defeated the idea of appointing the clerk by a 13-8 vote.

Livermore Falls: Former Town Clerk Faith Nichols pleaded guilty in June to embezzling from the town's sewer department. She will serve two months in jail, perform 240 hours of community service and pay 8 percent of her monthly salary toward restitution of up to $102,000.

Millinocket: The town is finishing construction of a new $1.4 million outdoor community swimming pool that will open in July.

Monmouth: The town's total valuation doubled since its last full-scale valuation in 1992, from $177 million to $413.5 million, after the recent revaluation figures were released.

Raymond: An "excess" U.S. Coast Guard 2002 27' AMBAR 900 Patrol Boat with newer twin 130 hp Honda four stroke outboards on an aluminum tandem axle trailer has been acquired by the Town of Raymond for a $14,132 "service charge" through Maine State Surplus. The boat will be used for rescue operations on Sebago Lake. According to Town Manager Don Willard, the entire package was worth about $200,000. The town was helped in its six-month effort to acquire the boat by U.S. Senators Snowe and Collins, Representative Tom Allen, State Senator Bill Diamond, and State Representative John Robinson. The Portland Water District and the towns of Windham, Standish, Sebago, Naples, Casco, Frye Island and the Cumberland County Sheriffs Department, EMA and Administration offices all submitted letters of support.

Portland: The cities of Portland and South Portland have reached preliminary agreement to consolidate their 911 call centers. The proposal is to merge the two centers into one new center in Portland by 2008.

Wilton: The town won't be hiring a harbor master for Wilton Lake any time soon following a June 20 town meeting vote, but residents set aside a $750 stipend for the job.

Windsor: A group of residents has begun collecting petition signatures for a future vote on whether to revert to an open town meeting format or continue the new referendum-style town meeting. Voters also declined to approve an LD 1 override after passing the proposed budget of $1.4 million, meaning the town cannot raise enough property taxes to fund the approved budget. A new vote will be held in July or August. If the override vote is not reversed, the town will likely forego its $245,000 road reconstruction program, officials said.