(from the
January 2006 Maine Townsman)

Turner: Residents voted on December 5 to apply for a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant to make improvements to their community center in North Turner. Prerequisite to applying for the grant was a commitment to provide matching funds. The town will spend $84,000 on improvements.

Oxford: Selectmen adopted a fund balance policy to make certain that the town’s undesignated fund balance, or surplus, is sufficient to meet its spending needs, cover budget shortfalls, and keep tax rates secure. Town Manager Michael Chammings said town auditors recommended the adoption of such a policy as a “sound fiscal practice” for the town.

Bristol: Voters have turned down the school board’s request for $2.6 million for improvements to the Bristol Consolidated School. ADA compliance, fire safety, and indoor air quality were the stated reasons for the school project. Voters defeated a similar measure in March 2003.

Hallowell: City councilors have signed a mutual aid agreement with Augusta, giving Hallowell police legal jurisdiction in Augusta, and vice versa, in emergency situations.

Guilford: The town is progressing with downtown revitalization efforts. One section of the downtown will become adorned by antique-looking street lamps, and will also receive underground utilities, sidewalk and facade improvements. These developments are to be funded by a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant. The grant requires a local match from downtown property owners.

Brownville: The planning board has granted preliminary approval to a developer to construct a proposed $500 million year-round resort in the Schoodic and Ebeemee Lakes region. Construction includes timeshare units, a hotel, a golf course, etc. The board approved the subdivision on September 26. A detailed final plan from the developer will be required six months after the preliminary approval.

Ogunquit: The town is seeing a beneficial change at its transfer station as result of recycling efforts of the past three years. The volume of trash hauled to Regional Waste Systems decreased from 2,700 tons in 2000 to 799 tons in 2004. This reduction in trash is due in large part to residents’ recycling of cans, bottles, metal, paper and cardboard. The town saves disposal costs of about $88 per ton.

Blue Hill: The town wharf will soon be demolished due to rotting of the wood framework, making way for construction of a new wharf. R.F. Jordan of Ellsworth offered the lowest bid on the project, $274,165. Selectmen contracted with the company, even though the bid exceeded allocated funding. A request for an additional $46,000 was approved by residents in November 2005. Additional funding for the project will come from the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Department of Conservation.

Brunswick: The fire chief is compiling a confidential listing of citizens who are medically dependent on electricity so that assistance can be provided during a power emergency. Residents needing to be included on the list have been urged to identify themselves to the fire department.

Sanford: An architectural consulting firm that was hired to assess space needs in the town hall and police department is recommending that the police department occupy a stand-alone facility. The firm feels that the space the police department currently occupies is not adequate for its needs.

Harrington: Selectmen here recently discussed complaints by citizens that some street signs have gone missing. A suggestion by one citizen is to research the purchase and use of locator chips that get installed in sign coverings, to provide a means of locating the stolen sign(s). The board’s administrative assistant is researching the cost to install such chips.