Stockton Springs Report
The Planning Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the town office.
In the recent school budget validation referendum, 917 voters approved the budget. 749 voters wanted to try it again and about 8000 voters did not care. But we have a budget. In the town of Stockton Springs, 200 people voted. If any of the 1300 that did not would like to write in and say why, those comments would be welcomed. We are all very interested in understanding your reasoning.
Town manager Rich Couch advises the following: “Our Assessment Department now knows how much we need for Town, County and Schools and they can work toward commitment and we can work toward getting tax bills out! Taxes are due October 31. Although the Town is not required by law to send you a tax bill, we do so as a courtesy. I hope we will have tax bills out by the end of September ( I'm hoping for next week). Please know Town staff at all levels will be working toward that goal! Last year the Ambulance Director even helped with the mailing.
“Remember, we are offering a split payment option this year. Taxes will be due on October 31st and April 30th. If you pay at least 1/2 of your bill by 10/31/13, you will not be charged interest. Of course, if you want to pay your whole bill on 10/31/13 as you always have, we will take your payment!” Oh, boy.
I received a very nice press release from Steeple Lady and former TRJ columnist Marion Fisher. “Melvin Shute, a lifelong resident of Stockton Springs, served his community for years and in many capacities including County Commissioner and State Senator. Mel was also a boat enthusiast and spent many hours on the waters of Stockton Harbor and Penobscot Bay. The steeple of Stockton Springs Community Church had long been a beacon of safe harbor for him as well as for centuries of sailing men along this coastline. When it had to be removed in 2008 it was a sad day for many but none more than Mel Shute. Mel was, by that time in poor health and unable to lend any physical support, but he did indeed become a major cheerleader as his wife Janice mobilized a team of women who would not be discouraged from the daunting task of raising the huge sum needed to have the steeple rebuilt. Mel Shute is no longer with us, but his cheer-leading remains in the form of another of his treasured possessions, a collectors red, 2-door, 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint, in great condition.
“The family of Mel Shute has offered, in his memory, this treasure for sale with proceeds, up to $5,000, to be used in donation toward our current $8,000 matching fund grant. This donation will bring the Stockton Springs Historic Steeple fund raising project ever closer to completion.” It will be a proud day for the entire town to see that steeple rising above our landscape once again.
Stockton Springs craft persons and/or sellers of fine wares may wish to head down to neighboring Waldo. I received this invitation via email.
“The Waldo Boosters are hosting our 1st Annual Craft Fair on Oct 5th from 10:00-3:00 (p.m.) at the Waldo Town Hall. We are looking for crafters to reserve their tables early. The tables are going for the low price of $10 each, the Boosters will be serving a light lunch as well as a few homemade goodies. Even if you are not a crafter, but sell Tupperware or Avon or something you are welcome to reserve a table. And of course we are looking for customers/patrons to support all this local talent we have. Any questions or to reserve your table contact Kellie at 342-3295.” Good luck to any who go. We are sure you do the town proud.
The Stockton Springs Community library will be visited by Cathy Pelletier, author from the Allagash, who will do a reading from her newest book The One-Way Bridge on October 1, at 7 p.m. This is a free even with refreshments. Also some of her books will be available for sale. MS Pelletier is the author of Running with the Bulls, The Funeral Makers and Candles in the Wind, which has been translated into ten languages and made into a television movie. I have not been told, but I imagine the award-winning author has added our little library to her scheduled New England book tour promoting her latest novel. We hope to see you there
The Sandy Point Community Club will be holding their Soup and Bread Fundraiser on Sept. 27. Next month they will host the Juke Rockets Blues Band at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center. Sponsoring an event in this venue is a first for the group who have been diligently reviving the old clubhouse, whose sole purpose is to bring neighbors together. We hope to see you there as well.
This week's accompanying picture was submitted by the Save our Steeple Committee, locally and lovingly known as the Steeple Ladies...and Pete. Mrs. Shute called me and asked me to put it in the paper. When Mrs. Shute makes a request, I respond. I didn't know Mr. Shute and met Mrs. Shute when she taught my children at the Stockton Springs Elementary School. I didn't know a lot back then, but I knew a quality teacher when I saw one. And Mrs. Shute is a quality teacher. She took my children from Dick and Jane to chapter books and taught them math skills, study skills and a love for learning. Therefore, by the time Mr. Fuller introduced them to the world of science, geography and history, they were prepared to take it all in. He also instilled in them a love of our earth, instituting the first recycle program in our schools. Perhaps even more important is that he prepared them for the real world of middle school.
My children had other wonderful educators in the k-12 experience. And their success stands as evidence of the success of their teachers, with the cornerstone for that success being laid in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.