Stockton Springs Report
If you would like to see an example of Yankee thrift, visit the map room of the Town Hall and check out the chairs they picked up to set around the map table. They only paid $45 for nine, very nice, comfortable chairs. I almost nodded off in one. It's nice to know they care about my saving our tax dollars.
Winter is upon us and I read in the town website some important information that I would like to share, regarding town plow trucks and your mailbox. According to the site I was directed to on by www.stocktonsprings.org, if you lose your mailbox to a snowplow, you should just go get another one, because neither the town nor the United States Postal Service is required by law to replace it for you. According to the Maine DOT, “The mailbox is installed entirely at the owner’s risk. In other words, if the mailbox incurs damage during any sort of highway operations or maintenance, the property owner is not entitled to replacement or compensation. In fact, if the mailbox was not installed in accordance with the applicable standards as stated above, the owner may even be held liable for injuries or damages that may have been incurred as a result.” In lay terms, if you lose your mailbox to a plow, not only are they not going to fix it, but if DOT has to come and investigate the claim, then you may be painting a snowplow. So, follow the instructions for proper mailbox installation to the best of your ability and hope that you have not done anything to offend the fine men of our Public Works Department. And good luck this winter. I personally have never lost a mailbox to a snow plow, but living on the outside of a corner, then I keep mine shoveled out, so George, Bruce or Horace doesn't have to look for it. Try that and see if it works for you.
If you passed by the town office, you may have seen the notice for the Rabies Vaccination Clinic that is to be held on December 27 at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Town Office. This clinic is being sponsored by our Animal Control Officer, Bruce Gray and Searsport Veterinary and is only $10.00 per animal. This saves you the cost of an office visit. Although I have not needed veterinary services in a number of years, that was quite a savings back then. I can only imagine what they get today. I have spoken to the people at Searsport Veterinary this morning about the clinic and took the opportunity to thank them for the service and savings they are offering town residents. If you take advantage of this fine opportunity, I hope you do the same.
Donations of pet food and kitty litter are still being accepted at the Town Office. The pet food and litter is available to anyone who needs help caring for their animals, especially those of us on a fixed income who have to make the choice between people food, medications, heat and caring for our animals. For some people, their animal, or animals, are the only companions that they have and they will feed the animals and go without themselves. Let's not have them have to make that choice.
Thank you to everyone that donated to the Town Office Christmas tree. The gifts made someone's Christmas brighter. The Town Office was closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, Town Manger Rich Couch assures that all will be at their post bright on early on December 26. Following the discussion on what a miraculous life-altering event it was for him, he will return to his office and the girls will say “God bless us everyone.”
The town Planning Board meets January 2, 2013, Selectmen on January 3, 2013; making the start of the town of Stockton Springs headlong charge into the face of 2013's challenges.
Former town columnist, community volunteer and friend Dawn Furbush emailed me the town news this week the day before going to Boston to undergo a procedure with a Thoracic Doctor. The details of her ordeal are unknown to me, but I know her day surgery was scheduled for December 21 at 7:00 AM and she was emailing me news on December 20 at 4:28 with the town news. The woman is a trooper.
For some reason, it has been determined that living next to body of water or even seeing a body of water in the state of Maine entitles the government to double or triple ones property tax. I do enjoy living by the water, but it is rather useless. You can't swim in it. You can't get in a boat at low tide and there are no fish out there. Plus the thing is polluted with Mercury, so I'm not too sure I'd want to eat the fish anyway. But waterfront property is scarce in the country. The wealthy reside on most of it and it you happen to get a hold of a piece, you just pay the taxes and accept your fate.
Being on a fixed income, I know that if property taxes keep going up, we won't be able to keep up with the increases. So, I have struck on this novel idea of helping keep my taxes down by helping my neighbors pay theirs by purchasing the goods and services they sell. I've seen the tax book and know that a lot of people aren't paying their taxes. I have been there myself and was in the arrears for a few years. I know this is a long shot, but it is all I can do to help solve the problem. And in the process, I gain some things that people who don't buy local lose out on.
My car just broke down and I called my local mechanic. He called a local wrecker to come get it and as I type, it is being fixed. When he is done, he will call me. I am not sitting a cold waiting room in Bangor, trying to avoid the eyes of car sale person. When my car is fixed, I may stop by at Perrys and gas up. I won't have to wait in a mile long line at Sam's Club to get it for a few dollars less, and I get to go inside and talk to people that I already know. I will be home before the guy who went to the dealership gets out of Bangor and I would have helped keep down the property tax of our town.
Every week I intend to salute a Stockton Springs business. This week I salute Sea-Breeze Ground Maintenance, a local business that provides lawn care, tree work, snow plowing, debris and scrap metal removal. Free estimates are available by calling 567-3762 or 567-3240. If you are looking for a plow man this year, here's your guy.
Town governments can spend fortunes in advertising trying to get people from other towns to come and take advantage of what is available in their town. But still, they do not come and a lot of our tourist towns are slowly dying. As one coastal town may see an increase in monies received in tourist seasons, the next town may see a decrease. At best, a tourist-based economy fluctuates and when the tourist go home, many towns close up. Local control of a town is lost when local people leave town to make their purchases. Whenever possible, please make your purchase in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.