Stockton Springs Report
According to the town website, taxes are past due. Property taxes for 2012 were due Oct. 31. Many people paid their taxes on time. And on the website, a thank-you is offered. However, a high percentage seem to be running behind schedule this year -- more than 275 parcels still owe more than $450,000 in taxes. If you have neglected to pay your taxes, please pay them as soon as possible. The town needs the tax revenue to pay for essential government services. For example, the town's portion of the RSU 20 school bill is more than $176,000 each month. If you need assistance with your tax bill, contact Town Hall at 567-3404.
The senior luncheons, served in the community room of Town Hall, have been well received. Gay Dion from The Good Kettle serves a hot lunch at noon, and residents have been taking advantage of the offer. For more information or to RSVP, call Town Hall at 567-3404. Two lunches were served during January, and lunches are planned for Feb. 13, Feb. 27, March 13, March 27, and April 10. Suggested donation is $7. Please RSVP so there is enough food.
Calling all Searsport District Middle and High School parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians and any who support local education; A Parent/Family organization is forming at Searsport. We need you. Principal Brian Campbell is heading it up. Call 548-2313 to get your name on the list. Thank you Sharon Catus for that information.
On Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m., there will be an RSU #20 Board of Directors meeting at the Stockton Springs Elementary School. One of the agenda items will be further discussion of the four proposed courses of action for the school. Free child care will be provided at that time. Please notify the school at 567-3264 if you require child care.
There will also be a community supper hosted by the Stockton Springs Elementary Staff and PIE ( Partners in Education). Those who are attending the supper at 5 p.m. should bring a hot dish or salad to share. When Principal Jan Austin emailed me this information, she wrote in capital letters that no deserts should be brought. Reading it, I almost felt like I was back in school and was a little upset. They were always concerned about children having too many sweets. But then, like a good principal, always wishing to replace as opposed to simply denying, she added, “There will be cookies served for desert.” Thank you, Ms. Austin. I feel better now. You can thank her personally at email@example.com.
Had your town columnist had been as on the ball as Stockton Springs Community Library Volunteer and Woman's Over 40 Volleyball co-coach Pat Curley, you would already have known that on Jan. 22, the library offered the first of two free workshops for people to learn how to research their family history using Ancestry.com. You can still catch the second offering on Jan. 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m. When someone offers a memory workshop, I shall be signing up.
Recreation Department news
Speaking of all caps; the Rec Department's Candy Moore asked that I write in bold caps that she is looking for new members. Sorry, Candy. I can't really “do” firm. Perhaps you could ask Jan Austin. She gets paid to be firm. I will say that parents and caregivers can call Candy at 567-4330 or the town manager, Rich Couch, at 567-3404. The next Rec meeting is Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Town Office. The committee is also looking for help in the concession stand during baseball season.
It's offerings include Zumba on Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. at the Stockton School. Volleyball for women 40 and over is still going strong on Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Stockton School. For basketball, there is a K-2 team that practices on Sunday from noon-1:30 p.m. at the Searsport Elementary School (the adjustable goals at Searsport can be lowered), there is a co-ed team of third- and fourth-graders that practices on Tuesday at the SSES from 3:30-4:30 p.m., and at the high school gym on Sunday 9-10:30 a.m. There is also a co-ed team of fifth- and sixth-graders that practices on Thursday at SSES from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-noon. The 5/6 team has a game with Bucksport on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 10:45 a.m. at the high school gym. The 3/4 team has had two games at home and will play two games away. Candy will keep us updated on the next home game. Basketball will finish at the end of February, and the teams consist of Stockton and Searsport kids.
There will be no Rec activity if after-school activities are canceled, or if there is a holiday or vacation week. Candy invites residents to call her at 567-4330 if they have ideas for events or activities.
Kristina Braga, 21st CCLC director, RSU #20, advises that our Cub Scouts have invited their female counterparts to participate in their space derby this weekend! The event is a fun one and easy to prep for. Space rocket kits can be purchased at the Army Navy store in Belfast for $4.99. The race will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, and will be held at Stockton Springs Elementary. Awards will be given for first, second and third places and a "Best of Show" award will go to the best-looking rocket, as determined by scout vote. Those seeking further information may call Braga at 567-3264.
I was just at the Belfast Army Navy and saw those kits. Scouting parents may already be aware, but the store offers a variety of articles for the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies. Heading towards the Belfast docks, the store is on the right; not quite halfway down. I write this as a public service to town residents and because Stockton has no Army/Navy store.
The future of the Stockton Springs Elementary School and the future of the consolidation that administers its function are about to be first and foremost in the thoughts of town residents once more. Recently, my interests have led me to look into the history of the town. I am no historian, nor an expert on town management or education. However, I did notice that if the school closes, it will be the third time the town has lost its school. The first time came following the invention of steam engines and the demise of Stockton shipbuilding. The second time the schools closed was when the potato house closed and the railroad left.
As a layperson, I would say that we need some business and industry in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.