Stockton Springs Report
The Select Board appointed Leslie D. Bryant of Belfast as the town's harbormaster. The harbormaster's term runs through Dec. 31. Mr. Bryant is a life long resident of Waldo County. He has been sailing and boating on Penobscot Bay since he was a youngster. He has worked on tugboats and other commercial vessels. He has even worked as a fisherman. He has a background as a mechanic and heavy equipment operator. Les plans on living aboard at the harbor, so he can assist the boaters and visitors. Town Manager Rich Couch commented, "I'm glad to have Les Bryant on board. I think he will be an asset to our harbor operation, and I look forward to working with him."
The fire trucks sitting next to Town Hall have been sold. The lucky bidders are Larry Lagassi of Stockton Springs for the 1983 Ford and Rodney Littlefield of Belfast for the 1974 GMC. The trucks should be going to their new homes soon -- just in time for the contractors working on the sidewalk project to use the town-owned lot for their equipment.
The selectmen considered the roofing bids for Town Hall. There were 14 bids from seven different contractors. The selectmen considered seamless metal, screw-down metal, and 30-year asphalt shingles. Based on cost and current budget constraints, the selectmen have directed the town manager to work with the contractors who submitted bids to install asphalt shingles. The bids ranged from $13,550 (asphalt) to $42,500 (for v crimp metal).
The town will likely need to take this proposal to the voters at town meeting. The town manager commented "Given the current economy and the town's budget situation, the Select Board are being very careful with every penny. Hopefully, voters will be willing to allow us to keep a good roof on a relatively new Town Hall." The current Town Hall has been in serve since August of 2000. The Select Board will finalize its plans at the next meeting on March 21, at 6 p.m.
Their will be a public hearing to consider the renewal of liquor licenses for two area businesses at 6 p.m. March 21. The Select Board will listen to public comment concerning a liquor license for French's Point on Hersey Retreat ROAd and Just Barb's Restaurant located at 24 Main St. in Stockton Springs. Both establishments have been licensed since 2006 with no issues. The hearings will take place prior to the March 21 Select Board meeting.
The scheduled meeting on April 4 will be postponed until 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, as two thirds of the Select Board will be away on April 4. The regular meeting schedule will commence at 6 p.m. Apr. 19.
Save Our Steeple fundraiser
SOS volunteer Janice Shute telephoned to advise us of the progress of efforts to raise $5,000 to qualify for a matching grant from an anonymous donor. As of this writing, they had received $1,700, leaving them $3,300 to raise before the July deadline. Mrs. Shute advised that an effort was under way to pay for the bell tower, so the steeplejack, which is paid for and finished, and bell tower can be installed at the same time. The next fundraiser is a fish and corn chowder dinner, scheduled for the middle of April. The SOS committee is a shining example of how, together, we can make a difference.
Spring is about on us and the town road department's George Russell announced on his Facebook page that Sandy Point Beach has been cleared and opened. However, the gate will remain closed until the inclement weather has passed. I have written about George, Bruce and Horace and the fine job they did this year, keeping the roads cleared and open for us. I have traveled from Sandy Point to the far reaches of Harris and Pout Town roads this winter and experienced no problems along the way. Partly because I took their advice and stayed off those roads during the storms, but mainly it is the result of professional blue-collar efforts.
I spent most of my life in blue-collar employment. I started as an Army corpsman and worked in human services for the first half of my life. As I got older, my family's need for income forced me to transition into more lucrative blue-collar work. I respect both sectors and have no regrets for my decision. I have met many fine people in blue-collar work. They are interesting people, whose lives include more than the work of a person in a tool belt or behind the wheel of a truck. Did you know that George will post local weather reports on his Facebook page? I know I did.
Perhaps that is why I didn't mind when I got held up in traffic during the past year's bridge construction, or when I get stuck behind the Sullivan truck. Perhaps that is why Stockton Springs resident and United States postal worker Perry Shute can find the sweet irony of having the plow truck take out the mailbox of the guy who delivers the tax bills? Again, I know I did. People who make their living riding the roads understand that sometimes it's a jungle out there in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.