From the Town Office

Dog licenses are available at the Town Office. The cost is $6 per altered dog, and $11 per unaltered dog. Proof of rabies vaccination and proof of spaying/neutering is required for all new dogs. A $25 per dog late fee will go into effect on Feb. 1, 2019.

Frankfort's steeple

It became clear to myself and fellow members of the Frankfort Congregational Church several years ago that work was needed to be done to our historic 1840's built steeple — a landmark loved and known by many as they drive through town. The structure also houses a clock, given by the town of Frankfort back in 1887, which is also in desperate need of repair.

Water damage was seen on the ceiling of the church and, after investigating further, we found that the leaking was coming from the spire above. We met and decided it was time to begin the repair process, but the aspect of money was naturally on all of our minds.

Most rural Maine churches are small, averaging anywhere from 20 to 30 attending members a week, and they have a difficult time covering the day-to-day operating expenses of the building.

This was seen recently when First Congregational Church in Brewer closed its doors back in July, after over 218 years of service to the community. The closure came as a result of declining attendance and insufficient funds. This, unfortunately, is all too common for many churches today. Therefore, the thought of spending thousands of dollars for the reconstruction of a steeple can be met with some resistance.

Frankfort Congregational has hired Mid-Maine Restoration, professional Steeplejacks out of Boothbay, who specialize in the reconstruction and replication of historic church and meeting house steeples, to complete the repair work. They're set to start on our steeple sometime in the fall of 2020, but getting to this stage in the game has not been simple.

We chose to apply for the Maine Steeple's Fund grant, an endowment from the Maine Community Foundation, that works to support restoring church steeples of historic, cultural, and community significance in cities and towns in Maine.

As with most grants, various applications require completion in order to qualify. One of the larger tasks involved hiring an assessor to complete an eligibility assessment, which determined the structural shape and the cultural significance of the edifice.

More recently, complications were found in the upper apron roof, which led to bringing the total cost of the project from $16,000 to nearly $30,000, leaving us wondering how we'll ever afford this pricey endeavor.

We will continue to apply to the Maine Community Foundation for grants, one of which has already been approved, but funds awarded from the organization will only cover half of the total cost. We are seeking help from members past and present, and the community, to offset the cost.

If you would be willing to make a tax-deductible donation to the restoration project, please send your contribution to Frankfort Congregational Church, Attention: Steeple Coordinator, P.O. Box 146, Frankfort, ME 04438.

Thank you.