On Monday, April 8, starting at 6:30 p.m., the Planning Board will hold their regular meeting in the Town Hall. This meeting will be televised.

Searsport Historical Society Remembers the Civil War

Searsport Historian Charlene Knox Farris is the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Searsport Historical Society on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in Curtis Hall on Church Street in Searsport. Her topic, with a slide presentation, is "The Legend of the Searsport Soldiers' Monument."

A native of Searsport, Farris never heard the Soldiers' Monument legend until she began her fifth-grade teaching career at Searsport Elementary School. She created a slide show presentation of Searsport landmarks to show to her classes and local adult groups. Following one such meeting, two older ladies in the audience told Farris that the names of the men from Searsport who died in the Civil War were hidden inside the monument. This was done to conceal the name of one man who really had not died in the war! Two years and hundreds of hours of research later, Farris proved those ladies right, and in 1990, the Civil War soldiers' names were revealed as the slabs were turned, after having been hidden for 144 years!

For those who remember the summer of 1990 when the "names on the monument" were reversed on the Fourth of July, and for those who've never heard of this strange but true story, come and hear Charlene Knox Farris tell the tale, complete with a slide presentation. This meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Please note that despite what you may have read in Thursday’s Republican Journal, Saturday’s classical guitar concert at the Congregational Church has been cancelled due to an injury to a performer.

This Sunday, April 7, at 3 p.m., it's time to welcome spring with special music. The Searsport Congregational Church hosts the PenBay and Mount View High School Singers with their spring concert, “Choral Works for Spring." A social hour follows. Suggested donation $15.

Managers Report

Public Works – The public works is out patching roads almost every day. The winter was rough on us and the spring has produced many potholes. We did have a couple of storms to deal with in March and a lot of clean-up. We are requesting a new body for one of the Volvo plow trucks. The crew has patched it over the years but it will not last another season. One of our Bobcat skid steers is out of service with a bad head gasket. We are in the process of repairing it. For the most part the snowmelt this year has not caused many problems. Most of our culverts are in good condition. We posted roads early in the month and expect that they will be open in the middle of April.

Wastewater – Howard and Dan are doing well. Howard reports that they are seeing a significant infiltration of water into the system in the area of Old Route One. They are investigating it this week.

Carver Memorial Library – The staff is doing well. We have solicited for roofing bids and expect results this week.

Ambulance – The Ambulance responded to 55 calls for service in March. They had two paramedic intercepts and two inter-facility transfers. Adrian reports that both ambulances are running good and there are no equipment issues.

Fire – The Fire Department responded to ten calls for service in March. They issued twenty-six burn permits for the month. The generator trailer is at the town garage. It experienced a fuel problem last fall. We are draining the tank and replacing the fuel. It should be back in service in a week. Other than the trailer, I have no new truck or equipment issues to report.

Code Enforcement – Randy is doing well. There have been a lot of contractors and owners in recently with proposed projects.

Police Department – The Searsport Police Department received 239 calls for service during the month of March. All cruisers are up to date on service and are running well. All personnel are doing well. The reserve officers are filling open shifts.

Economic Development – Dean Bennett is doing well. He received a copy of the Downtown Planning document. He did find some errors in the document and has sent it back to Wright Pierce for corrections. He has been in contact with Bangor Natural Gas to try to determine a timeline for construction and expansion. In March, he worked with a couple of new retail business that will be moving to town. He is participating in the long-range strategic planning initiative with Penobscot Marine Museum.

Town Hall – Annual elections and town meeting ran very smoothly. We are making some repairs and changes in the office. The front entry was painted and floors re-finished in March. The bulletin board in the office was relocated to the hall and we will be putting some art on the wall.

At the April 2 meeting of the selectmen, Jack Merrithew stated that he would like to step back as chairman of the selectmen to devote more time to a medical issue. He will remain on the board and make meetings as he can. The position of chairman was filled by myself and Doug Norman filled my open vice chairman position,

The meeting with DOT about downtown revitalization is still on and is scheduled for the 11th in the Town Hall starting at 6 p.m.

Feel free to pass this on to interested people.

Dick Desmarais