322-7572; 322-5671

Spring has sprung

Sure, it feels like whiplash when there are snowflakes and it’s 9 degrees Tuesday and sunny and nearly 60 on Wednesday. But a neighbor’s sap buckets are suddenly hanging on the maple trees, the mud makes things interesting and the sun feels warmer almost every day. There’s more talk of garden plots and seedlings, and a search for all the parts of the deck-sized greenhouse.

A year after this hunkering down began, we’re still cooking more and making our own bread. We still “do the road” three or four days a week, talking, taking pictures and engaging in conversation with neighbors we didn’t know well “before.” Searsmont is a wonderful place to live, walk and make friends.

Town Office

The selectmen have ordered new LED bulbs for Searsmont’s street lights, and have eliminated long-not-working lights near the post office, Community Building, and Moody Mountain Road’s intersections with Muzzy Ridge Road and Main Street. The bulbs last a long time and will save money in the long run.

And it’s official: the town budget hearing for 2021 will be on Tuesday, April 6, 5 p.m., with the monthly Planning Board meeting that evening at 7 p.m. The selectmen next meet on April 13. And the rain date for the May 15 town meeting at the fire station will be a week later. Don’t worry – we’ll give you plenty of advance notice.

Searsmont’s Broadband Advisory Task Force

The second task force meeting was on March 11 and it meets again on March 25 (public welcome by Zoom or in person with face masks). Did you know only 7% of Searsmonters have high-speed optical fiber internet service? If you get a download speed of 10 megabits per second, you’re doing better than most? Searsmont is ranked 315th in the state for connectivity? Kenn Ortmann has been hired to facilitate the volunteer group, which has grown to about a dozen participants.

Just to mention a few items already on the “to do” list, the task force is starting conversations with local internet providers Consolidated Communications, Lincolnville Telephone and RedZone, finding out more about the existing Midcoast Internet and Southwest Waldo County Broadband Coalitions of nearby towns, and is looking at ways to find financial support for bringing improved broadband access to all residents. To join or get on the Zoom invite list for the March 25 and future meetings, call 342-5411.

Bits and pieces

Waldo County Masons’ Elder Outreach is the partnership between Aging Well in Waldo County and volunteers from District 8 Masonic Lodges who help older Searsmonters with home maintenance and simple repairs that may have become difficult or dangerous.

They can’t do major repairs to your roof or heating system and they won’t replace an electrician or plumber. But they can help with something that requires getting on a ladder like changing light bulbs, cleaning gutters, or changing smoke detector batteries. They can repair a stair tread, unstick a window, adjust that door that won’t close, or take a chainsaw to a fallen tree limb.

Call 218-0207, select option 2, leave a message and they will return your call. If they can do it, the Masons will send someone out to give you a hand. Aging Well in Waldo County will be glad to accept a donation, but the service is free to you.