joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Public broadband meeting

The town’s Broadband Advisory Task Force invites Searsmonters to their first Broadband Informational Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m., at the Community Building and via Zoom. Call the Town Office at 342-5411 for Zoom log-in information.

The Task Force will present its mission, what it has found out about current internet service in town (hint: 96% of Searsmont’s 70 miles of road have lousy service), service expansion progress to date, results of a residents’ survey (hint: Searsmonters want better internet service for work, play, telehealth and education) and where we might go from here. Folks from other Southwest Waldo County Broadband Coalition towns (Liberty, Montville, Freedom and Palermo) will talk about what five towns can do that Searsmont might not be able to do on its own (hint: get government grants so no tax dollars will be needed).

The rest of the meeting is all about hearing what Searsmont residents want to know and want the Task Force and Coalition to know. Seems to us this meeting is worth an hour or so of your time.

The beginning of fall in Searsmont, as a Virginia creeper turns color. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Town Library

The library director says, “this delta thing is pretty serious, so it’s back to masks and distancing and taking fewer risks.” If you prefer to get parking lot delivery, you can order books online at searsmont.town.library@gmail.com or call 342-5549 and the Bandito de la Biblioteca will be at your service.

In fact, “the library will continue to provide the best service we can, striving to be a safe place you can visit, load up on books and movies, use high-speed internet and have conversations.” The September library newsletter has safety reminders and suggestions and is worth a look-see. The library (and your correspondents) hope you will take anti-pandemic precautions and stay safe and well.

The Live OUTSIDE the Library concert series dealt with thunder, hail, heat and rain. More than 300 people enjoyed live music all summer right up until the delta variant of COVID-19 meant the last performance was canceled just before Labor Day.

Town Office

The polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., for voting on three state referendum questions.

No. 1 is a lawyer’s dream but amounts to either banning or approving the CMP electricity transmission corridor. Oddly, a “no” vote means you’re all right with it and a “yes” vote means you’re not.

Question No. 2 is a $100 million bond for roads, bridges, airports and railroads. Don’t we vote on one of these every year?

No. 3 is a constitutional amendment to allow Mainers to “grow, raise harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being.” Thought we could do that, but apparently this is about safety and licensing regulations (or lack of them). Did you know that, by ordinance, any Searsmonter can make, grow or produce food on his or her homestead and “consume” it or sell it from the homestead?

Tax Collector and Town Clerk Kathy Hoey reminds us that 2021 property taxes are due Sept. 30. We will report on the Sept. 14 Select Board meeting next week.

Bits and pieces

A vacation on an island in the Bay of Fundy was pretty special, border-crossing red tape notwithstanding. But it was really finest-kind to get back to Searsmont.

Is it fall yet? Gardeners are planting next summer’s garlic and hoping late-crop lettuce, spinach and peas will produce before first frost. To liven things up, we hereby announce a “guess the date of first frost” contest. The winner gets to live in this wonderful town.