322-7572; 322-5671

Fall musings

The first color is showing in the trees and along Searsmont’s roads. It’s dark at around 7, nighttime temperatures are dipping into the 40s and summer is in the rearview mirror. Searsmonters are picking the fall harvest of onions, greens, sunflowers and the last tomatoes, next year’s garlic is planted and the “hope it beats frost” plantings of lettuce, spinach and kale are in. It’s a time for bushhogging, mulch hay banking around the house, late wood splitting and stacking and conversations on the road accompanied by wind in the pines. Fall is coming to town.

Town Office

The Select Board welcomed Liberty Fire Chief and volunteer Ambulance Director Bill Gillespie, Maine’s 2019 Fire Chief of the Year, to its Sept. 13 work session for an interesting discussion of Liberty’s success in recruiting and retaining emergency and firefighting people. Searsmont needs more volunteer firefighters and EMTs, and you are invited to get in touch with Fire Chief James Ames and Searsmont Rescue Director Dawn Bryant to find out more.

The next day at their monthly meeting, Searsmont’s board adopted a remote meeting policy (rules for Zoom access for everyone), approved a one-year contract with Bill Kinney for plowing and sanding 13 miles of northern Searsmont roads, let us know that the town’s sand and salt is safely stored and reported on asphalt-road cold patching. Work sessions held every Monday at 4:30 p.m. are public and so is the next Select Board meeting on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.

Historical Society

They’re ba-a-a-ck! Karen Withee tells us the first meeting in a year and a half will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Historical Society room in the Community Center. Popular speaker and apple

A hornets’ nest high in autumn foliage in Searsmont. Photo by Mickey Sirota

historian John Bunker will be the star attraction. The 2022-23 membership drive has begun, and the $5 family membership is a bargain. Send your check to SHS at P.O. Box 165, Searsmont ME 04973, or let them know you want to join and how to get in touch with you.

Town Library

The Library Bandito has been busy delivering books curbside to patrons (call 342-5549 to order yours), with masked and distanced in-person patrons borrowing more books as the days get shorter. September additions to the collection include Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache thriller, “The Madness of Crowds,” Lauren Groff’s “Matrix” and long-listed Man Booker Prize Rumaan Alam’s “Leave the World Behind.”

Broadband expansion public meeting

We will report next week on the Sept. 21 public information meeting held to bring Searsmont up to date on plans for bringing affordable high-speed internet to everyone. We are told that a Request for Proposals is going out soon for a feasibility study for the five-town Southwest Waldo County Broadband Coalition.

Bits and pieces

The bad news is that the trash and vandalism situation at the Levenseller Pond access points is not getting any better. The town is planning to put up signs to let people know what kind of behavior is not acceptable. Those ramps are on private land that has an easement for the benefit of all Searsmonters, and access can be revoked if folks don’t act responsibly. No one wants to see gates on the shore of the pond.

The good news is that roadside mowing is done. Gold stars and a hip-hip-hooray to the town for getting it done. Looks awfully good, don’t you think?