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How time flies

It’s hard to believe this is our 100th town column. But it is, we still enjoy working together to inform and sometimes entertain our fellow Searsmonters, and we’re still speaking to each other! We are both grateful to everyone who sends us news items, and we hope folks feel heard and represented.

One big lesson we’ve learned is that even the smallest observation, a flower, a good job ditching, a new book at the library, can be food for a column. For example, a trip to the compost bin the other day demonstrated that there is no such thing as a wasted seed. Morning glories, potato and tomato plants have been flourishing in the rich soil.

Nothing goes to waste: “Extra” seeds make a home in the Sirotas’ compost bin. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Searsmonters have taught two folks from away (only 30 years living here) that one person’s throw-away is another person’s treasure. Our thanks to you who read and enjoy this weekly exercise in appreciation of Searsmont, our great little town.

Town Office and Town Library

At its Sept. 27 work session, the Select Board talked roads and signs and sheds. Looks like there may be repairs soon on places like Witcher, Pond, Morrow Hill, French South, Ghent and Magog roads. Be on the lookout for possible state road work on Route 131 at the Belmont line.

Also be ready for “carry-in and carry-out trash, no fires, closed dusk to dawn” signs at Levenseller Pond where unthinking people have made life a little harder for all of us.

And would you believe Searsmont may build a shelter over the transfer station dumpster? It’s cheaper than paying more to haul away water-logged trash or bringing in waterproof containers.

Congratulations to Assessors Agent James Murphy Jr., named 2021 Assessor of the Year by his peers at the Maine Association of Assessing Officers “for his professionalism in the field of assessing, his contribution in providing educational opportunities to his fellow assessors, and his personal contributions in his community.”

The first of this year’s “Exploring the Wilds of Waldo County” hikes, headed as usual by Sarah Crosby and Bill Evans, leaves from the library on Saturday, Oct. 16, 9 a.m. Call 342-5549 to sign up and get details. Also, now there is a new way to help out the library. Just bring your recyclables to M’s Redemption, 628 New England Road, and tell them it’s for the library.

Broadband expansion

Feedback on the Broadband Informational Meeting on Sept. 21 has been positive, with Searsmonters asking for more details. Go to the Southwestern Waldo County Broadband Coalition home page or direct to for the complete set of PowerPoint slides. Check out the site’s FAQs and stay tuned.

Searsmont Historical Society

Bring “mystery apples” from your property with you when you attend the SHS’s first meeting of the year, downstairs in the Community Building on Thursday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. Speaker and apple historian John Bunker may be able to tell you what you have. Even if he can’t, refreshments will be served, and you’ll have apples with you. Annual family memberships in the society are a bargain at $5.

Bits and pieces

Our Searsmont animal neighbors are getting hungry as the days get cooler and shorter. We’re getting reports of deer eating all the apples from trees, raccoons decimating corn crops, porcupines destroying brussels sprouts, chipmunks climbing tomato plants, and mice coming indoors when they’re not raiding beehives. Never heard that last one before. It’s tough enough timing the race between fall seedlings and early frost. At least the town’s woodpiles are looking fine and ready.

And finally, in the “putting your Searsmont tax dollars to work” category, the winner is Contessa Mancini in the Town Office. The other day she reminded Select Board members to “save those paper clips.” You go, Contessa.