STOCKTON SPRINGS —  The Select Board considered a request from the Staples family to take over care and ownership of Mount Prospect Cemetery April 21. Town Manager Mac Smith noted that he had been working with Andrea Staples, a representative of the family, over the last year to determine the best way to proceed.

The cemetery is now owned by the Mount Prospect Cemetery Association, and has been cared for by the family of Basil Staples for many years. Smith said he had searched the Waldo County Registry of Deeds and had found no claims of ownership.

Staples was at the meeting and told the board the cemetery association has $67,000 in its checking account, and has contracted with someone to mow it this year for $500 a mowing. The association has its own mowers and trimmers. Board member Darren Shute estimated the mowing would come to between $6,000 and $7,000 per year.

Staples said a number of Civil War veterans are buried at Mount Prospect. She added, “What’s going to happen after us (the Staples family members now caring for the cemetery) I don’t know.”

Board members said they wanted to put the request before voters at this year’s town meeting. To that end, Smith asked Staples to provide an offer letter to the town May 18 that the board will vote on May 19 so it can go on the Town Meeting Warrant. Following the meeting, Smith told The Republican Journal if the cemetery article passes, it would probably take effect July 1.

Also coming before the board was Linda Salley, who lives next door to a house on McKenney Road that is unoccupied and is now owned by an out-of-state bank, according to Smith. Salley had enlisted the help of From Above, a nonprofit group based in Belfast that helps with cleanups of eyesore properties. She said she had found syringes on the property, as well as large quantities of human excrement.

She believes there may be a meth lab in the basement, she said, because the basement windows were covered, and upstairs windows opened during the winter. While From Above was there, volunteers helped board up the windows and doors and Salley herself put a chain across the driveway to block it. She said when she called the bank that owns the property, she was told they were looking for an heir to the original owner, who died two years ago.

Out of concern for what she believes has been going on that the house, Salley asked for the board’s help in urging the bank to act to secure the property. Smith said he would send the minutes of the meeting to the bank to ensure it was aware of the condition of the property.

Another request presented to the board concerned Lewis Cohn, a disabled veteran living in town. Before paying the excise tax on his vehicle last September, he called the Town Office saying he had heard that totally disabled veterans were entitled to have the excise tax on one vehicle waived. Town Office staff told him that was not the case, and took his payment.

Subsequently, Cohn learned that he had been correct, but the exemption had not gone into effect until last October. Cohn was asking the town to refund the roughly $750 in excise tax he had paid. Because he had called the Town Office and received inaccurate information, the board voted to refund the money.

In other business, the board authorized Stockton Springs Ambulance to restock the town’s second ambulance using up to $3,000 from the Ambulance Reserve Account. It also renewed Just Barb’s liquor license, including its seasonal tent in the parking lot, and appointed Glenn Meadows to the Harbor Committee.

The next meeting will be at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Town Office.

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