322-7572; 322-5671

Spring changes

One day it’s 60 degrees and we go out without a jacket. The next day there’s sleet on the porch. Spring in Searsmont often means listening to loons and owls at night while cozying up to a fire in the woodstove. We remember the awful snowstorm in 2020 that caused so much tree damage and we feel grateful that the electricity stays on and we are only getting an inch of rain and tree-splitting 50-mph wind gusts. One of us remembers an Easter as a child when it was so warm we went to the beach. Maybe this is just nature’s way of keeping Searsmonters on their toes.

Wind gusts of 50 mph split this tree on Route 131 in Searsmont. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Town Office, Fire Department

At their April 18 work session, selectmen discussed animal control enforcement, road and cemetery mowing contracts. They talked about cemetery decoration policy with Sexton Dave Marceau and (surprise, surprise) road maintenance. They also considered a late-summer, early-fall schedule for one or two special town meetings concerning broadband expansion plans. A correction to a previous report: The selectmen on April 12 considered but did not vote on a multi-year road plan. A vote will come at a later date.

April 30 is the deadline to join the town’s tax club, which allows you to pay your property taxes through next March in 12 monthly installments. The office is closed April 29 and April 30, but there’s a drop box in the lobby if you have the form filled out.

Searsmont Fire Chief James Ames and Assistant Chief Wayne Woodbury are looking for firefighters (they will train you) and will soon begin a Junior Firefighters class in cooperation with Morrill, Belmont, Belfast and Waldo, for people ages 14 to 18 (parental consent required). Call James at 314-2927 or Wayne at 322-4972 for more information.

Town Library

The library’s first free “Live OUTSIDE the Library” concert of the year is approaching. NYC jazz guitarist Abe Ovadia plays on Saturday, May 7, 2 p.m., downstairs at the Community Building. Physical distancing and masks are strongly encouraged.

This is your last chance to apply for the H. Joyce Withee scholarship. Get your application in to the Searsmont Town Library Board of Trustees (drop off at the Town Office or library is fine) by Saturday, April 30. Application details are on the library’s page on the town website.

The library now has a pass for the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay available to borrow. The pass covers admission for two adults and children or grandchildren. The Garden opens May 1.

Searsmont Historical Society

Spring has been a busy time for the Historical Society. On April 14, Waldo County Sheriff Jeff Trafton and Chief Deputy Jason Trundy spoke to more than a dozen people at the group’s monthly meeting. Did you know the Sheriff’s Office responded to more than 9,000 calls last year, including nearly 500 in Searsmont, or that the department has 23 sworn positions, runs a 32-bed jail, works with social workers and runs the Re-Entry Center? Your county taxes at work. We are pleased to report that the lemon cookies and other post-meeting goodies are as good as ever.

Expect a report soon on local videographer-writer-director Rush DeNooyer’s talk and special viewing of a portion of his latest documentary, an eight-parter on sunk World War II warships.

Bits and pieces

Recent real estate listings around town are making wicked good reading. There are properties on sale for more than $500,000 and one for more than a million. Looks like the 63-acre McLellan Property recreation and conservation land purchase at $250,000 may be quite the bargain.

Some fun moving manure around and getting the first greens seedlings and vegetable and herb seeds into the greenhouse. Searsmont planting may arrive someday if the ground ever dries out.

Road graders, tree-trimmers and contractors of every type are getting really busy these days. Call soon for a summer appointment. Same goes for ordering firewood for the fall.