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Phew! We returned from Los Angeles just before a triple-digit heat wave descended upon SoCal. It was lovely to visit Pacific Coast beaches, Santa Monica Pier — waaay too people-y for me — and do some hiking at Runyan Canyon.

For our anniversary dinner we went to a restaurant called Castaway high up in the hills of Burbank, with a fabulous view of the setting sun. We ordered a drink called the “Belle” and it came to the table under a dome filled with “smoke” and rose petals. Everything is a production in LA. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and family.

Town Office

The next Planning Board meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Come hear what goes into considering possible updates to the Land Use Ordinance as we go down into the weeds of how our town has evolved, and what changes may need to be recommended to keep up with future progress.

As of press time, please note, the tax bills for Jackson have not been finalized, the commitment date has not yet been set. (Bills are due 30 days from said date.)

ATV traffic

Looks like a lot of riders are out and about on Jackson’s newly opened ATV Access Routes. Please keep in mind, though the roads are open, they are still subject to Maine State ATV laws and rules. Here’s a few that some may need reminding of:

1. ATV travel (must be) on the extreme right of the public way.

2. A person under 10 years of age may not operate an ATV.

3. A person 10 years of age or older, but under 16 years of age, may not operate an ATV unless that person has successfully completed a training course approved by the department pursuant to section 13152 and is accompanied by an adult. Proof of having completed a training course must be presented for inspection upon request of a law enforcement officer.

And, 4. ATVs: According to 12 MRSA §13157-A(13) and (14), persons under 18 may not operate or be carried on an ATV without protective headgear. Violation of this statute is punishable by a “fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500” and repeat offenders can be charged with a Class E crime.

Finally, please take note of the posted speed limits — the highest one in Jackson is 15 mph.

(maine.gov/ifw/atv-snowmobile/atv/laws-rules.html#laws)

Ins and outs of tree growth

I do not profess to be an expert at the myriad details of the Maine Tree Growth program. In short, many landowners benefit from a discount on their real estate taxes through this program. It requires a forester to come out to walk your land and create a Woodland Management Plan. “The Maine Legislature enacted the Tree Growth Tax Law in 1972 to help Maine landowners maintain their property as productive woodlands, and to broadly support Maine’s wood products industry.”

(maine.gov/dacf/mfs/policy_management/woodswise/tree_growth_tax_law.html)

No doubt you are well aware that there are many properties changing hands in our town and throughout the area. It is potentially very expensive if one does not understand and inquire as to whether a property they are purchasing is currently enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth program. The town would like to remind property owners that when real estate changes hands and a given property is in the Tree Growth program, one has 12 months to complete the paperwork to apply for Tree Growth in the new owners’ names. This is because the program does not automatically transfer into the new owner’s name. The program stays with the land. One must reapply. If you fail, or choose not to, make application to continue in Tree Growth, you should be aware that there is a serious tax penalty for removal (possibly in the tens of thousands of dollars). Upon point of sale it should be understood that it will be incumbent upon either the seller or the buyer to pay this fee if the property comes out of Tree Growth. Take note!