joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

How now, brown cars

The recent thaw and warm January rains made a muddy mess of many Searsmont driveways and gravel roads. Searsmonters know how to handle the goo. Out come the rubber boots, galoshes (yes, some folks still have galoshes) and wellies. The floor inside the door gets a mat to wipe them off, with room to toss them in a heap under the hung-up jackets. Inside floors get cleanings after you are in too much of a rush to take them off. Garaged cars on paved driveways and asphalt roads have shiny coats. The rest of us drive brown cars, no matter what their color was when we bought them.

Winter transfer station location

Until further notice, the transfer station will be open for business at the Community Center parking lot Saturday mornings and early afternoons. There will be no trash collection on Crie Road until mud season ends. The move will protect the gravel section of Crie Road from ruts and potholes during thaws, and allow for paved-road access through the winter months.

Sand shed warning

Folks are driving down to the back of the salt/sand shed to get their buckets of sand during winter storms. “Danger” signs and sawhorses are going up on the driveway because this is a really bad idea. Sand truck work back there creates a dangerous high face on the sandpile that can collapse, injuring or even burying you. Get your sand from the upper part of the shed, closest to the road.

Town Office

Searsmont’s selectmen held a work session Jan. 3, and after the usual discussion of road repair (Morrow Hill, Borough, Muzzy Ridge, Ghent, Magog, Thompson’s Ridge roads) set dates to interview two candidates interested in becoming Searsmont’s new town clerk. As part of the ongoing budget planning process for the coming year, selectmen discussed cost of living adjustment numbers for town personnel and heard that ambulance rates are going up 6.5% this year. They are going up even more in the Portland area.

There will be a special town meeting in late January or early February to ask for voter approval of a property lease so the new Waldo Broadband Corp., owned by Searsmont, Liberty, Montville, Freedom and Palermo, can put up a small structure for fiber-optic cable equipment. It will be located on the old town well gazebo property across South Main Street from the Community Building. The structure will be built and paid for by WBC and the lease payments will cover property maintenance and plowing.

We were going to mention getting your dog licenses renewed by Jan. 31, but you know the drill.

Fire Chief James Ames reports nine callouts in December, another busy month. The town thanks all the volunteer firefighters.

Junior Firefighter Program

Speaking of firefighters, Jethro Pease of the Morrill Fire Department let us know that the Searsmont, Morrill, Belmont, Waldo and Belfast departments are collaborating to provide a free Junior Firefighter Program for “young men and ladies age 14 to 18.” The five- or six-session program will start in February and consist of both classroom and hands-on training, working around students’ school and sports commitments. Parental permission is required.

For more information call Searsmont Fire Chief James Ames, 314-2927; Jethro Pease in Morrill, 342-5910; Chief Ron Harford in Belmont, 322-7362; Chief Patrick Richards in Belfast, 338-3362; or Chief Brian Walker in Waldo, 322-9362. The training will look great on a college application, and just might start an important, exciting, people-serving career.

Winter dreams of spring (daffodils in Searsmont, May 2022). Photo by Mickey Sirota

 

Bits and pieces

The first vegetable and flower seeds are on display in area stores and the Burpee collection is on sale for 40% off at Ocean State Job Lot in Belfast. Do Searsmont gardeners buy them now while the garden is frozen, muddy or snow covered, or hold off for a while?

Belfast Senior College starts up again Thursday, Jan. 19, with 12 classes designed for anyone 50 or older. It’s affordable, the instructors are great, and it is worth a look at belfastseniorcollege.org.

Want to know where you came from? Jane Beers invites you to attend the Maine Genealogical Society meeting Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. at the Belfast Free Library. Bring family photos and stories, and a potluck dish and its recipe. Beginners and seasoned researchers are welcome. They meet every month and the programs are free. You don’t have to be an MGS member, but dues are just $5.