Big fireworks show planned for Searsport's 175th birthday

By Fran Gonzalez | Aug 31, 2019

Searsport — The blow-out anniversary celebration planned for Searsport next summer just got a little bit louder.

At their Aug. 20 meeting, selectmen signed off on spending up to $10,000 for fireworks to celebrate the town's upcoming 175th anniversary in 2020.

Town Manager James Gillway said "they wanted to do it right."

Next year, the anniversary will fall on the Fourth of July holiday and it will be the "culmination of our celebration," Gillway said. The date also falls on a Saturday.

Normally the town spends around $4,500 toward fireworks each year, Selectman Dick Desmarais said, so the town will end up spending an additional $5,500.

Gillway said the Anniversary Committee already has raised more than $12,000 for the celebration, and there is $20,000 in merchandise that will be "turned over" to generate additional funds to pay for the event.

Merchandise includes T-shirts, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, key chains, stickers and commemorative coins, which all will be available for purchase. Gillway noted the committee has not yet sought sponsors for the 175th anniversary book.

"The additional money is not going to come on the backs of taxpayers," Gillway assured the board and the public. Money also has been raised through the sale of advertising in the anniversary book.

In other business, selectmen renewed the liquor license for Me Lon Togo Bistro on East Main Street. Owner Jordan Benissan said he also will soon offer live acoustic music at his restaurant.

Selectmen expanded the town's online payment services. Residents can now pay property taxes and utility bills through the service. Gillway noted there is a 2% surcharge associated with its use.

Other payment options already offered through the town website include motor vehicle and trailer renewal, vanity plate search and order, driver's license and identification card renewal, hunting and fishing licenses, duplicate vehicle registrations, boat registration renewal and dog licensing.

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