Searsport Town News

By Dick Desmarais | May 11, 2019

radiosearsport@aol.com

On Monday, May 13, the Planning Board will hold their regular meeting in the Town Hall starting at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be televised.

Selectmen voted to add Tozier's as a place for Searsport residents to purchase dump stickers, effective immediately..

Limb and Leaf Day is Sunday, May 12, and Sunday, May 19, for Searsport residents.

On May 11, the United Methodist Church will hold their turkey supper at the church. All invited.

The 17th annual Festival of Art, sponsored by Senior College at Belfast, will be held May 30 through June 2 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast.

Opening night reception and first viewing is scheduled for Thursday, May 30, 6 to 8 p.m. The work of 120 Maine artists will be exhibited, Belfast Bay Fiddlers will provide music, and light refreshments will be available. No entrance fee and open to the public.

Regular exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

A special screening of “J. Fred Woell: An American Vision,” the documentary film by Richard Kane, is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, in the auditorium of the UMaine Hutchinson Center. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

Carver Memorial Library will be installing a new floor in their children’s room. While they are excited about the update, it will involve some temporary upheaval. The lower floor of the library will be closed from Saturday May 18th to May 25th during construction. Storytime on Thursday and Friday May 23rd and 24th is cancelled. The room will begin being emptied Friday afternoon May 17th and access may be limited. The accessible restroom, changing station, book sale, and elevator will also be closed since they are on the lower floor. Children’s books, picture books, and teen books will be inaccessible, although we will have a small selection available upstairs.

The current floor that is worn out was installed 20 years ago when the original addition was built. It is time to replace it with a new floor that will be safer and more attractive for library visitors. The library hopes to reopen the lower level on Monday May 27th. They appreciate your patience while they work to serve you better

MANAGER’S REPORT

May 6, 2019

It is with deep regret that I write about the passing of John “Jack” Merrithew. Jack was a good friend of 30 years and a selectmen of Searsport for over 15 years. I have always known Jack as a man of history and service.

Some of my first memories of him go back 30 years and involve his recruiting me to help run the local Boy Scout troop. He always worked hard to ensure that our history and our institutions are preserved. Jack even reenacted history with the 20th Maine Civil War reenactors. He will be greatly missed and long remembered.

Public Works – We were able to pull the posted road signs down by mid-April. The crew is still doing some patching; thankfully, since the frost is out, that has slowed. They did repair the EMA generator trailer last month and did some additional maintenance to equipment at the garage.

Wastewater – Howard and Dan are doing well. We spent some time locating pipes in anticipation of a DOT drilling project at the Hamilton Learning Center. We are fairly confident we will be OK when they drill. The plant has a major issue with the effluent pumps right now. We are losing prime on the pumps and are isolating the cause. At this point, Howard reports that it is likely to be a faulty foot valve. The plant is 32 years old and this will be the first time we will have to deal with this. We will need to have a contractor in to do the work, and while one pump is down, we will do maintenance on the system. If we can afford to, we will fix the second foot valve afterwards. We continue to work with Woodard and Curran on the new plant application.

Carver Memorial Library – The staff is doing well. We expect roofing to start in May. We have contacted the flooring company for downstairs and that should start in May as well.

Ambulance – The Ambulance responded to 44 calls for service in April. They had one paramedic intercept and three inter-facility transfers. Adrian reports that both ambulances are running good and there are no equipment issues.

Fire – The Fire Department responded to nine calls for service in April. They issued 33 burn permits for the month. The generator trailer is at the town garage. It experienced a fuel problem last fall. Tanker 2 is being repaired now and should be back in service soon. During the Month of April, a couple of trees fell on the fire station in North Searsport. Chief Webster and I inspected the damage. There were no holes put in the roof or siding. It is dented up a little but no significant damage was done. We will not make an insurance claim and the tress have been removed. I have no new truck or equipment issues to report.

Code Enforcement – Randy is doing well. There has been a constant stream of contractors and owners in recently with proposed projects.

Police Department – The Searsport Police Department received 208 calls for service during the month of April. All cruisers are up to date on service and are running well. Officer Dana Smith resigned his full-time position and has agreed to stay on as a reserve officer. All personnel are doing well. The reserve officers are filling open shifts. Reserve Officer Gillway has graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and will be out to sea most of the summer. The school resource officer has been busy with many programs lately. The Police Department worked with the elementary school to provide a “Ride to School with Officer Chris.” The program was well-received and a school employee accompanied the student. The department has been fielding many calls about farm animals loose on the Brock Road. ACO Koch has scheduled a meeting with the local farm family to address this issue.

Economic Development – Dean Bennett is doing well. He met with a landowner recently about expanding parking opportunities downtown. The owner is interested in seeing this project and would like some assurances it will be aesthetically pleasing. We are looking to engage with a landscape engineer or architect to help us. In April, he did some follow-up with new retail business about helping them to advertise. Dean attended the Maine Port Authority meeting with a landowner and a couple of businesspeople that want to do shipping from Searsport. He also testified for the town in Augusta on an anti-dredging ban bill for our area.

Town Hall – We have signed the contract for roofing and have ordered the heat pumps for the building. We are now doing additional research on LED lighting for upstairs. There are some very good rebates being offered right now and if possible, we would like to get that project done this year as well.

Committees – The Shellfish Committee, Historic Preservation Committee and Planning Board all met last month.

Feel free to pass this along to interested people

Dick Desmarais

 

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