Introducing the Dexter Municipal Newsletter
This is the first edition of our new quarterly newsletter. We have undertaken this project in an effort to help enhance public awareness, increase interest in local activities, and serve as an outreach mechanism to provide information and updates on both municipal activities and functions sponsored by local service organizations. Our first effort is very modest and we're working with limited funding; however, hopefully, over the coming months the interest level in a local newsletter will be great enough to expand its size and scope of coverage. If you would like to contribute an article to the publication or help in putting it together please stop by the Town Office and see the Town Manager.
Tuesday, November 3rd is the date for 1998 Gubernatorial and local elections. In addition to electing a state governor, voters will have the opportunity to select state legislators and local elected officials. Additionally, as a result of petition action there will be one local referendum question on the ballot dealing with repeal of the recently approved Dexter Land Use Ordinance. Polls will be open at the Armory from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM. If you're not registered to vote please come by the Town Office and complete the simple process, and you can even register at the polls. Remember to exercise your privilege to vote....your vote counts!
Voting by Absentee Ballot
In the event you will be unable to get to the polls on election day, registered voters can vote via absentee ballot. In order to acquire an absentee ballot the registered voter can visit the Town Office or request a ballot by phone or by mail. A third person can also pick-up an absentee ballot for a registered voter but only the voter can designate a 3rd person to deliver a ballot and must be through a written request. There are a number of special requirements associated with voting via absentee ballot and those can be best explained by our Town Clerk/Registrar of Voters. If you have questions concerning absentee voting please call or stop by the Town Office.
Candidates for Local Offices
A number of municipal and school district positions will be filled during the upcoming November election. For Town Council we have three seats vacant and three candidates. Larry Bonneau is seeking re-election to the Council, Roger Brawn is anticipating a return to the Council after a one year absence, and Michael Blake is seeking a Council seat for the first time. Mary Etta Buzzell and Michael McCormick will be seeking to fill the two Dexter vacancies on the SAD #46 School Board of Directors, while Trueman Seamans and Galen Wentworth are also running uncontested for two seats on the Dexter Utility District. The ballot is rounded out with one candidate for the single vacant seat for Dexter on the Hospital Administrative District #4 Board of Directors.
Notes From the Tax
This year's municipal property taxes are based on 20.5 mils, a reduction of half a mil from last year. This equates to $20.50 of property tax on each $1000 for which your property is valued for assessment purposes. For example, if you have property that we have assessed at a value of $100,000, you are paying about $2,050 in property taxes for the fiscal year 1998-99.
Property on which taxes have not been paid for a period of three years are subject to foreclosure action by the Town. Notices on property with unpaid 1996 property taxes will be sent out shortly after the first of the year. Once foreclosure notices are sent, property owners are given 30-days to pay all 1996 taxes including interest and administrative costs. If not paid within the required time the Town will proceed with foreclosure. In order to reacquire the property, the owner must receive the consent of the Town Council, and pay all back taxes and costs of processing a Quit Claim Deed. Property acquired by the Town by foreclosure will be disposed of by Council action.
Taxpayers are reminded that 1998-99 property taxes are due by November 30th.
Formation of a Bicentennial
Dexter's Bicentennial will be celebrated during the year 2001. Although that may seem like a long time away, you just can't start early enough when it comes to planning for the activities associated with such an occasion. We're currently seeking residents who would be interested in serving on a Bicentennial Committee that will be a focal point for planning activities associated with the event. Volunteers on our Boards and Committees are a valuable resource to the community, and this is an excellent opportunity to play an important role in a significant event in Dexter's history. If you are interested in participating in this effort please come by the Town Office and fill out an application for appointment to the committee.
Town Council Meetings
The Dexter Town Council meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers. The public is always welcome to attend Council Meetings and it's an excellent way to better understand what's happening in the community. If you wish to place an item on the agenda for discussion please provide your input to the Town Manager by the close of business on Wednesday the week prior to the scheduled meeting. If you have an issue or concern that you feel is important to bring to the attention of the municipal leadership, this is the forum you should consider. For details and particulars please contact the Town Manager.
Note from the Public Works Director
With Winter approaching it's probably a good time to touch on a subject that's important to us all....snow removal. Were you aware that our Public Works Department is responsible for winter road maintenance on approximately 60 miles of roads as well as snow clearing and sanding for municipal and school parking lots, airport taxiways and runway, and municipal facilities. In general, all main roads are treated with either salt or sand when they are covered with a thin layer of snow. Plowing usually begins when about two inches of snow has accumulated. The plowing routes usually take about three hours to complete, and sometime longer if we have maintenance problems or there,s traffic that hampers plowing. Our goal for winter road maintenance is to provide the safest road conditions possible under prevailing conditions, and we attempt to have the roads and streets cleared to accommodate peak traffic periods. We don't have enough plow operators to allow a normal shift change during an "around-the-clock" operation so we work our drivers as long as safely possible to cope with the situation.
When plowing or shoveling snow out of the entrance of your driveway, throw the snow to the right, or "down-side". Please do not plow snow into the roadway or on the sidewalks.
- The accidental destruction of mailboxes becomes a very sensitive subject as the winter season progresses. Mailboxes installed in the right-of-way are placed there at the owner's risk and the Town is not obliged to repair damaged posts or boxes. However, if your post is knocked down by a plow contact the Public Works Department. We have temporary posts that can be used to get you through the winter. You can help reduce the possibility of having a mailbox damaged by clearing away snow banks around the box and post.
- Be patient. The Police and Highway Department are well aware of approaching storms and road conditions. Snow and ice removal can be a difficult and time consuming job, and we will get to your road as soon as possible. Please also understand that we cannot shovel ridges or wind rows from your driveway that are left by the snowplow.
Upcoming Parks & Recreation Programs
We're currently in the midst of a slate of Fall youth sports activities, and as we progress further into the year there will be registration announcements for our Winter Basketball program as well as a variety of other winter programs. As registration time gets close we'll make certain that there's plenty of notification through the local newspaper and schools. Remember the fee for each program is generally $10. If you have any questions about our recreation programs please contact Ed Walker at 924-7351. Soon we'll also have a handy booklet available at the Town Office, which will outline the entire program.
Status of the Dexter Ambulance Service
Many people have indicated an interest in the status of Mayo Hospital's proposal to assume operational responsibility for providing ambulance service to Dexter. As of now the Dexter Ambulance Service is doing business as usual. However,
municipal officials and Dexter Ambulance Service officers have met twice this Fall with Mayo officials to finalize details on a proposed Letter of Agreement that will address the takeover of operations by Mayo Hospital. Once a draft agreement is finalized it will be formally presented to the Town Council for consideration. Part of the process of accepting the proposal will include a public hearing prior to any final decision. At least one additional meeting between Dexter and Mayo officials is anticipated before a final proposal is sent to the Town Council.
Dexter on the World Wide Web
If you have access to the Internet check out Dexter's Web Page. We offer a wide variety of current information dealing with everything from municipal activities and school functions to a list of local businesses. One of the newest features is our "Business Opportunities Page" which offers information on commercial property that's currently available in Town. If you are a property owner and have commercial type property that can be used for industrial or retail sales operations you can participate free of charge. To get your information included on the Web Page just stop by the Town Office and see the Town Manager or one of the Clerks for details. The Dexter Web Page address is www.dextermaine.org.
Community Watch Program
During the summer and early fall there were several meetings held to determine the extent of local interest in forming a Community Watch Program. As a result of those meetings a small group of residents have been identified who will be the core of this initiative as it develops during the coming months.
Please don't allow children to play or tunnel in the roadside snow banks. Plow trucks may not be able to see the children or stop in time to avoid an accident.
- Reduce your speed. This is the number one cause of winter accidents.
- When plowing or shoveling drives remember it's illegal to deposit snow and slush on any public way, this includes roads, intersections, parking lots and sidewalks. You could be subject to a $90 fine for such actions.
Hopefully by the Spring of 1999 we will have a full-fledged Community Watch Program implemented which will be instrumental in helping deter crime in our Town. If you would be interested in participating in Dexter's Community Watch program please contact the Dexter Police Department.