New Town Seal
The Town of Dexter has a new Town Seal. It was created by local artist, Jane Daniels. Jane was one of several contestants in the competition held late last year. Residents had the opportunity to view and select their favorites of competing designs at the voting polls during last November's election. The multi-colored image depicts “Nancy”,the clock atop the Morrison Building, along with green forests, rolling hills, and the blue of Lake Wassookeag in the foreground. Jane's imagination and artistic ability have created an emblem that will represent Dexter as we enter into the new millennium.
Dexter Winter Festival 2001
The Town of Dexter and the Bicentennial Committee, in cooperation with the Wassookeag Snowmobile Club will hold a Winter Festival on the weekend of February 17th and 18th. The festival is just one of several events scheduled during the coming months as part of our Bicentennial celebration. The scheduled events include a snowmobile “radar run”, a dance at the K of C Hall, a snowmobile parade, “poker run”, and a snow sculpture competition. There will be lots of information published during the coming days to provide updates on our plans. You may call the Town Office for information and can also check-out the Town's Web Site at www.Dextermaine.org for regular updates about festival activities. If you'd like to enter your group or organization in the snow sculpture competition you must register at the Town Office by February 14th. We're hopeful that “Mother Nature” will cooperate so all the events can go as planned.
January Board & Committee Appointments
A host of new appointments were made to Town Boards and Committees during January. Al Ross and Tom Edwards were reappointed to the Board of Appeals and David Bailey was selected to serve another term on the Planning Board. Rick Goodwin was also appointed to the Planning Board for his first term. Les Russell and Don Tibbetts were appointed to the Recreation Committee for the first time and David Chaput, Alan Rabideau, Kevin Bilodeau, and Elizabeth Killilea were selected to serve a new term on the Committee. Reggie McKenney and Keith Garrison were appointed as a new members on the Airport Advisory Committee, while Stanley Berube will continue to fill a seat with the group. Carol Feurtado was reappointed to the Library Board of Trustees while Lois Woodcock and Lois Merrifield were appointed as new Trustees. Ron Goldstone was appointed to the fledgling Cable Advisory Committee and David Rudolph and Stanton Larrabee were approved to serve another term on the Human Resources Committee. Vacancies still exist on a number of committees, for more information call the Town Office.
Tax Assessor Advises - Don't Miss Out!
We're concerned that not all Dexter taxpayers are taking advantage of exemptions that could lower their property tax bills. Last year, for example, the Homestead Exemption saved Dexter taxpayers $143.50 on their bills, but there are still residents who haven't filed to receive this credit. If your primary residence is in Dexter, or if you are a new Dexter homeowner, but have owned a home elsewhere in Maine before moving here, you are likely to be eligible. Owners of mobile homes, even if they're on rented lots, are also eligible.
Every year we also see veterans that didn't know that the State of Maine allows an exemption for their principle residences, as long as they have turned sixty-two years of age on or before April 1st of the current year. This exemption saved WWII, Korean, and Vietnam vets $102.50 on their property tax bills last year. This saving is in addition to the Homestead Exemption. If you are the widow or widower of a veteran who would have been sixty-two years of age by April 1, 2001, you should also consider applying for this tax break.
It is also apparent that many of the small businesses in Dexter are not taking advantage of the tax reimbursement program for personal property purchased new or brought to Maine after April 1, 1995. When business owners receive the form that the Town will be sending out soon, they should take care to identify all machinery that is newer than 1995. The State of Maine will reimburse 100% of the taxes paid on eligible equipment (sorry, furniture is not eligible).
We'd like to see Dexter residents get the benefits of all these programs. If you think you qualify you may pick up forms at the Town Office. There are some eligibility requirements that need to be met for the exemptions I've mentioned, but the Assessor's office would be glad to help determine if you qualify and assist in filling out the forms.
Update from the Recreation Director
The Dexter Recreation Department's Saturday Morning Basketball program is up and running, with over a hundred participants in three different age groups. Our Coaches have stressed fundamentals of the game, equal playing time and the importance of simply HAVING FUN! Later in February our travel teams will be created, and we've already scheduled some games.
The Dexter Ice Skating Rink is in full operation. It's open to the public from 9:00AM to 9:00PM daily (weather conditions and maintenance permitting). The warming hut is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and from Noon to 6:00 PM on Saturdays. If you don't own a pair of skates we have them available for your use.
In March we're planning programs for cheerleading, indoor soccer, and wrestling. Additionally, on March 3rd, there will be a FREE cross-country skiing trip to A Fierce Chase in Monson. The trip is for adults only and will be limited to the first 30 persons to register. The admission price and rental fees will be paid by the Recreation Department.
We'll also be hosting an “adults only” white water rafting trip on July 10th. The price will depend on the number of people that sign-up for the trip, but the maximum cost will be no more than $35 per person. More details on this event will be forthcoming at a later date.
I'm also very excited about our new “PAYS” program which will begin this summer. PAYS is a parents awareness training course designed to educate parents on such things as behavior, attitude toward coaches and officials, as well as general tips about parenting. The program takes about 45 minutes to complete and will cost $5 per adult. Both parents of children participating in our recreation programs are strongly encouraged to attend the training sessions.
As always, if you have any questions concerning our Recreation Programs you can reach Andy Conway, the Recreation Director, at 924-7351.
Reminder From The Code Enforcement Officer
Now that Ice Fishing season is here again, we want to remind all ice fishermen that Dexter does have an Ordinance regulating the use of ice fishing houses on Lake Wassookeag. The Ordinance requires that all ice fishing houses, including temporary or portable structures, have solid floors (no holes of any kind for any reason), and each house must be located at least 100 yards (300 feet) from the shoreline.
As you may be aware, at this past election the Dexter Land Use Ordinance was upheld and is now in effect. Copies of the Ordinance can be picked up at the Town Office. If anyone has any questions about the Ordinance or its effect on their property, we urge them to pick up a copy and call the Code Enforcement Officer, Bill Murphy. He can be reached at 924-7351.
Economic Development Update
Last year the Town Council approved Dexter's participation as a member of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PEDC). This was intended as a one- year trial effort to determine the benefits that could be derived from working in a cooperative effort with the Piscataquis County based group. Mark Scarano, Business Development Director for the organization, has been contacting businesses in Dexter during the past year in an effort to make them aware of the group's goals and activities. We're hopeful that this initiative will help provide some exciting opportunities for some of Dexter's businesses, as well as attract new business to the area. If you are a Dexter business and would like to know more about the PCEDC please call the Town Manager or contact Mark Scarano at 1-800-539-0332. Their web site address is www.pcedc.org.
School Board of Director's Vacancy
One of Dexter's seats on the MSAD #46 School Board of Directors remains vacant following the recent resignation of a Board member. State law requires that municipal officers appoint an interim Director to fill the vacancy until the next general election. If you are interested in an appointment to the School Board of Directors, please contact the Town Office.
Bicentennial related activities and events continue as we proceed through the coming months. The finale for the Bicentennial will be a grand parade, fireworks, and evening open-air band concert on August 11th. Our goal is to have a parade with as many organizations and businesses represented as possible. The theme for the parade is Dexter's Past, Present, and Future. Prizes will be awarded for the best floats in several categories. We're currently putting together a list of parade participants, and if your group, organization, or business would like to be a part of this historic event you can register at the Town Office. For more information about upcoming events scheduled as part of our Bicentennial Celebration you can contact Liz Breault at the
Abbott Memorial Library, 924-7292.
Dexter Regional Development Corporation
The Town of Dexter is initiating the process of forming the Dexter Regional Development Corporation. Primary objectives of the non-profit corporation will be to promote and assist in furthering economic development in Dexter as well as providing oversight for a variety of unique and diversified economic and community development projects. The new corporation will consist of Board of Directors who will work closely with municipal officials and representatives of the private sector in the achievement of corporate goals that will benefit the Town and surrounding area. If you would like more information about this effort please contact the Town Manager.
A Winter Reminder
During the winter months and especially during snow storms, there is a parking ban on Town streets between the hours of 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM. Persons who violate the ban will be subject to having their vehicles towed away as well as being fined.
Give Your Business a Boost!
The front windows of the Town Council Chambers in the Morrison Building are frequently used for seasonal displays and special events; however, last year we started offering local small businesses, and artists & crafters the opportunity to use the windows to promote their products and services. Generally, one of the windows can be used for an entire month for an individual business display, and it's free! If you'd like to take advantage of this great opportunity to promote your business please call or stop by the Town Office for details.
Golf Course Memberships
Dexter Municipal Golf Course membership applications for the 2001 season are now available. Applications can be picked up at the Town Office or you can give us a call and we'll mail one to you. If you were a member last year you'll soon be receiving an application in the mail. Membership rates remain the same as last year. Individual memberships are $285 and memberships for couples are $400.
Town Council Update
At the Town Council's January meeting Roger Brawn was elected as the new Council Chairman and Peter Haskell as the Vice-Chairman. Council meetings are regularly scheduled for the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Town Council Chambers located in the Morrison Building. Meeting notices and agendas are posted in advance in the Town Office and on the Town's Web Site at www.dextermaine.org. The public is always welcome to attend.
Reminder From The Town Clerk
Maine law requires that dogs be registered by January 31st of each year. If you fail to register your pet by that date there will be a penalty fee of $5 charged in addition to the regular registration fee. Take care of your family dog and insure they're registered and vaccinated for rabies.
2000 Annual Town Report
The new Dexter Town Report covering the period July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000 is now available. The theme for this year's report focuses on the popular recreational phenomena of snowmobiling. The report is dedicated to Hal Wilkins, who was recently named the Maine Snowmobile Association's Trail Groomer of the Year. Town Reports can be picked up at the Town Office, Library, and Post Office as well as several local businesses.