Coulombe named to dean’s list at Becker College

Brandon Coulombe, of Vassalboro, has been named to the dean’s list at Becker College, in Worcester, Massachusetts, for the fall semester. Coulombe is pursuing a bacherlor of arts degree in interactive media design, development and programming.

Davis, Nicholson named chairman, vice chairman of Northern Light Inland Hospital board of directors

Tom Davis, chairman of the board of directors at Northern Light Inland Hospital, in Waterville.

Northern Light Inland Hospital is proud to announce two new officers for its board of trustees. Tom Davis of Winslow, begins a three-year term as chairman; and Jim Nicholson, of China Village, becomes vice chairman. Davis is owner of Are You Ready to Party?, in Waterville, and has been a member of Inland’s board for 10 years. He succeeds Mike Phillips as chairman. Nicholson is a semi-retired CPA with Nicholson, Michaud & Company in Water­ville, and has previously held roles as chairman for both the In­land board and the Northern Light Health system board.

Waterville grades 3 & 4 youth football team

Members of the Waterville grades 3 & 4 football team pose for a photo before a game. (Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff)

No need to ‘warm up’ modern vehicles in cold weather

Idling for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting engine

It is that time of the year when many motorists wonder if they need to let their vehicle “warm up” or idle before driving. In fact, today’s modern cars are ready to drive in cold temperatures without excessive idling. Unless you are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of your car, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary, even on the coldest days.

According to Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, in Bethesda, Maryland, the idea of idling before driving dates back to when cars were built with carburetors. With new fuel-injection technology, complex computer systems and thinner synthetic oils, drivers don’t need to warm up their cars and excessive idling can have several negative effects, including wasting fuel, increasing air pollution, and causing extra wear to a vehicle’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs and the exhaust system.

The best way to warm up your car’s engine is to drive gently at the start. Remember, a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when idling, resulting in lower fuel economy and wasted money.

Madison woman joins Sen. Collins staff

Kristin Bishop, left, and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), at the announcement of the hiring of Bishop to the senator’s staff. (Contributed photo)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced that Kristin Bishop, a Madison native, has been hired as a staff assistant in her Washington, D.C., office. Kristin recently completed her fall internship in Senator Collins’ D.C. office and also served as a summer intern in her D.C. and Augusta offices. Kristin is the daughter of Frank and Vanessa Bishop of Madison.

“Kristin displayed a strong work ethic as a fall and summer intern and has an impressive record of achievement,” said Senator Collins. “I am delighted that she will continue to serve Mainers as a member of my staff in Washington, D.C.”

Kristin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bowdoin College in May 2018 with a degree in Government & Legal Studies and Education. While in college, Kristin was an active leader in community service organizations focusing on education and public service. As a staff assistant, Kristin will be assisting with front office duties and fielding constituent requests.



Obituaries, Week of January 24, 2019


ALBION – Dennis Elwood Lindsay, 85, of Albion, passed away on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at the Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta. He was born July 20, 1933, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of Elwood H. and Marjorie A. (Gaisford) Lindsay.

He was a proud veteran, serving in the Army at West Point,New York. He and his wife, Sally, moved their family to Albion in 1973. They made a life farming and trucking wood and together Dennis and Sally raised not only their own children but opened arms to the kids’ friends and neighbors. No dinner table ever consisted solely of the immediate four, but was an event with many.

Dennis was a member of the American Legion, Free Masons, and a life-long fireman, starting his service in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, in 1949, and even after retiring as Chief in Albion, remaining active to assist when needed.

Dennis and Sally took many camping trips to Fryeburg Fair, Lake St. George, and reached more than 40 states with family, friends and grandkids.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Sally; son, Jeffrey and his wife, Gayle Lindsay; daughter, Amy Fowler; granddaughters, Sophia Lindsay and her partner Garrett Hudanish, Kathryn and her husband Troy Ellis, Amanda and her husband Jake Gurney, Lindsay and her wife Sarah Page; great-grandchildren, Caden and Lydia Gurney; and his two sisters, Beth Hilliard and Ardeth Burnett.

Dennis was predeceased by his parents, Marjorie and Elwood Lindsay; stepmother, Priscilla Lindsay; brother, Robert Lindsay; and grandson, Jarod Trafton.

Services will be held in the spring with a Celebration of Life, date to be determined.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Chief Dennis Lindsay FF Memorial Flag Fund, c/o Bangor Savings Bank, PO Box 670, Unity, ME 04988.


WINSLOW – Leonette (Mathieu) Michaud, 92, passed away at her home in Winslow on Thursday, January 3, 2019. She was born April 5, 1926, in Winslow, the daughter of Aime and Felixine (Fecteau) Mathieu.

She was a graduate of Mt. Merici Academy, class of 1943, and married Fernand Michaud on May 15, 1948. For a time she taught school at Mt. Merici Academy and the former Sacred Heart School, both in Waterville. She and her husband owned and operated Michaud’s Retirement Home, in Winslow, from 1975 until their retirement, in 2002. She was a lifelong communicant of St. John the Baptist Church, in Winslow, serving as a lector for many years. Leonette had a beautiful singing voice, loved family sing-a-longs and participated in the church choir. Among her other interests she enjoyed sewing, crafts, flower gardening, dancing, and in her earlier years she was adept at ice skating. She was a member of the Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Auxiliary, Post #5, in Waterville. Faith and family were the focal points of her life.

Survivors include her husband of 70 years, Fernand; and four daughters, Sonia Butler and husband, David, Claudette Massey and a special friend, Dana Mosher, Patricia Grenier and husband, David, and Terry Lee Michaud, all of Winslow; two grandsons, David F. Butler and Amy, of Massachusetts, and Alex Grenier, USCG, stationed in Florida; four granddaughters, Kelly Butler and Rebecca, also of Massachusetts, Aimee Massey, of Oregon, Christina Massey, of California, Katie Grenier, of Winslow; and three great-grandchildren, twins, David and William Butler and Jonah Stark. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Patricia (Goode) Mathieu, of Texas; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents, Aime and Felixine Mathieu; her sister, Madeline Shorty and husband, Robert, her brother, Roland Mathieu and his wife, Blanche, infant sister, Jeannette Constance Mathieu, her brother, Bernard Mathieu and her son-in-law, Stephen Massey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John the Baptist Church, Winslow, on Saturday, January 12 at 11 a.m. Following Mass, a Celebration of Life will take place at Notre Dame Parish Hall, 116 Silver St., Waterville. Interment will be announced at a later date.

Donations in her memory may be made to Mt. Merici Academy, 18 Mt. Merici Ave., Waterville, ME 04901.


OAKLAND – Jeffrey Alan Hosea, 54, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at Northern Light Inland Hospital, in Waterville. Jeff was born in Waterville on December 8, 1964, the son of Lowell and Harriet (Sawtelle) Hosea.

He attended Clinton Elementary and Tapley School, in Oakland, through the eighth grade, and graduated from Temple Academy, in Waterville, in 1983. He earned his associate’s degree in automotive technology from Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, in Bangor, in 1986.

Jeff was a successful and thriving auto technician at Nault’s Honda, in Manchester, New Hampshire, during which he met his future wife. He continued his career at Paul Blouin’s Honda, in Augusta, before transitioning to his employer, Central Maine Toyota, in Waterville. He strived for excellency in all he did, which was shown through his Master Technician Certification and Automotive Service Excellence awards, among many other performance awards. Jeff was a man of God, and attended Faith Evangelical Free Church and Kennebec Valley Baptist Church, both in Waterville.

For many years Jeff’s hobbies included cycling, hiking, camping, and enjoying quality time with friends and family. He was known for big spreads at barbecues, lobster bakes, fireworks displays on the 4th of July, and his weekend breakfast buffets.

On June 12, 1993, Jeff married Angela Buice at Calvary Temple Chapel, which his father helped build.

He was predeceased by his father, Lowell Hosea; his paternal grandfather, Frank Hosea; and his maternal grandfather, Arthur Sawtelle.

He is survived by his mother, Harriet Hosea; his wife, Angela Hosea; his two children, Jessica and Travis Hosea; his siblings, Julie Gee, Lowell Hosea Jr., Tim Hosea, and Dennis Hosea; his nieces and nephews, Paul Gee, Heather Mclewin, Joshua Hosea, Christopher Hosea, Susan Brown,l Megan Roy, Shannon Williford, Kayla Hosea, Dawna Sargent, and Debbie Sheridan; his second son, Daniel Turner.

A celebration of his life will follow later in the spring.

An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at

Arrangements by Lawry Brothers-Wheeler Funeral & Cremation Care, 26 Church St., Oakland.


WINSLOW – Robert “Bob” Lane, 91, died at Lakewood Continuing Care on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Bob was born December 29, 1927, in Oakland, the son of Albert Lane and Mary (Kraus) Lane.

He graduated from Williams High School, in Oakland, class of 1946. Bob married the forer June Ann Veilleux, of Winslow, on July 4, 1950.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War stationed in Germany. He achieved the rank of corporal and received an honorable discharge in 1953. Bob graduated from Thomas College, in Waterville, in 1956 where he earned an associate degree in business administration and furthered his education at Husson College, in Bangor. He was employed by Keyes Fibre Company (Shawmut Plant) for 30 years, retiring in 1988 as office coordinator.

Bob was a longtime member of Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post #5, Waterville and MacCrillis-Rousseau VFW Post #8835, Winslow. He was a communicant of Corpus Christi Parish.

Bob’s passion included fishing, boating, and camping with close friends and family on local lakes as well as Moosehead Lake.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, June; his sister Marie (Vigue) Martin and her late husband, Joseph, of Oakland; his niece Kimberly (Martin) Gilbert and husband, Paul, their children, Jennifer (Gilbert) Howard and husband, Kyle, and Gregory Gilbert and wife, Sarah, of New Hampshire; his nephew, Keith Vigue and wife, Sheila, of Florida, and their son, Derek Vigue; his godchildren, Philip Pouliot and family, of Fairfield; Kimberly (Bolduc) Pearson and family, of Colorado; as well as several cousins.

He was predeceased by his father, Albert Lane; stepfather, Mike Vigue; mother, Mary (Kraus) Lane Vigue; a nephew and godchild, David Vigue; and his brother, Francis Vigue.

At Bob’s request there will be no visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at 11 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Church, 26 Monument St., Winslow, with a burial at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 163 Mount Vernon Road, Augusta, on Monday, January 28, 2019, at noon.

Please visit to share condolences, memories, and tributes with Bob’s family.


ALBION – Paula Lynn Fletcher, 62, passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, following a long illness. She was born in Lewiston on May 19, 1956, the daughter of Alfred and Rebecca (Pinkham) Day of Turner.

She lived in Albion with her husband Mike and daughter Katie. She worked as a healthcare provider at the house in Shawmut for many years before becoming a stay at home mom. She loved doing crafts and spending time with her family. She was very close to her family and was beloved by everyone.

She was predeceased by her parents, Alfred and Rebecca Day; her sons, Travis and Shawn; her brother, Alfred Day III, and her sisters-in-law, Janet Davis and Elaine Dion.

She is survived by her husband, Mike; her daughter, Katie; her sisters, Pauline Day, Patti Day, Ellen (Cliff) Richardson and Bea (Benny) Jacques, her brothers, Michael (Lesley) Day, Walter (Kerry) Day, and Randy (Lynn) Day. her in-laws, Nancy (Bob) Fletcher, Margaret (Jim) Lehay, Betty Fletcher, William (Elizabeth) Fletcher, Marion Ewen, Penny (Michael) Fletcher, Todd (Cindy) Fletcher, and Mark (Melissa) Fletcher; and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a celebration of life at a later date. An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at


UNITY – Alton “Dan” French, 84, of Locust Lane, Unity, died Thursday, January 10, 2019. He was born August 27, 1934, in Bangor, son of Alton L. and Katharyn (Brown) French.

Dan was educated in the Bangor elementary schools, Fairmount and Fifth Street Junior High. He attended Tabor Academy, Marion, Massachusetts, graduated from Higgins Classical Institute, Charleston, and majored in business administration at Husson College, now Husson University, Bangor.

He married the former Lynn Marks in 1968.

Dan was a 50 plus-year member of Rising Virtue Lodge #10, A.F & A.M, of Bangor and affiliated and charter member of Seminary Hill Daylight Lodge #220 A.F. & A.M., also of Bangor. He was a past member of Royal Arch Masons chapter #75, Hampden, Bangor Council #5, Pasestine Commandery #14, Belfast, Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Bangor, Maine Consistory 32 °, former director of Anah Shriners, Bangor, and RO.J. Court #150 (Director 2000), Bangor.

Dan was employed several years as a sales representative for Timberland Machines Inc., distributors of forestry equipment and Ski-Doo Snowmobiles from their Bangor office. In 1969, Dan joined Chadwick-Baross as branch manager of their heavy construction equipment facility in Bangor. He created the Forestry Equipment Division of Chadwick-Baross and became manager of that division until his retirement in 1998. He was a member of the Maine Forest Product Council, New England Regional Council on Forest Engineering, American Loggers Council, American Pulpwood Association, Canadian Pulp & Paper Association (Forestry Group). Dan was co-founder of the Industrial Forest Forum and president for two terms. The forum serves logging contractors, large and small, sawmill representatives, pulp and paper company representatives, and owners and equipment dealers in Maine and New Hampshire.

Dan was an outstanding baseball player both as a pitcher and infielder. After graduating from school he played third base and shortstop for the Brewer Athetic Club, semi-pro baseball team in the Eastern Maine League. The Brewer A.C.’s won the league championship several times. He later played shortstop for Grant’s Dairy, fast pitch softball team in the Bangor City League. Grant’s Dairy won the local and state championship titles four times in five years. After retiring from baseball and softball, he became an avid golfer. Dan was a member of the Waterville Country Club for 20 years, served on the board of directors three terms, and also a member of the Eastern Maine Seniors Golf Association and was president for three years. He enjoyed his final years of golf at J.W. Parks Golf Club, in Pittsfield. He was a past member of the Great Farm Rifle Club, in Jackson, and served on the board of directors.

Dan enjoyed music from the Big Band Era of the ‘40s and ‘50s, the sounds, songs and singers, along with jazz, blues and music of New Orleans.

Dan was predeceased by his parents; a brother, David; and his wife, Lynn (Marks) French.

Surviving are his daughter, Audrey Bishop and her husband, John, of Augusta; two sons, Andrew French, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Michael French and his wife Valerie, of Unity; two grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; several nieces, nephews; and cousins.

A private family interment with Masonic services will be conducted by the officers and members of Rising Virtue Lodge #10 at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, later in the spring.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Those who wish to remember Dan in a special way may make gifts in his memory to: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine, 66 Mussey Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.


WINSLOW – Randolph “Randy” Hallee, 75, of Winslow passed on Friday, January11, 2019. He was born in Waterville on November 6, 1943, the third child of Ruth (Dionne) and Reny Hallee.

He was educated in local schools and served in the U.S. Army. He worked as an iron worker, then for Central Maine Railroad and was self-employed with his own garage. Randy was a man who was self-aware and humble and also a truly free-spirited, free-thinking and considerate man. He had the gift of being able to see the best and accept others just as they were. He was compassionate and forgiving. He also had the gift of wisdom – being able to listen, reflect and offer insight in a gentle way, which sometimes revealed him as a man of contradictions. He was a supportive father and friend who knew how to say, “I love you.”

Randy is survived by his only son, Rodney Hallee; his grandchildren, Shea Hartford, Savanna Alley, Ryley Hartford-Hallee; his sister and best friend, Rebecca Genest; his brother, Robert Hallee; his sister, Rachel Hallee Bourgoin; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, Rodney R. Hallee.

A graveside service will be held later this spring at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 78 Grove St., Waterville.

Please visit to share condolences, memories and tributes with Randy’s family.


WATERVILLE – Darlene F. (Williamson) Hallee, 79, passed away Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at her home in Waterville. She was born February 16, 1939, in Waterville, the daughter of Delmont and Barbara (Knowlton) Williamson.

She was educated in the schools of Waterville and graduated from Waterville High School, class of 1956. She participated in several school activities. Following graduation, she went to work at a local savings and loan company, in Waterville. She married her high school sweetheart, Fran Hallee, on November 30, 1957, at Sacred Heart Church, in Waterville. Darlene began working at Colby College in 1972 and retired after 28 years.

Darlene and Fran loved spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including camping trips and vacations. She also enjoyed spending time with her craft girls and playing volleyball. She participated in several community events. Fran and Darlene took many wonderful trips together.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Fran Hallee, of Waterville; four children, Kathy White and husband, Wayne, Michael Hallee and wife, Patty, Bruce Hallee and wife, Jen, and Chris Hallee and Diane Glidden; grandchildren, Luke, Shelly, Jacob, Shannon, Josh, Erica, Chad, Sean, Matt, Kris, Hannah, Kara, Meghan, and Danielle; great-grandchildren, Brayden, Jackson, Owen, Griffin, Brinley, Callahan and Coby; sister, Beverly Lilley and husband, Ken; many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine.


ANGELINA L. BITTUES, 67, of Winthrop, passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2018. Locally, she is survived by sisters marvel A. Hutchings and Basil Barnes, of Albion, and Berta Estes and her spouse, Terrence, of Winslow.

ANGELA BUKER, 73, of Waterville, passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2018, following a long fight with heart disease. Locally, she is survived by a two daughters, Tina King and husband Greg, of Clinton, and Tammy Harmon and her fiancé Hubert Clair, of South China; siblings Linda Fortin and husband Dick, of Oakland.

ANNIE C. TRASK, 71, of Augusta, passed away on Friday, December 21, 2018, at Mount Saint Joseph Nursing Home, in Waterville. Locally, she is survived by brothers Kenneth Rideout Sr. and wife Priscilla, of Sidney, and Ralph Rideout and wife Karalyn, of Windsor, and sister Evelyn French, of Somerville.

VALERIE N. TILLEY, 77, of Augusta, passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2018, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta. Locally, she is survived by a granddaughter, Maeghan Robinson and husband Robbie, of South China.

CHARLES A. BOWDEN, 66, of Jefferson, passed away on Monday, December 24, 2018. Locally, he is survived by a daughter Crystal G. Armstrong and husband Aaron, of Windsor, and ex-wife Kathy Williams, of Windsor.

LINDA S. HEIL/DECKER, 64, of Augusta, passed away on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, at Capitl City Manor, in Augusta. Locally, she is survived by her sister Catherine Heil-LaPointe and her spouse, Frances LaPointe, of South China.

PHILIP L. BICKFORD, 89, of Manchester, passed away on Monday, December 31, 2018, at his home. Locally, he is survived by sons Chris Bickford and wife Tina, and Craig Bickford and wife Carlotta, all of Chelsea, and daughters Linda Foss and husband Richard, of Vassalboro, and Sherrie Kramer and husband Shawn, of Belgrade.

JANICE E. McGOWAN, 77, of Pittsfield, passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2019, following a courageous battle with lung cancer. Locally, she is survived by a daughter, Rhonda Kennedy and companion, Martin Harris, of Oakland.


JOHN J. BOLES, 97, of Scottsdale, Arizona, passed away on Friday, November 9, 2018, in Scottsdale. He was born in Waterville on June 3, 1921, the son of Thomas and Mary (Saad) Boles.


JON. T. MISNER, 53, of Waterville, passed away on Friday, January 4, 2019, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta.

Jon was executive director of the Waterville Opera House from 1998 to 2005. He was responsible for bringing Missoula Children’s Theater to the Opera Houae, a program that continues today. He was also a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Locally, he is survived by his wife Renae, and a son Alex, both of Waterville.

MDEA activates anonymous drug tip hotline

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigations many times start with a tip from the public and now the agency has a new way for citizens to forward those tips, and do so anonymously. MDEA Director Roy McKinney said the agency gets an average of two dozen tips a month from concerned Maine citizens about suspected drug activity and many of those tips results in seizures of drugs and arrests.

Developed by tip411, the Maine DEA app is available for download free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the MDEA’s website at

“Someone dies every day in Maine from a drug overdose and all communities are affected by drug use and abuse. Our partnering with tip411 brings a new investigate tool to forward information to us,” McKinney said.

The new Maine DEA app enables the public to share an anonymous tip with members of MDEA and allows agents to respond back for more information, all as an anonymous two-way conversation.

The Maine DEA app and tip411 texts utilize technology that removes all identifying information before agents see the tip, and there is no way to identify the sender.

Maine residents without a smartphone can also share information with MDEA by sending an anonymous text tip via their cell phone by texting keyword MDEA and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the agency’s website.

MDEA’s telephones are another way to forward tips – the MDEA tip hotline – 800-452-6457, or an urgent tip can be phoned into the Maine Department of Public Safety’s communications center in Augusta – 800-452-4664.

Planning board to hold public hearing on ordinance changes

by Mary Grow

At their Jan. 15 meeting, China Planning Board members almost unscheduled, but then confirmed, their Jan. 29 public hearing on ordinance changes they would like selectmen to put on the warrant for the April 6 town business meeting.

There are three categories of changes. Board members put two of them in final form Jan. 15: proposed revisions to the definitions section of the Land Development Code and what they have called “the easy changes,” more formally described as “immediate changes to the Land Development Code to eliminate wording conflicts and ambiguities,” recommended by Codes Officer Paul Mitnik.

Later, Mitnik emailed to board members proposed amendments to sections on fees in the Subdivision Ordinance.

Planning board members are not asking voters to consider changes to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance that are required to bring China’s ordinance into conformity with state standards. Mitnik said the state will not approve the local ordinance until those changes, too, are made.

The result of the past months of board activity is many pages of ordinances with changes scattered throughout. Mitnik and board members plan to explain them to interested residents at the Jan. 29 hearing, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Since the board of selectmen and the comprehensive planning committee are tentatively scheduled to meet the same evening, meeting places remain to be determined.

Jean Conway, for the comprehensive planning committee, gave planning board members a brief progress report at the Jan. 15 meeting. The committee has reviewed about eight chapters of the town’s comprehensive plan and has obtained updated statistics in relevant areas, she said.

A public meeting to seek residents’ suggestions and recommendations is to be scheduled this spring.

In the only other business Jan. 15, Mitnik reported that no work had been done to develop The Pines at Hunter Brook subdivision off McCaslin Road, approved in 2008. Since work was not started, the subdivision permit expired in 2013 and is void. He and board members will send a statement to that effect to the Registry of Deeds.

The result of the past months of board activity is many pages of ordinances with changes scattered throughout. Mitnik and board members plan to explain them to interested residents at the Jan. 29 hearing, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the town office meeting room.

Selectmen presented with preliminary warrant

by Mary Grow

CHINA — The preliminary warrant for the April 6 town business meeting presented to China selectmen at their Jan. 17 budget workshop looks different from previous years’ warrants.

Town Manager Dennis Heath has reorganized expenditure requests into 18 articles (numbers 3 through 20 in the first draft). Some have familiar titles, like assessing, legal expenses, the transfer station and public works. Others are new combinations, like boards and committees and community support organizations.

Under each article are the usual lines for recommendations from the selectboard and budget committee. This year there is space to record each body’s vote so voters can tell whether it was unanimous.

More important, the warrant lists no details about the proposed expenditures. By contrast, in the March 2018 warrant, fire and rescue (Art. 13) took up most of a printed page, with the individual fire departments, China Rescue, stipends and dispatching listed separately.

Nor does the warrant list potential funding sources, like excise tax or unassigned fund balance.

Instead, a blanket statement before Art. 3 reads: “For Articles 3 through 20, please refer to the ‘annual budget’ included in the town report.” The town report is usually available at the town office and other public places a week or more before the town business meeting.

For the Jan. 17 selectmen’s workshop Heath had a detailed breakdown of each article that allowed board members to review proposed spending item by item. During the more than three-and-a-half hour meeting selectmen approved most items and recommended small changes in others.

Changes in spending Heath suggested included setting aside $25,000 toward the cost of a future town revaluation (the last one was in 2008, he said); increasing expenditures for dispatching emergency services in anticipation of the much-discussed regional change; appropriating $50,000 to rebuild the transfer station capital reserve account, depleted by the new precrusher-compactor and forklift; and appropriating a similar amount to rebuild the accrued compensation fund, depleted by departures of two long-term employees, former Town Manager Dan L’Heureux and public works head Gary Cummings.

The two longest discussions of the evening were with South China Fire Chief Richard Morse, China Village Chief Timothy Theriault and other firefighters and with Landis Hudson, executive director of Maine Rivers.

Selectboard Chairman Robert MacFarland wants the fire departments to give selectmen the stipend amount each volunteer receives, by name, for responding to calls. The firefighters saw no need to provide such detailed information, but reluctantly agreed to have it for the selectmen’s next budget meeting, scheduled for Jan. 29.

Hudson asked the town for $100,000 for two years’ work on the Alewife Restoration Initiative (ARI), aimed at reintroducing migratory alewives into China Lake. The money would be used toward the planned fishway at the Outlet Dam in Vassalboro, she said.

Selectmen would prefer a smaller request, perhaps for one year’s work. The issue was left open.

Currently the state trucks alewives into China Lake in the spring and they make their way out in the fall. Some of the groups involved in area lake restoration work credit them for helping improve water quality in China Lake and Three Mile Pond.

The next regular China selectmen’s meeting was set for Tuesday evening, Jan. 22, with the budget committee to meet the following evening and the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Committee at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. After the budget committee and TIF Committee make their 2019-2020 recommendations, selectmen will have the information they need to approve the town meeting warrant. They have scheduled a meeting for that purpose for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of January 24, 2019

To submit a photo for The Town Line’s “Give Us Your Best Shot!” section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

SKY ON FIRE: Bill Ruggiero, of Fairfield, photographed this spectacular sunrise one early morning.


MOVE OVER: Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, recently snapped these evening grosbeaks at his feeder.


LOOK BOTH WAYS: Keith Richardson, of South China, captured these deer from a trail cam waiting to cross the road.