Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Historic listings – Augusta Part 3

The Kennebec Arsenal compound in the early years, above, and the arsenal today. (mainepreservation photos)

by Mary Grow

Augusta Part 3

The previous articles in this series on historic places talked about some early Augusta sites and buildings. Two more, besides the Cushnoc Archaeological site and Fort Western discussed last week, are on both the National Register of Historic Places and the list of National Historic Landmarks. They are the Kennebec Arsenal on the east bank of the Kennebec and the Blaine House on the west bank, beside the state capitol building.

The Kennebec Arsenal was built as a result of strained relations between the United States and Britain, which peaked in the War of 1812 (June 1812 – February 1815); and of later border disputes between the State of Maine and the abutting Canadian province of New Brunswick, which peaked in the Aroostook War (1838-1839).

During the War of 1812, British warships repeatedly attacked Maine. The British seized Fort Sullivan, in Eastport, (built in 1808-1809) in July 1814, capturing 65 soldiers. (This writer has found no suggestions why the fort was named Sullivan. Perhaps after New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War General and later state Governor John Sullivan [Dec. 17, 1740 – Jan. 23, 1795]?)

In September 1814, British General John Coape Sherbrooke led the Penobscot Expedition. With 3,000 troops from Halifax, he defeated American forces as far up the Penobscot River as Hampden and Bangor, and seized Machias.

Following this success, the British renamed the Machias fort Fort Sherbrooke and held Castine and the territory east until the war ended. They called the area New Ireland. The February 1815 Treaty of Ghent returned the area to the United States, although disputes over islands near the border continued and, Wikipedia says, Eastport was not returned to the United States until June 30, 1818.

The Wikipedia article adds that the departing British took back to Halifax 10,750 pounds that Castine had accumulated from tariffs and used the money to found Dalhousie University.

The end of the war did not settle the border between the United States and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. There were arguments over what is now northern Aroostook County and southern Madawaska County, as settlers from both sides moved into the area.

Consequently, in 1827 the federal government developed plans for a major arsenal in Augusta, on a site south of Fort Western accessible by ocean-going ships. The arsenal was built between 1828 and 1838.

Wikipedia says the original, mostly granite buildings, built between 1828 and 1831, were “commandant’s and officer quarters, barracks, stables, a carriage shop, and the main armory.” By 1838, the commandant’s building was enlarged and redesigned in Greek Revival style, and two magazines, a munitions laboratory, an office, a wooden stable and a granite and iron perimeter fence were completed. Other sources list buildings differently, but it is clear there were at least eight early granite buildings.

In 1838, Maine and New Brunswick sent soldiers to their common border. United States General Winfield Scott came to the Kennebec Arsenal to negotiate with his friend John Harvey, then Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick. The two agreed to recall the respective militias and the dispute cooled.

In August 1842 the Webster-Ashburton Treaty established the boundary between the United States and Canada that exists today, including the Maine-New Brunswick line that runs along the Saint John and Saint Francis rivers. (Webster was Daniel Webster from New Hampshire, at that time United States Secretary of State; he is also known for his role in negotiating the Compromise of 1850. Ashburton was Alexander Baring, First Baron Ashburton, a British financier and diplomat.)

After Maine became less significant in international affairs, the arsenal became less vital. Wikipedia says the government made weapons in it during the Mexican War (1846-1848) and the Civil War (1861-1865); but it was too remote to be practical for major production.

The federal government closed the Arsenal, issuing the order in 1901 and finishing the process in 1903, and transferred the property to the State of Maine, owner of the Maine Insane Hospital (later the Augusta Mental Health Institute [AMHI]). The mental hospital was established by legislation in 1834 and the first buildings were completed in 1840, adjoining the Arsenal grounds on the south.

By the early 20th century, the state needed more hospital beds. Beginning in 1905, the wooden buildings on the Arsenal grounds were demolished and the granite buildings were redone and integrated into the hospital.

An on-line site describes the building called the “Old Max,” designed by Lewiston architects Coombs and Gibbs and added at the eastern side of the grounds in 1907-1909. Four stories high, built of granite and brick and designed to harmonize with the earlier Arsenal buildings, it was for maximum security patients, those too dangerous for the hospital and too mentally ill for prison.

Beginning in the early 1970s, Maine and other states moved to a new model of mental health care that minimized confinement in institutions. State officials debated what to do with the formal Arsenal/hospital. The Old Max became a state office building.

The Kennebec Arsenal was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 1970 and as a National Historic Landmark in February 2000.

In 2004 Save America’s Treasures, a National Park Service grant program, provided funds that state officials used for work on the granite wall and iron and granite fence around part of the original Arsenal property.

Three years later, the state sold the Arsenal property to a private company. A contemporary description lists eight major buildings on the property, plus the fence and gate, retaining walls and a wharf. Wikipedia says there are six buildings.

Conditions of the 2007 sale included a requirement that the new owner preserve and maintain the property. However, the owner let the Arsenal deteriorate to the point where in 2013 Maine sued to force the company to return the property. The owner did some work and promised more, Wikipedia says; but by 2013, the Arsenal was listed as a critically endangered historic landmark.

Contemporary photos of the Arsenal show clearly the light-colored interlocking granite blocks. An on-line site describes it as “one of the best and earliest surviving examples” of a 19th-century federal munitions depot.

Other descriptions feature deterioration, vandalism and graffiti.

Judging from two recent letters to the editor in the Central Maine newspapers, there has been no improvement. In December 2020, a Manchester resident referred to proposals to renovate the Arsenal for commercial or residential space and mourned the failure of city, county and state governments to act.

A second writer echoed the concerns in January 2021and extended them to the entire AMHI site. He called it a “historic gem” that should be preserved as representative of an important part of social and medical history.

The Blaine House, also called the James G. Blaine House, is the fourth Augusta property that is designated both a Historic Place and a Historic Landmark. It is part of Augusta’s Capital Complex Historic District. The Capitol building and Capital Park are also part of the complex and additionally have individual Historic Places listings.

The house stands at 192 State Street, just north of the Capitol building. It is named for James G. Blaine (1830-1893), whose life was summarized earlier in this series (see The Town Line, Aug. 20, 2020).

The Blaine House today. (Internet photo)

The Blaine House was originally a Federal style mansion, built in 1833 by a retired mariner, Captain James Hall. In 1862, Blaine bought it as a gift for his wife, the former Harriet Stanwood.

In the 1870s, Blaine had the original building remodeled and enlarged, making it Victorian and Italian in style and putting an addition on the west (back) side. The house remained in the family until 1919; Wikipedia says it housed the state Committee for Public Safety during World War I.

James and Harriet Blaine had seven children. When Harriet Blaine died in 1903, she left the house to three surviving children and two grandsons. The youngest daughter, Harriet Blaine Beale (1871-1958), had a son, Walker Blaine Beale, for whom his father, Truxton Beale, bought out the other heirs.

Walker Beale was killed in France in World War I, and his share of the house returned to his parents. Truxton Beale gave his share to Harriet, by then his ex-wife, making her sole owner.

In 1919, Harriet Blaine Beale donated the house to the State of Maine in memory of her son, specifying it was to be used as the Governor’s house. She became a writer, publishing children’s books and editing a collection of her mother’s letters. She died at her New York City home and is buried in Bar Harbor.

The legislature in 1919 accepted the gift and the condition. Maine architect John Calvin Stevens remodeled the building in neo-Colonial style, and in 1921 Carl Milliken became the first governor to live there. Most of his successors have also chosen to live in the historic house.

Governors have used the house to entertain famous guests, including President Ulysses Grant, advocate for the blind Helen Keller and aviator Amelia Earhart. An on-line source says some chief executives used it to promote Maine; for example, Governor Louis Brann, who served from January 1933 to January 1937, attracted large crowds to his celebrations of Maine Summer Visitors’ Day.

The Blaine House was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1989, Governor John McKernan started a restoration program that included creation of Friends of the Blaine House, a nonprofit organization that helps the state fund building maintenance. Friends of the Blaine House has a website, www.blainehouse.org, with information about the building, the organization, the gift shop and tours.

Wikipedia says in 2014 heat pumps were installed to reduce the horrendous heating bill.

When current Governor Janet Mills opened the annual Christmas light display on the building on Dec. 11, 2020, she called it “a Celebration of Resilience.”

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Finding and hiring the right people, Part 1

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Part 1

One of the more pressing problems that small business owners have is finding, hiring, and most importantly keeping the right people. This has been an issue with small business for years, and it seems that it is an issue that never really gets solved. I have done some research on this and then talked to a number of people who seem to have good people around them and these are the suggestions I have come up with.

Read on, hopefully they will help you.

  • Promote the good aspects of working for your company: Make sure your company has a good reputation. Not only in terms of your market but in terms of being a good company for which to work. There are even websites now where employees can go and review what it’s like to work for your company. If you have employees who are content, ask them to post a review.
  • Offer a referral fee to your employees: Reward them for recommending a good candidate. Pay them a fee if the candidate works out
  • Don’t just offer them a job, offer them a career: This is critical. Let them know from the very beginning they can make a good living working in your business. Let them see the future and how bright it can be if they do a good job.
  • Offer flexibility: Yes, offer as much flexibility as you possibly can. Especially in these hard times. Try to meet your employees’ needs. People have kids, people have obligations. It’s part of our job as business owners to try to navigate these tricky schedule waters. If the candidate is someone you want on your team then try to make their schedule and your needs work. This one is not easy, but it can be a key to getting the best people on your team, especially right now.
  • Create a sense of mission: Show them the bigger picture. Share your vision of being the best company in your field, whether that be the best pizza restaurant, or the best landscaping company, show them a mission and vision of being the best. This is one of the best ways to get them not only motivated, but in for the long haul.

One certainty is that a company, any company, is only as good as its people. And its people are only going to be as good as you and your company motivate them to be. And in the end that’s the best way to grow your business.

Maine ranks first in personal freedom

(photo by Eric W. Austin)

Falls to 39th in overall freedoms

Freedom in the 50 states, published by the Cato Institute, scores all 50 states according to how their public policies affect individual freedom.

The Cato Institute recently released the latest edition of Freedom in the 50 States, which ranks each U.S. state by how its public policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom spheres. To determine these rankings, authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens examine state and local government intervention across a range of more than 230 policy variables – from taxation to debt, eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and drug policy to educational choice.

Ruger and Sorens score all 50 states on their overall respect for individual freedom, and also on their respect for three separate dimension of freedom: fiscal policy and regulatory policy (which are combined to create the economic freedom score) and personal freedom. The index ranks Maine as the 39th freest in the nation in the overall rankings. By individual category, Maine scores 40th in fiscal policy, 44th in regulatory policy, and first in personal freedom. You can view the state’s full rankings, a descriptive analysis of its freedom situation, and policy recommendations to increase its freedom rankings at www.Freedominthe50states.org/overall/maine.

Maine has long been one of the freest states in the country personally and one of the least free economically. Between 2011 and 2014, the state declined even further on fiscal policy, which contributed to a relative decline in overall freedom.

Maine’s taxes have long been high, crushing taxpayers overall at 11.7 percent of adjusted personal income and earning the state rankings in the bottom 10 for both state and local taxes. Fortunately, government debt is low, at 14.7 percent of income, and government employment is down to 11.8 percent of private employment (from a peak of 12.9 percent in 2010).

Maine has been a consistently poor state on regulatory freedom since 2000, always staying in the bottom 10. It is one of the most regulated states for land use, and also has one of the most extreme renewable portfolio standards in the country. Different measures of occupational freedoms give a conflicting picture of that policy, but there is no doubt that Maine allows more scope of practice to second-line health professions than just about any other state. Freedom from abusive lawsuits is above average in Maine and has improved steadily over time.

Maine is a leading state for criminal justice. It has very low incarceration rates and a better-than-average civil asset forfeiture law. Maine is a progressive state with sound gun laws (including concealed carry without a permit), marijuana rights (recreational use became legal for adults over 21 years of age in 2017) and same-sex marriage (legalized by ballot initiative in 2012). It is, in brief, a very civil libertarian state.

To improve on its freedom ranking, the authors suggest several remedies, including: cutting spending on public welfare and housing and community development. Maine is one of the most free-spending states on public welfare in the country, and it also spends much more than average on housing and community development; cutting individual and corporate income taxes; rolling back exclusionary zoning ordinances that limit housing supply; selling off the state liquor stores and replacing the markup with a transparent ad valorem tax, as Washington has done. Maine will never be able to compete with New Hampshire prices anyway; perhaps it can compete on convenience.

Nationally, Florida, New Hampshire,, Indiana, Colorado and Nevada sit at the top of the rankings. New York again has the dishonor of being the least free state, preceded by Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Vermont.

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

STUDENT WRITERS: Reaction to Covid-19 outbreak, and school

The Town Line presents the STUDENT WRITERS PROGRAM
This week featuring: ERSKINE ACADEMY

by Wes McGlew
Junior, Erskine Academy

What seemed like 10 years ago, March, was the beginning of this crazy, terrifying, isolating adventure that we experienced through a screen. Everything I had been looking forward to this year had suddenly been uprooted and thrown out. I think a lot of people were in shock or denial, or I don’t know what.

I was sitting in Global Studies, my sophomore year, as Griffin and I were talking about the up-coming lacrosse season and spring soccer, while the teacher was teaching us about the colonization of Africa. We probably should have been paying attention a little better. Most of it went in one ear and out the other. I asked Griffin, “So, is there anyone new joining the travel team this spring?” He must not have heard me at first, but I made sure to get his attention by throwing a piece of paper at his head. That seemed to work. I asked him again.

“I don’t think so man, just the same guys. We lost our keeper though. He decided to focus on track this year,” he replied. We both thought that was pretty dumb, but before we could start talking about who might be a good replacement, we heard the familiar voice of the loud speaker, but it wasn’t the usual message, like, “Mason, please go to the guidance office.” It was a little more alarming…

What we heard instead shocked us all: “Due to the alarming increase of Covid-19, Erskine Academy will be closed starting tomorrow for two weeks. During the two weeks, we advise you all to stay quarantined in hopes of slowing the spread. We wish all of you good health, and hopefully we will see you soon.” Griffin and I immediately looked at each other, with the same blank expression, like we had just seen a ghost. Little did we know, this wouldn’t only put a hold on our sports seasons, but our lives as a whole.

I went home that day with my older sister Reece. We exchanged just a few quick comments on the otherwise quiet ride home. We both rushed inside to tell my mum the news we had heard at school. She told us to look at it as a positive, but that it would mean that we couldn’t see our friends, and for me it meant I couldn’t see my girlfriend, Sam, for at least two weeks. Luckily for me, I had just gotten my license, so from time to time I drove over to Sam’s house and talked for a while from my car. For two weeks that’s how it was. Boring, but bearable.

We just got worse news after that. Covid had gotten so bad, that school would be closed for the entire rest of the school year. So, I finished the last months of the school year online, having little to no interaction with my friends. Getting bored and depressed, I hated thinking about how much longer everything would be on hold. Months went by. Luckily, by mid-summer, I had gotten a job, which distracted me for nine hours of the day, and provided me with a little enjoyment and something for which to look forward.

Then excitement came in the form of protest. After the death of George Floyd, millions of enraged Americans took to the streets to protest the racism of certain people and certain systems of government. Taking part in these events cured me of any sort of quarantine slump. I started to look forward to hearing about what was going on, and seeing how I could make an impact.

And finally, now, with my junior soccer season over and school halfway back to normal, it seems as though history might repeat itself. Covid cases begin to spike again, school closed once, winter sports are questionable, businesses are starting to close, again. Meanwhile, I’m just thinking to myself, “Here we go again. Ready for round two?”

Student Writer’s Program: What Is It?

The Town Line has many articles from local students under the heading of the “Student Writer’s Program.” While it may seem plainly evident why The Town Line would pursue this program with local schools and students, we think it’s worth the time to highlight the reasons why we enthusiastically support this endeavor.

Up front, the program is meant to offer students who have a love of writing a venue where they can be published and read in their community. We have specifically not provided topics for the students to write on or about, and we have left the editing largely up to their teachers. From our perspective this is a free form space provided to students.

From the perspective of the community, what is the benefit? When considering any piece that should or could be published, this is a question we often ask ourselves at The Town Line. The benefit is that we as community are given a glimpse into how our students see the world, what concerns them, and, maybe even possible solutions to our pressing problems. Our fundamental mission at the paper is to help us all better understand and appreciate our community, our state, and our nation through journalism and print.

We hope you will read these articles with as much interest and enjoyment as we do. The students are giving us a rare opportunity to hear them out, to peer into their world, and see how they are processing this world we, as adults, are giving them.

To include your high school, contact The Town Line, townline@townline.org.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Did you know that ferrets are man’s other best friend?

Black-footed ferret

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Don’t ask why or how, but last week, during a conversation, I was asked a question about ferrets. Not knowing that much about them, I decided to look into it.

What I discovered about the little furry animals was most interesting.

Although I know a few people who have had ferrets as pets, I didn’t realize they were the third most popular pet, behind only dogs and cats. They are popular, although often controversial. My wife and I had a pet Holland lop rabbit for nearly 10 years. I would have bet, if I were a gambling man, and based on conversations with a multitude of people who care for them, that rabbits were more popular than ferrets.

Ferrets have the size and shape of a zucchini, and are related to European polecats. They are not to be confused with skunks which are sometimes colloquially called polecats, but related more to wolverines, ermines, minks and weasels.

The ancient Greeks probably domesticated ferrets about 2,500 years ago to hunt vermin. The practice spread across Europe, especially with sailors who used ferrets on ships to control rats. Ferrets were introduced to America in the 1700s.

A 1490 painting by Leonardo da Vinci named Lady with an Ermine, actually shows her holding a ferret.

Ferrets are carnivores, meaning they eat only meat. According to the American Ferret Association, domesticated ferrets typically eat factory-made chow. A healthy diet for pet ferrets consist of 36 percent protein, 20 percent fats and is low in carbohydrates. A healthy ferret will sleep up to 18 hours a day.

Male ferrets are known as hobs and females are called jills. In the wild, hobs and jills mate around March and April. Following a gestation period of 35 – 45 days, a jill will give birth to one to six kits. Kits will stay with the mother for about a month and a half, leaving the mother as autumn approaches. They become sexually active at one year old. In captivity ferrets can live up to 12 years, but the actual life expectancy is 7-10 years.

Unlike dogs, ferrets have not yet been rigorously studied when it comes to social cognition. According to Hungarian researchers, their early history in service to man is obscure, but have probably been domesticated for more than 2,000 years through selective breeding. Like dogs, ferrets were originally bred for practical reasons like hunting. However, their role within human society has since shifted, as they are now predominantly pets.

Most ferrets will live happily in social groups. A group of ferrets is commonly referred to as a “business.” They are territorial, like to burrow, and prefer to sleep in an enclosed area.

Ferrets can release their anal gland secretions when startled or scared, but the smell is much less potent than a skunk’s and dissipates rapidly. Most pet ferrets in the U.S. are sold de-scented (anal glands removed).

When excited, ferrets may perform a behavior commonly called the weasel war dance, characterized by a frenzied series of sideways hops, leaps and bumping into nearby objects. Despite its common name, this is not aggressive but is a joyful invitation to play. It is often accompanied by a soft clucking noise, commonly referred to as “dooking.” Conversely, when frightened, ferrets will make a hissing noise; when upset, they will make a soft ‘squeaking’ noise.

Although most domesticated ferrets were introduced by Europeans, there is only one that is native to North America. It is the black-footed ferret, and its existence is in trouble. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to use unmanned aerial drones to rain peanut-butter laced pellets down on northeast Montana, where the ferrets reside. The pellets contain a vaccine against the plague, which is common in prairie dogs. Prairie dogs consist of 90 percent of the ferret’s diet. As Americans moved west, prairie dog eradication programs and agriculture and development removed much of the ferrets’ prey and habitat, and by 1987 only 18 of the ferrets remained.

It is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because of its very small and restricted populations. The species declined throughout the 20th century, primarily as a result of decreases in prairie dog populations, which is their major food and shelter source, and sylvatic plague. They will also eat small mammals such as opossums, rabbits, hedgehogs and rodents, but prairie dogs are the fare of choice.

Wild ferrets were thought extinct until Lucille Hogg’s dog brought a dead black-footed ferret to her door in Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1981. The remnant population of a few dozen ferrets lasted until the animals were considered extinct in the wild in 1987. However, a captive-breeding program launched by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in its reintroduction into eight western U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico from 1991 to 2009. Now, over 1,000 mature, wild-born individuals are in the wild across 18 populations, with five self-sustaining populations in South Dakota (two), Arizona, and Wyoming. It was first listed as “endangered” in 1982, then listed as “extinct in the wild” in 1996, before being downgraded back to “endangered” in 2008.

So, by feeding the prairie dogs with the vaccine they would stay healthy, which in turn would help the black-footed ferrets.

I guess domesticated ferrets don’t have it all that bad, kinda like dogs and cats.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

What is the Super Bowl record of the Seattle Seahawks?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trivia QuestionsWhat is the Super Bowl record of the Seattle Seahawks?


1 win, 2 losses. Win 43-8 over Denver; losses to Pittsburgh 21-10 and New England 28-24.

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon budget committee meets

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

The following is notes on the annual Solon Budget Committee meeting held last Saturday: The committee nominated and elected Michael Golden as chairperson. Elaine Aloes gave a selectmen update. Ann Padham has moved out of town. Heather Padham has taken her place on the budget committee.

The committee discussed article 5. The article sets funds for general government and allows flexibility to move money around if needed. This was recommended yes by the committee. A discussion about the duties of the Health Officer took place. This is extra work for the Codes Enforcement Officer being done by Terri LaMontaine for which $200 was recommended by committee.

Discussion points at the committee included several issues. The committee recommended yes to all. Pay raises which is two percent plus minimum wage increase. The Codes Enforcement officer position has a recommended raise. Terri is doing the job well, is responsive to complaints and follows through. She is helpful to the planning committee and dealt with a rat infestation well. This amounts to $400 a month and includes all travel.

The TRIO system currently in use is no longer supported by Microsoft and a new system using SOL is proposed. It is user friendly, web-based and secure. The cost is $7,055. The paving project is at a total of $792,000. This includes the Brighten Road, Drury Road, Falls Road, French Hill Road, Grant Road, Hole in the Wall Road, Pleasant Street, and York Street. The money will be pulled from reserve funds and LRAP funds. The chip seal technique like what was done on the South Solon Road will be used.

The fire department proposed the building of an addition to the fire station. It will be about 55 feet by 30 feet. It will store extra gear and the workbench. There will be a garage door, a rear exit and a window. The siding will match the building. The budget is $25,000.

The lights will be changed to LEDs and one light will be added. It is estimated to save $2,000 a year with the use of LEDs.

The amount $5,000 was raised and appropriated for heat pumps for the town office. The fire department is considering taking over the parade. The person who runs it in the past doesn’t plan to continue. Special event money budgeted is $1,000. First Park debt is now paid off and Solon will receive revenues. Last year there was $4,000 in revenue. The amount of $7,000 was raised to help pay off the approximate $20,000 fire department truck loan quicker.

The Capital Reserve account included $9,000 more with most of that for the transfer station truck and tub. The library will be improved with some of this money.

The reserve surplus was increased to $100,000. Even with this increase from $80,000, the overall net raised by taxes is decreased by 12.9 percent. The committee recomends yes.

The Budget Committee Ordinance changes the name of the group to the Advisory Committee. This reflects the work of the committee and all current members will continue in that role. The committee recommends yes.

And now for some sad news; My dear friend and walking partner, Alice Heald died recently, She was the one that had been presented with the Gold Cane several years ago. I received the following names of NEXT IN LINE for BOSTON POST GOLD CANE from the Solon Selectmen, I will put in the next in line for the cane is Patricia Munroe (2/17/1925; after her is Gladys Rogers (12/23/1925) Lois Starbird) (9/23/1927) next is Richard Viekman (1/13//1929, Marilyn Rogers (429/1929), Carlene Viekman (9/25/1930) Leon Hilton (9/30/1930) Loen Burbank (12/19/1930).

I’m running late again this morning so I will end with Percy’s memoir with these words: Can You Say? Can you say in parting with the day that’s slipping fast, That you helped a single person of the many you have passed? Is a single life rejoicing over what you did or said? Does some one whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day or lose it, Was it well or poorly spent? Did you leave a trend of kindness, or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God would say—-You have made the world much better for the life you’ve lived today? ( I can only hope!)

OBITUARIES for Thursday, January 21, 2021


CLINTON – David Robert Cairnie, 80, of Clinton, formerly of Fairfield, passed away at Togus Veterans Hospital, in Augusta, on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, following a short illness. Dave was born in Waterville, the first child of the late Ethel (Taylor) and William David Cairnie, on January 25, 1940.

He attended Lawrence High School, where he was president of his class, involved in Key Club, and excelled in athletics. After graduating, Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army, married the former Evelyn West, and was stationed all over the world with his family. He completed two tours in Vietnam, and received the bronze star for heroic service.

After Dave’s retirement from the military, the couple worked together for over 20 years at MSAD #49. Dave shared his love of sports with Maine youth by officiating baseball, softball, and football games for more than 40 years. He was a Mason, and acted as president of the MSAD #49 Association.

As busy as he was, Dave was always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to family, friends and neighbors. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, golfing, fishing, and an occasional Wiffle ball game with his children and grandchildren. His family and friends will miss his wonderful sense of humor.

Dave will be sadly missed by his wife of 58 years, Evelyn, of Clinton; brothers Ray and his wife Alice, of Benton, Paul and his wife Angie, of Winslow; brother-in-law Dennis West, of Benton; three children, David Cairnie II and wife Pamela, of Fairfield, Peg Paradis and husband Rick, of Fairfield, and Donna Cairnie, of Clinton; six grandchildren, Aaron, Sunora, Chauncy, Winter, West, and Bodhi; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be a graveside service in the spring of 2021, followed by a gathering for friends and family.

Condolences may be sent to the Cairnie family at P. O. Box 493, Clinton, ME 04927.


WINSLOW – Raymond Rossignol, 94, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Friday, January 1, 2021. Raymond was born at home in Winslow on May 3, 1926, the son of Patrick and Beatrice (Ferland) Rossignol.

Ray attended Winslow schools and was a World War II veteran. On October 2, 1948, he married the former Therese Roy, of Winslow, and they were married for 70 years.

He worked at Scott Paper Co., (Rossy) in Winslow, for 41 years, then drove a school bus for 22 years. He finally retired at the age of 80.

His hobbies were rabbit hunting, camping at Happy Horse Campground, for 28 years, and fishing.

Ray belonged to the Winslow Senior Citizen Association Committee for 11 years. He loved playing cards and doing day trips for the elderly.

He was predeceased by his parents; wife Therese, brother Robert, two sisters Noella and Gloria.

Raymond is survived by a sister-in-law Jacqueline (Roy) Bourque; three daughters Elaine (Ramerio), of Spain, Christine, of New Mexico, Claudette (Jerry), of Winslow; three sons, Arthur (Debbie), of Skowhegan, George (Barb), of Cornville, and Anthony (Donna), of Winslow; many cousins, nieces, nephews; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 23, at 10 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Church, 23 Monument St., Winslow.

The burial will be Tuesday, January 26, at 10 a.m., at VA Cemetery, 163 Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta.

Donations can be made to the Travis Mills Foundation, 747 Western Ave., Augusta, ME 04330.


BELGRADE/WATERVILLE – Phronie Arline (Guptill) Hammond, 97, a native and long-time resident, of Belgrade, passed peacefully at Lakewood Continuing Care, in Waterville, on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Phronie was born on the Guptill Farm in Belgrade on November 27, 1923, the daughter of the late Rosselle Nat and Maude Susan (Yeaton) Guptill.

She graduated from Belgrade High School in 1942 and married her husband, Reginald Thompson Hammond, on February 13, 1943, in Gardiner. Reggie and Phronie enjoyed 61 years of marriage until his passing on April 2, 2004.

As a dedicated homemaker, wife, mother, and grandmother, she and Reggie raised their two daughters, Cheryl and Jan, and grandson Randy at their home in Belgrade Depot.

Through the years, Phronie was active as a volunteer with several community organizations. Whether it was donating her time and energy with Girl Scouting, serving on the Board of the Belgrade Regional Health Center during its formative years, as an active member of the KVM Club, or as an ever-willing volunteer at countless public suppers in Belgrade, Phronie always gave back to the local community which she loved and valued.

Be it touring California, Baltimore, Washington D.C., or the Canadian Maritimes with her husband, Phronie had a keen interest in the world and enjoyed the life experiences that travel afforded her. At the age of 81, she embraced the opportunity to travel to Europe. In visiting the Netherlands and Switzerland, she experienced both the beauty of the Dutch tulip fields in full bloom and the snows of the Alps. But she could not be more content to simply visit locales throughout her beloved State of Maine.

After living in Belgrade for 87 years, Phronie moved to Granite Hill Estates, in Hallowell, in April 2010, where she became an active member of the Granite Hill community, serving on the Welcome, Library, and Garden Committees. She enjoyed her daily walks, swimming in the pool, and exercise classes. In 2014 she moved to the Granite Hills’ Martha Ballard Assisted Living facility for increased care. Due to a second hip-break in December 2017, Phronie relocated to Lakewood Continuing Care, in Waterville.

Some of her fondest memories would be fishing for hours on Rangeley or Moosehead Lake, perch fishing on Great Pond, tending her beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, and those moments of simply surrounding herself with family at the dining table. She was a wonderful, classic Maine cook and well known for her cookies and pies. Her grandchildren were particularly fond of her whoopie pies and chocolate chip cookies.

She had a positive outlook on life and always considered herself fortunate for the life she led, the husband she married, the loving family which surrounded her, and the countless friends who enriched her life.

She is survived by two daughters, Cheryl Susan Hammond, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Janice Elaine Porter and husband Eric, of Oakland; three grandsons, Peter John Perry, of Auburn, Randall Alan Hammond and husband Andrew Thomas, of Westport, Connecticut, and Justin Eric Porter and wife Sarah Kilbourne, of Richmond, Virginia; two granddaughters, Monica Jo Bordick and husband Michael, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Chelsi Kate Boiardi and husband Michael ,of Cumberland, Rhode Island; 10 great-grandchildren, Chandler, Dylan, Casey, Dawson, Wyatt, and Colton Bordick; Anson and Ella Perry; and Cameron and Julian Boiardi; sister Verna and husband Clifton “Skip” Hammond; sister-in-law, Janet Austin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by seven older brothers and sisters, Hazel (Guptill) Mills, in 1976, Robert Guptill, in 1982, Vivian Guptill, in 1910, Dorothy (Guptill) Dolloff, in 1979, Orville Guptill, in 2002, Lillian (Guptill) Bickford, in 1974, and Althea Guptill, in 1925.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at Pine Grove Cemetery, in Belgrade.

Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home, of Oakland.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com

Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 26 Church St., Oakland.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial donations to the Belgrade Fire and Rescue Association, P.O. Box 404, Belgrade, ME 04917.


CONCORD, Mass. – Linda Kester Cotter, 83, died peacefully at home on Friday, January 8, 2021. Linda was born on September 19, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Harold E. and Rose Rothstein Kester, and grew up in Brooklyn with her younger sister, Marjorie.

An unusually capable student, Linda graduated at the age of 16 from James Madison High School and went on to Wellesley College, where she was President of Forum and in 1956 served as Massachusetts statewide Chair of the Students for (Adlai) Stevenson Presidential Campaign. During the campaign she enlisted William “Bill” Cotter, president of the Harvard Young Democrats to recruit student volunteers. As Bill was fond of saying, Linda was his boss. They became friends and later, began dating. She graduated with honors from Wellesley in 1958.

Linda and Bill were married in 1959 at the Kester family home on Long Island and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to pursue their graduate studies. Linda earned her master’s in teaching at the Harvard School of Education while Bill finished at Harvard Law School.

Linda taught elementary school in Lexington, Massachusetts, New York City, and Kaduna, Nigeria, and English at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She worked for David Rockefeller on Latin American issues, at the Ford Foundation, as the executive director of the Ellis Phillips Foundation and later helped launch the Women’s Rights program at the Geneva-based Oak Foundation.

After her family moved to Waterville for Bill’s position as president of Colby College, she was a much loved and admired “First Lady” from 1979 to 2000 and served Colby in many capacities, including establishing programs to help students secure internships.

While Linda achieved much professionally, she was first a full and equal partner for Bill and a mother. Her three children were the center of her world, and that expanded to excelling as a grandmother when her two granddaughters came along. She adored them, and they, her.

She loved her beautiful flower gardens, reading books and two daily newspapers, and a good cup of tea. She was outspoken against racial and gender discrimination. She was a founder of the Mid-Maine Global Forum as well as two women’s support groups in Florida and Massachusetts, and served on many nonprofit boards.

Linda was small in stature but incredibly strong. She survived a serious form of cancer in the 1940s and other medical challenges over the years. She lived her last two years enduring the arduous course of thrice weekly dialysis treatments.

In her final days of life, as friends and family members shared their love and appreciation for Linda, they noted how kind, brilliant, caring, gracious, and elegant she was. She made countless people feel respected, appreciated, and cared-for. Most of all, her family.

Linda was predeceased by her daughter, Deborah Anne; and her parents.

She leaves behind her husband of 61 years, Bill; her son, David and his partner, Jessica LaRue, of San Diego, California; daughter Elizabeth and husband Michael Schlax, of Yarmouth; and her granddaughters, Elena and Jillian Schlax; her sister, Marjorie Smith, of Durham New Hampshire; and the Smith, Zamore and Cotter families and countless other relatives and friends.

Linda will be laid to rest next to her daughter in Concord, Massachusetts.

An online memorial gathering will be held in the coming months.

To share a remembrance or to offer a condolence in her online guestbook, please visit http://www.DeeFuneralHome.com.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the Linda K. Cotter Internship Fund, at Colby College, or a charity of your choice.


SIDNEY – Gerald A. Manley, 67, passed away suddenly, at home, on Saturday, January 9, 2021. Gerald was born July 21, 1953, in Augusta, the son of the late George and Doris (Monroe) Manley.

He was the husband of Gail Y. (Knight) Manley, with whom he shared 50 years of marriage in March.

He was a resident of Sidney for most of his life, and a graduate of Messalonskee High School, in Oakland.

Gerald worked at Hammond Lumber Co., in Belgrade, as the saw mill foreman for over 39 years until his retirement in 2020.

Gerald was a hard working man and treasured the time he spent with his family and friends. He also enjoyed being outside fishing, hunting and gardening.

In addition to his wife Gail, Gerald is survived by his son Travis Manley and his wife Mary, of Sidney; his daughters Heidi Landry and her husband Chris, of Sidney, and Marisa Manley, of Saco; his brother George Manley, of Sidney; his sisters Peggy Smith, of Sidney, Nancy Thorne, of Sidney, Linda Martin, of Sidney, and Sharon Maxim, of Augusta; grandchildren Gage, Isaac, Kristin, Jenna, Emma, Rylee and Isaiah; and his great-grandchildren Luke and Abigail; his mother-in-law Clarice Redlevske, of Skowhegan; as well as many nieces and nephews.

In honoring with Gerald’s wishes there will be a Celebration of his life at a date and time to be announced.

Arrangements are in the care of the Knowlton Hewins Funeral Home, One Church St. Augusta, where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.


WATERVILLE – Ruth Ann (Pratt) DeRosby, 94, passed away on Monday, January 11, 2021, at Mount Saint Joseph Nursing Home, in Waterville. She was born June 19, 1926, in Randolph, the daughter of Charles B. and Margaret B. (Griffin) Pratt.

She graduated from Gardiner High School in 1945. She was a member of the Catholic Church. Ruth especially enjoyed spending time with her family and going out to eat, especially at Governor’s and Ming Lee, both on Waterville. She was a great cook and welcomed many into her home and no one ever left hungry, especially after having her famous homemade french fries. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and friend.

Ruth is survived by daughters, Jill Labbe, of Waterville, and friend Jeff Hall, of Oakland, Jan Hachey and husband Thomas, of Oakland, Jane Pottle and husband David, of Albion; sons, John DeRosby and wife Elaine, of Burnham, and Thomas DeRosby, of Waterville; grandchildren, Christopher Labbe, Leslie Main, Katie Burnham, Amy Pottle, Michael Hachey, Lauren Hachey, Jenny Reynolds, John DeRosby, Shannon DeRosby, William DeRosby, Michael DeRosby; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband John; son James DeRosby, daughter and son-in-law Ann and Lester Giguere; brother James (Bud) Pratt; sisters Mary Bowman and JoPratt; sister-in-law Juanita Lessard and husband Edmund.

A graveside service 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 ME 04976.


SOUTH CHINA – Harold Whitaker, 61, of Kidder Road, died Saturday, January 9, 2021, at Maine­General Medical Center, in Augusta. He was born on May 7, 1959, in the car on the way to the hospital. He is the youngest son of Arthur R. Whitaker Sr., and Lucy B. (Moody) Whitaker.

He attended China Elementary School and Erskine Academy, in South China. Harold worked at the Elk’s Lodge Janitorial Services, Lipman Poultry, and retired after more than 22 years with the Augusta Sanitary District. He was interested in WWF Wrestling, NHRA, and riding his Cub Cadet. He could be found working side-by-side with his brothers David and Mike.

Survivors include his wife Cathy (Coleman) Whitaker of 27 years; his brothers Willard, Meldon, David and Mike Whitaker; sisters Belva MacComb, Marie Vigue, Elaine Brochu, Muriel Michaud, Mary Shaw, Jean Mason, Irene Poulin, Betty Burnham and Brenda McCamish.

He was predeceased by his parents; sisters Susie Potter, Eltheia Girard, Wilma Whitaker and Vera Whitaker; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins.

There will be no funeral services at this time due to Covid-19. There will be a celebration of his life held at a later date, possibly late summer barbecue, depending on Covid guidelines.

Those who desire may donate in his memory to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, Virginia 22116-7023, https://www.diabetes.org or: Dialysis Clinic, Inc., 205 Ridge Rd., Fairfield, ME 04937, https://www.dciinc.org/waterville/.


FAIRFIELD – Joyce M. Slaney Taylor, 91, passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. She was born in Fairfield on October 5, 1929, the daughter of the late Scott E. and Harriet G. (Lanpher) Blackstone.

Joyce was educated in Fairfield schools. She was also a lifelong member of the Fairfield First Baptist Church where she served as a Deaconess. She ministered to many and was a living testimony to her faith, not only to her church family but her family as well. She truly enjoyed hosting weekly Bible studies with close friends, which she continued up until recently.

Joyce had many hobbies such as reading, doing puzzles and especially enjoyed crocheting and knitting; making several special afghans and other items for her loved ones. In her younger years, she enjoyed spending summers at camp with family where she taught many of her grandchildren to swim. One of her biggest passions was cooking for family and friends. She was a wonderful cook and shared countless meals with not only family but friends and those in need. Out of all her loves, perhaps the greatest was time spent with her family, in particular, the visits with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she cherished immensely.

Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her first husband, Harold K. Slaney, her second husband, Raymond S. Taylor; her infant daughter, Mary Slaney, her sons, Scott H. Slaney and Kevin B. Slaney; her sisters, Evelyn Morse and Beverly Buck, her brother, Earl Carr; and her daughter-in-law, Lorraine C. Slaney.

She is survived by her children, Patrick Michael Slaney and his wife Linda, of Fairfield; her daughter-in-law, Colleen Slaney of Fairfield, Kelly J. Slaney and his wife Susan, of Philadelphia, New York, Danny H. Slaney and his wife Lisa Roy, of Fairfield and Tammy J. Slaney Pullen and her husband Lee, of China; her grandchildren, Christopher Slaney and his wife Renee, Joshua Slaney and his wife Nicole, Jaime Wade and her husband Charlie, Bryan Slaney and his wife Amy, Amanda Slaney, Eric Slaney and his wife Meghan, Brandon Slaney, Danielle Quimby and her husband Brett, Briana Rawson and Kevin Hageman, Taylor Slaney and Ashley Maratta; her great-grandchildren, Cullen Slaney, Bay Slaney, Brayden Mitchell, Cooper Slaney, Jack Slaney, Ebony Watts, Blaine Watts, Jacob Ricketson, Eric Slaney, Damien Slaney, Ella Quimby, Emmy Quimby; and her numerous nieces and nephews.

Due to the Covid pandemic a graveside service at Maplewood Cemetery and a celebration of her life will be held in Fairfield at a date to be determined.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

Donations in Joyce’s memory may be made to the Fairfield First Baptist Church or Fairfield Interfaith Food Pantry.
Fairfield First


WATERVILLE— Charlotte May Bassett, 96, passed away on Thursday, January 15, 2021, following her long battle against cancer. She was born at home, built by her father, in South Portland, July 9, 1924, to Peter A.G. and Irene V. (Hall) Bruns, of South Portland.

She was the second born of their six children. The youngest, sister Hazel Thomas, of Weeks Mills, is the only surviving sibling.

In 1936 Charlotte graduated from South Portland High School where among many other activities she was a trombone player in their marching band.

Charlotte was married, briefly, to Malcom McAllister, bearing one son, Leland R. McAllister. Leland preceded her in death January 1, 2020, from undiagnosed sudden heart failure.

Her second, and life-long marriage was to John C. Bassett, of Calais. Together they had two sons, Donald J. and Peter H. Bassett.

Charlotte loved life, dark chocolate, coffee, reading, family, people who enjoyed having fun, sewing and doing crafts, gardening, and sightseeing. She tolerated pets.

She deeply loved and embraced children, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her great-great-grandchildren.

Charlotte spent much of her married life traveling. Her husband’s job, as a fire prevention pipe-fitter had the family moving from Maine to Pennsylvania, for five years, then to Indiana, for ten years, being manager of a new pipe fitting pre-assembly plant he designed. There he designed, built, and patented a revolutionary pipe and fitting torque machine; recognized as enabling the savings of countless millions of dollars annually in fire prevention for commercial buildings worldwide. Upon semi-retirement Charlotte and John returned to Maine, and soon thereafter worked in Puerto Rico for two years as well as Cape Cod, before permanently returning to live in Maine. John died from cancer in 1986.

Charlotte lived for over 20 years thereafter at Cotton Mill Apartments, in Hallowell, becoming the longest residing resident. She relished the many friends she made there as well as her panoramic view of the ever-changing Kennebec River.

A memorial gathering will be scheduled in the near future pending the lifting of Covid-19 precautions.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website at www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.


WINSLOW – Albert Brochu, 90, passed away at his home. Albert was born in Winslow on January 21, 1930, the son of Louis and Alice (Duquette) Brochu.

Albert en­joyed collecting coins and stamps. He enjoyed being outside working in his garden, fishing, and hunting. Albert was a part of the Knights of Columbus obtaining the Fourth Degree. He was also a member of the Sacred Heart League, Bourque Legion American Legion Post #5, in Waterville. Albert also enjoyed square dancing with his wife, Geraldine.

Albert was predeceased by his wife, Geraldine; his parents; his daughter, Janet Brochu; brothers, Lucien Brochu, Earl Brochu, and Henry Brochu; and sisters, Beatrice Albert and Sylvia Gerard; and several nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., on Friday January 22, 2021, at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver St., Waterville.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people allowed into the service will be limited. Attendees will be required to wear a mask and social distancing will be practiced.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at http://www.gallantfh.com.

China Village library to bring wintertime cheer with nostalgic programs

Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village (photo courtesy of library Facebook page)

by Carla Gade
Albert Church Brown librarian

To help ward off the wintertime blues, the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village announces some programs to bring a little laughter and cheer to the community in January and February. The nostalgic themes include little known and unusual facts about Maine, reminiscing over yesterday’s sitcoms, Valentine’s Day cards for shut-ins, and an upcoming President’s Day trivia contest.

Now until February 11, the library encourages people of all ages to make or purchase Valentine’s Day Cards to help bring smiles to the hearts of elderly shut-ins in our community. To participate, please drop your card off at the library. You may bring it inside or place it in the book drop box. Donate as many as you wish and they will be distributed in time for Valentine’s Day. If you know someone who you would like to receive a card, please email the library with your request at chinalibraryacb.org.

Two lighthearted online events are coming your way from the convenience of your own device, via ZOOM. Log in on Sunday, January 30, at 2 p.m. to hear author Tim Caverly’s program, “So You Think You Know Maine!” Discover the birthplace of Bambi, ice caves, ghost railroads, pictographs, oceanic whirlpools, and tales which can only be described as classic Maine. On February 21, at 2 p.m., author Martin Gitlin brings you “A Funny Program About Funny Programs: The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time.” He will show funny snippets from beloved sitcoms, challenge patrons with sitcom trivia, and more. To attend these ZOOM events please visit chinalibrary.org for login information or email for details. Be sure to download ZOOM at https://zoom.us in advance of the program date.

The Presidents Day Trivia Contest will run from February 1 – 15. You may stop in at the library, email, or visit the website to participate. To learn more about our services and programs, please stop in, visit us at chinalibrary.org, email chinalibraracb@gmail.com, or call (207) 968-2926.

The library is open on Tuesday and Thursday, from 2 – 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

China TIF committee satisfied with proposed amended wording to document

by Mary Grow

China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee members decided on Jan. 14 they are satisfied with their proposed amended wording to China’s TIF document. They began deciding what amounts of money to recommend voters appropriate for each of the various TIF projects.

The Second Amendment (to the original 2015 TIF plan; the first was in 2017) includes three new categories for which TIF funds can be used, if voters approve the revised document. They are:

  • “Costs of funding environmental improvement projects developed by the Town,” with specific references to funding China Lake Association and China Region Lakes Alliance projects. With advice from resident Scott Pierz, president of both associations, the committee recommended appropriating $50,000 for this category for each of the next two years.
  • “Costs associated with the development of fisheries and wildlife or marine resources projects,” specifically contributing TIF money toward building a fishway at the China Lake outlet Dam, in East Vassalboro, to allow alewives to migrate into and out of China Lake. The Jan. 14 meeting ended before committee members discussed funding for this and the next new category.
  • “Costs related to broadband service development, expansion and improvement, including connecting to broadband service outside the District….”

The Jan. 14 draft TIF document is on the town website, china.govoffice.com. Go to Officials, Boards and Committees at the top of the page, scroll down to and open Tax Increment Financing Committee and the third document from the bottom of a long list is Second Amended TIF Draft Jan. 2021 China, followed by two related documents.

Specific proposed TIF projects are listed on pages 8 through 13 of the document. Committee members discussed the new ones and a few of the already-listed ones.

For example, the South China boat landing remains on the list, with a double focus: a boundary survey to find out exactly how much land the town owns, and erosion control measures. Committee members discussed potential costs and recommended $15,000 over the next two years.

Expenditures with a time limit are to be reviewed before the limit expires.

Committee members talked in late 2020 about possibly having Amendment Two ready for voters’ action at the May town business meeting. They made no commitment.

The next TIF Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, and is expected to be a virtual meeting.