EVENTS: UVD event rescheduled

photo credit: United Valley Democrats Facebook page

The United Valley Democratic (UVD) Committee ‘End-of Summer’ Event will instead celebrate Autumn on Saturday, October 7, at 327 Stevens Shore Road, in Palermo. It was originally scheduled the day the hurricane passed close to Maine’s coast, when many residents lost their power.

United Valley Democratic Committee (formerly the China Democratic Committee) was recently organized by combining Democratic committees from the adjacent towns in the Sheepscot River Valley including China, Vassalboro, Palermo and Windsor. While continuing to grow with other towns, the UVD committee meets regularly on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., and welcomes new members. Their facebook page has the most current event details.

Mark Brunton, chairman of the UVD Committee, explained the need for the reorganization, “UVD brings people together to make our communities stronger, healthier and improve the lives of all our neighbors. It made sense to combine our committees to raise our visibility and let people know they are welcomed to join us.”

To show your support, join the United Valley Democratic Committee’s Fall Celebration on October 7, from 2 – 8 p.m.

For more information, contact the UVD Committee at unitedvalleydems@gmail.com.

EVENTS: Share the Road set for October 1

Dr. Carol Eckert

The sixth annual Share the Road with Carol memorial bike ride will take place on Sunday, October 1. Share the Road with Carol is an all ages commemorative bike ride that takes place in Windsor and Whitefield, which has 12-mile and 27-mile options, starts and ends at the Windsor Town Office.

This annual ride honors the memory of Carol Eckert, M.D. Carol was tragically killed as a result of a bike accident that occurred in Windsor, on October 10, 2016. Everyone is invited.

The registration fee is $20 for adults, and $10 for any person under 15 years of age accompanied by a parent or guardian. Register online (https://www.BikeReg.com/share-the-road-with-carol) or at the event from 7:30-8:30am (pre-registration is encouraged).

There will be one rest stop on the 27-mile ride.

Please gather after the ride at the Windsor Town Hall for fellowship, remembrances and light snacks.

Whether you knew Carol or not, this ride is a wonderful opportunity to explore the lovely rolling hills along the border of the Kennebec and Lincoln Counties.

Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarolsRide.

Windsor select board deals with variety of issues

by The Town Line staff

At their August 29 meeting, the Windsor Select Board dealt with a variety of issues, and heard from some department heads.

Public Works Supervisor Keith Hall informed the board that culvert work on Coopers Mills Road has been completed, except for the paving. No date has been set for paving.

Hall, however, brought up some safety hazards that public works has been facing while doing the culvert work. A truck almost struck a couple of the workers. “It blew past road signs and a flagger,” Hall said, adding that these things happen more often than he’d like to admit. Hall explained that cones and signs are placed well in advance of the work area, allowing drivers plenty of time to slow down and be aware of the workers.

Hall also said that paving is behind schedule due to problems at the asphalt plant and the amount of rain this summer.

Town manager Theresa Haskell announced, on behalf of the town of Whitefield, that South Hunts Meadow Road will be closed until October 5, in order to replace the Joy’s Pond culvert. The closure will be from Rte. 126, Gardiner Rd., the last home before the closure is 104 South Hunts Meadow Rd., From Rte. 194, Pittston Rd., the last house before the closure is 154 South Hunts Meadow Rd.

The board also approved:

  • to accept and sign the Assessor’s 2023 Municipal Valuation Return;
  • the acceptance of three new road names, Tiny Cabin Road, Broken Ledge Road, and Bernier Lane;
  • appointing Richard H.Gray Jr., as a Conservation Commission Committee member.

It was noted that Haskell received a certificate of service “15 years” from Maine Town, City and County Management Association. Selectman Ray Bates added that while speaking with an official from Kennebec County, it was mentioned the town manager in Windsor, “was doing a bang up job!” Bates wanted folks to know that Haskell’s work was being noticed.

Haskell informed the board that the town’s auditor, Keel Hood, had recently passed away. She spoke with Keel’s son noting that he had worked with his father and helped him with his business. In a letter, Haskell said his son cordially has declined to keep clients or take over business affairs for his father. Haskell said the town will actively be looking for a new auditor, as will many other towns.

Selectman Tom McNaughton brought back to the board more discussion about the small community grant for a septic replacement that was discussed during a previous select board meeting. The select board, following more discussion, asked Tom to draft a letter to the resident letting him know the town is not at a place where they can take part in the grant request from the Department of Environmental Protection.

In other business, Hall informed the board that while working along the Coopers Mills Road, he took an opportunity to speak with a property owner about the small pond that often rises during heavy rains or long periods of rain, and can become a problem for road crews. After some discussion the property owner was happy to have the town drain the pond because he has small children. The pond has been drained.

The next meeting of the board of selectmen was scheduled for September 12.

Windsor select board discusses site plan ordinances

by The Town Line staff

At the August 15 meeting, the Windsor Select Board held discussions about Site Plan Ordinances. Present were two planning board members, F. Gerard Nault and Carol Chavarie. The select board has a goal of having a special town meeting tentatively set for November 8. On the agenda for this town meeting is a site plan ordinance. The select board has asked the planning board to investigate wording and create a site plan ordinance. Chavarie and Nault have asked that Selectman Andrew Ballantyne attend the planning board meeting on September 11. Ballantyne said he would be there.

Town Manager Theresa Haskell noted that the local road assistance program last year was $38,992. This year, there will be an increase of $5,976, bringing the total to $33,968.

There was discussion on the Maine Revenue Services 2023 municipal tax rate calculations. Windsor Assessor’s Agent C. Vern Ziegler suggested a motion on the assessor’s certification of assessment, 2023-24 municipal tax assessment warrant, certificate of commitment, and certificate of assessment to be returned to municipal treasurer state of Maine. The board approved unanimously.

Codes Enforcement Officer Arthur Strout explained to the board about questions lingering on social media about the town allegedly not allowing a tiny house to be placed on a property. Strout stated there are three criteria needed to have a home placed or built on any property – power, water and sewer. When the resident had placed the tiny home on the property, they had none of the three. He stated he wanted to use a compost toilet. He still would have needed a place for his gray water (water from the sink). He had nowhere for the gray water to go. He wanted to run a piping above ground from the tiny house and connect to his waterline at the main house. With much discouragement, due to it being unsafe, he wanted to run power cords from the tiny house to his home nearby for electricity. Ultimately, soon thereafter, the tiny house was moved to another piece of land in another town.

Central Maine Power Co. asked to use the town hall outside or upstairs as a place to gather for community discussions. This would provide members of the community the opportunity to ask questions. The hours of operation would be between 1 and 3 p.m., and last approximately 90 minutes. No dates have been set. The board agreed and suggested weekend hours would be best. CMP had working hours in mind.

Haskell handed out the monthly transfer station report. July was up from last year by $1,858.35, making the overall total for the year ast $8,829.90.

In other matters, new animal control officer Ryan Carver was sworn in. Kim Bolduc-Bartlett was appointed back up animal control officer;

– Katherine Johnson was appointed tax collector.
– Tom McNaughton will be meeting with vendors to discuss heat pumps for the town hall over the next few weeks.

Antoinette Turner, not a Windsor resident, came before the board on behalf of a member of the community. She, on behalf of a resident on Ridge Road, is asking what is needed to submit a petition for medical marijuana. She went on to say the person that she is representing must sell in the parking lot because it is not his residence. Not being specific, questions were asked of her, such as what he would be selling, and for what purpose. Turner understood there are lots of layers when it comes to selling. Haskell let Turner know the petition needed to have specific wording. Turner thanked the board for the information that was given to her and answering her questions.

Finally, Haskell noted Emmett Appel has been mowing Greeley’s Landing boat launch area. He has done a wonderful job making it look nice and cleaned up. He had sent an email making mention of the area with the “white fence” alongside the road. This being Parke Property, owned by the town, he asked if he and some of his classmates could make some walking trails in that area. Haskell will ask Appel if he is interested in attending a conservation committee meeting.

WINDSOR: LS Power discussion leads to ordinance suggestion

by The Town Line staff

At their August 1 meeting, the Windsor Town Manager Theresa Haskell wanted to give an update on the meeting that took place with LS Power, at the Windsor Fairgrounds.

Select board member Andrew Ballantyne wanted to share his views on the subject. He feels the town should have more say in what happens with the town land and how it is utilized, even in the future when big outfits like LS Power plan to run an extension of the corridor through the town. There was discussion of perhaps having ordinances in place to safeguard the town from allowing or restricting certain acts by the corridors.

In other business, select board member Thomas McNaughton presented a small community grant request from a member of the community. He brought it before the board to be sure he wasn’t missing something. There are two criteria that needed to be met to qualify for the grant. First, it must impact any body of water, and second, it must be a public nuisance. Since neither of the criteria were met, the select board agrees that the small community grant be denied. The decision will be relayed to the respective party.

Public Works Supervisor Keith Hall and the town manager have been working on the E-911 project. They have been out measuring driveways and roads, also looking for properly posted road signs. Because of these updated measurements, some addresses may need updating.

An update presented on the Choate Road Bridge stated that the Maine Department of Transportation has deemed it safe. When work is due to be done in the future it was not clear what kind of work may or may not be needed. Hall said he would follow up with DOT on perhaps placing a weight limit on the bridge to extend the life of the old span.

With the Conservation Committee reconvening, Moira Teekema expressed interest in serving on the committee. Haskell provided a handout regarding the Parke Property and short discussion was held on what the conservation committee can and can’t do and how many people will be part of the committee. She noted there are many files with lots of information regarding Parke property available to the committee for review when it reconvenes.

There was a lengthy discussion, questions and answers regarding the town’s bank accounts. Haskell recently had a long meeting with the town’s current bank, Kennebec Savings Bank, and obtained information to share. She discussed combining six CDs to four CDs and moving four accounts to money market accounts. The select board agreed. They also discussed with the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department moving accounts to money market accounts. To do this the fire department will need to keep the accounts at $20,000. They will need to bring the forest fire account to $20,000 to be able to move to a money market account. They currently will need to add approximately $285 to make the $20,000 limit.

The board also will be looking into the cost to place a roof/cover over the roll off containers at the transfer station. The 45 x 60-foot area is currently uncovered. Select board member Ray Bates has reached out to Fowler’s Roofing, but was told to speak with McGee Construction.

The next board of selectmen meeting was scheduled for August 15.

Windsor’s Elwin Hussey reaches the century mark

Elwin Hussey with his great-granddaughter, Olivia, amongst his record collections.

by Norman Kalloch, in collaboration with Kristen Ballantyne

Elwin Frank Hussey turns 100 years old on August 25, 2023. A lifelong resident of Windsor, Elwin is often associated with Hussey’s General Store, which opened in 1923, the same year Elwin was born.

Elwin Hussey in his military uniform.

Elwin graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, in 1940 and went to Colby College, in Waterville, majoring in Chemistry. He completed his degree in three years and still holds the record of being the youngest graduate of Colby College.

Upon graduation in 1943, he entered the military, serving two and one-half years in the U.S. Navy. During the World War II, Elwin worked on radio maintenance and radar which included testing advanced communication systems. Armed with a degree in chemistry, Elwin had numerous opportunities to work for large corporations. Instead, he returned to Windsor and set up shop across from the store, repairing radios until 1956. He also served two sessions in the Maine Legislature representing the towns of China, Windsor, Pittston and Randolph.

As he became more involved in the family business, the store sold several lines of appliances. Elwin first went to Hawaii with his now late wife, Shirley, through promotional trips sponsored by several appliance companies. Soon after, he bought his first home on The Big Island and continues to spend time in Windsor and Hawaii. It’s not unusual for Elwin to fly back to Maine to work at the store and then return to his Hawaiian home.

Elwin is a man with broad interests. He oversees a collection of old and rare books at Hussey’s Store. He also has a massive record collection, including titles from Hoagie Carmichael to Joan Baez and about every other artist. This summer, his great-granddaughter, Oliva, is assisting him in cataloging the record collection. Elwin has maintained a sharp eye for making a deal at nearly 100 years old.

Elwin Hussey turns 100 years old on August 25, 2023.

Elwin is also a historian, especially about the town of Windsor’s history. He has kept up years of genealogies and put together books about Windsor. He edits and adds to them to this day still, has copies made up and sells them at the store, and shares them with the historical society.

Elwin and the Hussey family have also been generous with donations over the years to the church, schools, and other organizations in the community and he has received a lot of satisfaction from helping his hometown over his lifetime.

Elwin leaves the day-to-day running of Hussey’s Store to his son Jay and granddaughter Kristen. However, managing the old book department remains his responsibility. Hussey’s Store has been a family endeavor for three generations, and Elwin hopes its legacy for a long time. Elwin says for a family business to survive for a hundred years is nothing short of amazing. The Hussey family knows the work it takes to survive in the big box store culture of modern today.

When asked what words of wisdom he’d like to pass on, Elwin replied, “Don’t let others make decisions for you.”

Elwin plans to celebrate his hundredth birthday at home, in Windsor, with his immediate family and dear friends.

(See also: Hussey’s: The History of a humble country business)

Hussey’s General Store was opened in 1923, the year Elwin Hussey was born.

CORRECTIONS: In the August 24, 2023, issue of The Town Line, the cover story (Windsor’s Elwin Hussey reaches the century mark), the author of the story is Norman Kalloch, in collaboration with Kristen Ballantyne. He wrote the core of the article after having interviewed Elwin Hussey. Ballantyne edited and made additions. It was an editing error.

WINDSOR: Daycare for RSU #12 employees ready to open

by The Town Line staff

At the July 18 meeting of the Windsor Select Board, Windsor Elementary School Principal Heather Wilson reported that she is very excited about the daycare that will be opening at the school for RSU #12 employees. The daycare would accommodate ages birth to five years old. The board then voted unanimously to instruct Codes Enforcement Officer Arthur Strout to inspect a site for a holding tank installation at the school’s daycare future site.

Wilson also reported four new hires at the school: one ed tech, one secretary, one physical education instructor and one support specialist.

Public Works supervisor Keith Hall reported much damage on town roads from downed trees. The Greeley Road, in particular, will need more work. Washouts have also been a problem and are being addressed.

Select board member Ray Bates brought forward the discussion of the Choate Road Bridge. Town manager Theresa Haskell reported that according to records, the last inspection was made in 2020, and found the bridge overall in fair condition. Since it is a state owned bridge, Hall said he would reach out to the Department of Transportation, in China, to see if the bridge can be assessed or if they have any recommendations moving forward.

The daycare would accommodate ages birth to five years old.

In other business, Haskell reported there has been only one application for the vacant animal control officer position, and that it is from a person who does the same for other surrounding towns.

  • A short conversation was brought up about an anonymous community member, who was not present at the meeting, who was concerned that perhaps they were being too friendly or lenient with their land, and they aren’t quite sure what they should do about it. They indicated they had allowed a person to stack some wood on their property for several years. They were fine with the arrangement. However, now the person has placed a portable shed on the property which the owners disagree with. They are not sure how to proceed. The select board recommended seeking legal advice.
  • Haskell informed the board she received a letter from Efficiency Maine indicating special funding opportunities for towns in upgrading their heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and refrigeration systems. Select board member Tom McNaughton said he would assist Haskell in looking into this opportunity.
  • Haskell raised the possibility of resurrecting the conservation committee. She said she would like to see a five member panel. Several residents have expressed interest in becoming a member of the board. The town will also reach out to see if other residents would be interested.
  • Select board member William Appel Jr. indicated that his son Emmett is looking for some volunteer hours and would be willing to clean up at the boat landing on Savade Pond. The board expressed that would be greatly appreciated.

The next board meeting was scheduled for August 1.

EVENTS: Free benefit concert in Windsor

Downeast Brass

The Downeast Brass will be presenting a free concert on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at the Windsor Town Hall, to benefit the Windsor Veterans’ Memorial Fund. The show features the life and music of Frank Sinatra through slides, narration, live music, comedy, and dance.

The program lasts about an hour and a half and includes local singers, musicians and dancers. It starts at 7 p.m., in the upstairs auditorium of the Windsor Town Hall. There is an elevator available, and refreshments will be provided by the Windsor Ladies Aid. Please come enjoy hit tunes from the ‘40s and beyond while supporting Windsor veterans.

Select board deals with routine agenda; elects chairman

by The Town Line staff

July 3, 2023

At their July 3 meeting, the town of Windsor select board unanimously approved all items on the agenda.

Board members approved the appointment of Andrew Ballantyne as the Windsor Educational Foundation and Reed Fund member.

Following that, William Appel Jr. made a motion to suspend as select board and convene as board of assessors, to include the town manager. Town Manager Theresa Haskell handed out a letter from the assessor’s agent, Vern Ziegler, regarding a supplemental tree growth withdrawal penalty to Martin and Walida Smith for voluntary withdrawal of land from Tree Growth in the amount of $5,280. The assessors unanimously approved. They then reconvened as the board of selectmen.

Haskell mentioned there was one expense category in elections in the amount of $121.91 that was overspent at year end. Haskell said partly this was overspent because of having traffic control from the public works department, but was charged to the elections. The amount was transferred from public works to elctions account.

Also, $192.30 in the town hall line was overspent, due to additional plumbing/heating repairs, elevator inspection and increases in electricity and website email. The funds were transfered from the administration line.

In other business:

  • The town manager was authorized to sign the Emergency Ambulance Service Agreement with Delta Ambulance as presented.
  • There has been one application for animal control officer, with one other application still not returned. Haskell also informed the board that Peter Nerber no longer wants to be the back-up animal control officer.
  • The foundation for the Veterans Memorial is waiting to be poured. The public works department dug up the area and they will need to fix the wire that goes to the church sign because it was in the way and needs to be redone. A veterans memorial meeting was scheduled for July 24.

The select board then voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters and to include the town manager.

July 11, 2023

At an abbreviated meeting on July 11, the Windsor Board of Selectmen voted to enter into executive session, along with Town Manager Theresa Haskell, and Codes Enforcement Officer Arthur Strout, to discuss personnel matters. Following that, they voted to enter into executive session, again, with Haskell and Road Supervisor Keith Hall, to discuss personnel matter.

Select board members held a vote to determine the board’s chairman. Ray Bates received two votes and was selected. Thomas McNaughton and Andrew Ballantyne received one vote each.

The board again voted to enter into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Scouts leadership group completes training

Adam Wright, of Lewiston, Doug Woodbury, of Rockport, and Jon Martin, of Augusta, demonstrate round lashings. They learned the skill so they can then instruct their Scouts on the skill. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Leaders from Cub Packs and Scout Troops around the area recently completed a variety of training programs. “It is encouraging to see so many scout leaders coming out to learn new skills,” said Walter Fails, of Farmington, who is the Chairman of Training for Scout Troops in Kennebec Valley District. “Every scout deserves a trained leader because trained leaders deliver better and safer Scouting programs.”

At Camp Boma­zeen, in Belgrade, 20 scouting leaders from across Pine Tree Council completed the Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) Training for Cub Scout leaders and the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) Training for leaders in Scout Troops. The training courses were held over the weekend of May 5-7. Both programs provide an opportunity for leaders to learn how to offer Scouting’s outdoor programs safely. “We all had a great time sharing experiences and knowledge,” said Scott St. Amand, of Gardiner, who heads up Cub Scout Leader Training for Kennebec Valley District and was one of the trainers for the weekend. “It was great to see the camaraderie, and willingness to jump in and help each other learn new skills.”

Of those completing the leaders program, it included area IOLS Training: Christopher Bishop, of Whitefield, who is a leader in Troop #609 B(Boys), in Windsor, Jon Martin, of Troop #603 B, in Augusta, Stephen Polley, is a leader, in Vassalboro Troop #410, Shawn Hayden, of Skowhegan Troop #485 B.

Those locally completing requirements for the BALOO Training: Frederick Pullen, of Pack #445, in Winslow, and Christopher Santiago, of Pack #410, in Vassalboro. Santiago also recently completed more than 500 hours of online training to complete the District Committee functions. Chris Fox, of Mechnic Falls, is the Abnaki District Training Chairman and helped with the training at Camp Bomazeen.

Shelley Connolly, of Pittsfield, completed Short Term Camp Administrator training with Western Los Angeles County Council on April 29. Shelley is going to be running the Summer Camporee, at Camden Hills State Park, July 30-August 1, and she will be helping set up the schedule, program, etc., for the Scouts BSA Weekend at Bomazeen.