Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Caring for the poor – Part 2

Augusta city farm, circa 1932.

by Mary Grow

How towns cared for their poor

This article will continue the theme started June 14, how central Kennebec Valley towns took care of their poor residents, jumping across the Kennebec River from Augusta and Sidney to Vassalboro, Windsor, Palermo and China. The focus will remain – mostly – on the 19th century.

The excerpts about caring for the poor that Alma Pierce Robbins chose to quote from official records in her Vassalboro history are tantalizing. Although the first selectmen were elected May 22, 1771, it was not until 1793, the year after Sidney became a separate town from Vassalboro, that the selectmen were also titled overseers, presumably overseers of the poor.

The first mention of a “work house” Robbins found in town records was a discussion at a meeting sometime between 1807 and 1810. In 1811, she wrote, a blacksmith named John Roberts bid $140 to care for Vassalboro’s poor families – she did not say how many families or people.

In 1812, Robbins found, voters agreed to “hire a house for the Poor,” and the next year they paid Roberts $200 for a specified two acres plus “the premises now occupied as a Poor House.”

By 1829, Vassalboro’s paupers were again being bid off. That year, Robbins wrote, Alexander Gardner was the successful bidder, asking for $669.

In 1831, voters went back to providing a poor house. The Roberts farm having been sold, the town paid $1,371.50 to the heirs of Elihu Getchell, Jr., for a property that was designated the new “Town Farm.”

This building was called the Town House by 1845, when voters directed selectmen to buy “a stove and funnell [sic] to warm the Town House.”

In 1852, it was the town farm: town officials spent $2,282.27 for “a new ‘set of buildings.'” In 1867, records said Thomas S. Lang donated $150 of the $230.89 spent for repairs to the town house; and Robbins found another $100 appropriated in 1888.

An 1886 action that Robbins reported suggests where this poor house or farm was located. That year, she found, officials planned to lay out a road from Foster’s mill to the farm “on the west side of the Pond.”

Foster’s mill, according to Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec Country history, was on Seven Mile Stream, the farthest upstream of several mills using the stream’s water power. Since Seven Mile Stream runs from Webber Pond to the Kennebec River, it seems probable that the town farm was on the west side of Webber Pond.

The farm was still operating in 1931, when Harold Taylor, of East Vassalboro (many residents will remember his daughter, Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor, and a few might remember him), repaired its windmill. It was sold in 1945, for $9,805.88, Robbins found.

* * * * * *

Linwood Lowden included a section on care of the destitute in his Windsor history. Examples he selected from the first half of the 19th century indicate that Windsor (the town that was named Malta from 1809 to 1820, Gerry for two years, and Windsor after 1822) alternated between providing a poor house or farm and bidding off paupers, with other measures taken intermittently.

The first report he cited was from a March 1813 town report at which voters were asked if they wanted to build a work house or choose another method. On April 5, they voted to turn the house described as “Joseph Linscotts Meiggs house at his mills” into a “work house for the poor,” with Linscott the overseer. Lowden believed the house was at Maxcy’s Mills on the west branch of the Sheepscot River, in the southeastern part of town.

On Aug. 3, 1815, town meeting voters moved the poor house to a house Joseph Norris owned near his “dwelling house” on the east side of the Sheepscot. Lowden located this house on the Cooper’s Mills Road, a little south of Maxcy’s Mills.

On April 1, 1822, voters moved the poor again, to “John Cottle’s old house,” with Cottle the overseer. Lowden located this house only by original and 1993 owners (Jabez Meiggs and Bernard Dow).

Another house that Lowden called “Linscotts Chadwick house” often housed paupers. In 1816, for example, voters said David Linn’s wife and children could live on the porch and their cow could graze on the Chadwick land, with the selectmen to determine how much to pay Linscott.

(Lowden did not explain, and your writer declines to guess, why the two houses had double names.)

Other town meeting decisions in 1816 and following years:

  • A widow named Betsey Trask and another woman named Molly Proctor were to be given half a bushel of corn every Monday.
  • Three of Molly Proctor’s sons were bid off, two to their uncle Jonas Proctor and the third to Robert Hutchinson.
  • In 1818, the Kennebec County Probate Court granted Calvin McCurda guardianship over five younger brothers and sisters. Lowden explained that their father died in the War of 1812 and “there were pension funds to provide a financial base for the family.”

On April 4, 1837, Lowden wrote, Windsor voters decided to buy a poor farm. They appointed a three-man committee, who bought Thomas J. Pierce’s 90-acre farm.

(Editor’s note:) The possible location of the town farm in Vassalboro, on the west side of Webber Pond. The large island is referred to as Town Farm Island, in an area that was farm land before the dam was installed to form the lake as it is today. The rock lined road to the farm still exists under water.

The farm, Lowden said, was on both side of Route 2 north of the Windsor four corners, partly on the south side of Choate Road, which intersects Route 32 from the east. The farm buildings were on the west side of Route 32.

Lowden surmised that the vote was hotly debated and close. At another meeting a month later, he wrote, voters approved selling the farm and contents; in November 1837, George Briggs of Augusta bought it for $135.

In following years, Lowden wrote, voters went back to bidding off the poor, apparently as a group. In 1848, he wrote, Richard Moody offered to assume the responsibility for $425. Part of the job was to send pauper children to school and provide their school books.

* * * * * *

In Palermo, according to Millard Howard’s history, there was a poor farm for many years, operated as “a private enterprise” rather than owned by the town. Other paupers were bid out; or a relative was compensated for providing room and board.

In 1846, Howard wrote, James A. Huntoon, who was supporting Malvina Huntoon at town expense, “received payment for large quantities of port wine and brandy (medicinal, I assume).”

Howard described the indenture system that Palermo, and other towns, provided for minors who fell into poverty. He gave an 1848 example: after Elvira Brown became a town charge, the Palermo overseers of the poor bound out her son Arthur as an apprentice to a farmer named Charles Hathorn. Brown was to work for Hathorn from March 8, 1848, to Oct. 13, 1865, when he turned 21.

(Your writer notes that these dates say that Brown was not yet four years old when he was apprenticed.)

In return for Brown’s labor, Hathorn agreed to train him as a farmer; to teach him to “read, write and cypher”; and to provide “sufficient clothing food and necessaries both in sickness and health.”

Another issue that Howard discussed at more length than other historians was disputes among towns as to which one was responsible for a pauper who moved around. The rule was that wherever the pauper established “settlement,” that town was responsible. Such disputes seemed especially numerous in the 1840s, he commented.

For instance, in 1843, Howard said, Palermo went to court against Clinton, claiming a family named Chamberlain was not Palermo’s responsibility. Alas for Palermo, the court found that in 1823, Palermo had assisted the Chamberlains, thus assuming responsibility. The case cost Palermo $149.24 in damages paid to Clinton and another $50.26 in legal expenses.

On the other hand, Howard found an instance of cooperation between two towns’ officials: in March 1857, Freedom overseers warned Palermo officials not to be generous if a “smart, healthy young woman in her teens” who “seems very willing, if not desirous, to be a town pauper” showed up on Palermo’s side of the town line.

* * * * * *

China, like neighboring towns, vacillated among methods of providing for paupers, according to the bicentennial history. From the 1820s, they were usually bid off, sometimes individually and sometimes with one bidder assuming responsibility for all the town’s poor.

After decades of discussion and brief ownership of a farm in 1838, a March 31, 1845, town meeting appointed a five-man committee to find a suitable farm and report back in a week. Committee members examined, they reported, between 20 and 30 farms and recommended paying $2,000 for the farm owned by Seth Brown, which the town had owned in 1838.

There were cheaper farms available, the committeemen added, but it would cost more to adapt them.

The history says the farm was on the east shore of China Lake a little north of Clark Brook “and was considered one of the best-situated farms in town.” Between September 1846 and Mach 1849, voters appropriated about $2,800 to pay for the farm (with interest); to provide livestock and equipment; and to pay a superintendent. In March 1850 another $200 was appropriated “to enlarge the farmhouse.”

The history describes the farm as having “a large house and several barns and sheds.” In the 1850s, there were usually 15 or 16 paupers, “most of them old and infirm.” The superintendent and his wife, the able-bodied poor and when necessary hired hands tried to keep the farm at least partly self-sustaining.

A March 1859 inventory listed “two oxen, six cows, sixteen sheep, three swine,” plus supplies of “hay, corn, oats, wheat, vegetables, beef, and pork.” Hens were added in 1867.

Other paupers were living off the farm by the 1860s; in 1868, taxpayers spent more on the farm – over $540 –than on off-farm support – about $400. The farm had sold animals and crops, but had failed to cover expenses; and, the selectmen commented, all of the buildings leaked.

Due to space limits, the story of China’s poor farm will be continued next week.

Main sources

Grow, Mary M. , China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions (1984).
Howard, Millard , An Intro­duction to the Early History of Palermo, Maine (second edition, December 2015).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Lowden, Linwood H., good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993).
Robbins, Alma Pierce, History of Vassalborough Maine 1771 1971 n.d. (1971).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: The story of Independence Day

by Mary Grow

Local historians make some references to Independence Day celebrations

According to Wikipedia, celebrating Independence Day on July 4 each year is most likely an error.

The writer of the on-line site’s article on this national holiday says that the Second Continental Congress, meeting in a closed session, approved Virginia representative Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring the United States independent of Great Britain on July 2, 1776.

Knowing the decision was coming, a five-man committee headed by Thomas Jefferson spent much of June drafting the formal declaration that would justify the dramatic action. After debating and amending the draft, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – having approved the act of independence two days earlier.

Wikipedia further says that although some Congressmen later said they signed the declaration on July 4, “[m]ost historians” think the signing was really not until Aug. 2, 1776.

The article includes a quotation from a July 3, 1776, letter from John Adams, of Massachusetts, to his wife, Abigail. Adams wrote that “[t]he second day of July 1776…will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

Adams recommended the day “be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

And so it has been – two days late.

Wikipedia says July 4 celebrations began in 1777, in Philadelphia, where the observance included an “official dinner” for members of the Continental Congress, and in Bristol, Rhode Island. The Massachusetts General Court was the first state legislature to make July 4 a state holiday, in 1781, while Maine was part of Massachusetts.

Windsor historian Linwood Lowden mentioned the importance of the local Liberty Pole as part of Independence Day observances. Liberty Poles, he explained were put up after the Declaration of Independence as symbols of freedom. Many later became town flagpoles; Windsor’s, at South Windsor Corner (the current junction of routes 32 and 17), was still called a Liberty Pole in 1873.

The central Kennebec Valley towns covered in this history series have quite probably celebrated the holiday annually, or almost annually, since each was organized. As with other topics, local historians’ interest, and the amount of available information, vary from town to town.

James North’s history of Augusta is again a valuable resource. He described Independence Day celebrations repeatedly, beginning with 1804 (it was in 1797 that Augusta separated from Hallowell and, after less than four months as Harrington, became Augusta).

In 1804, North describes two celebrations, divided by politics. The Democrats, or Democratic-Republicans (the party of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others) gathered at the courthouse, where Rev. Thurston Whiting addressed them.

(Whiting is listed in on-line sources as a Congregationalist. He preached in Newcastle, Warren and before 1776 in Winthrop, where he “was invited to settle but declined,” according to a church history excerpted on line. He preached in Hallowell in 1775 [then described as “a young man”], and in 1791 is listed in Hallowell records as solemnizing the marriage of two members of prominent Augusta families, James Howard, Esquire, and Susanna Cony.)

The Federalists (the party of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and others) began celebrating at dawn with “a discharge of cannon,” North wrote. They organized a parade at the courthouse that went across the Kennebec and back to the meeting house where an aspiring young lawyer, Henry Weld Fuller, gave a speech. The day ended with a banquet at the Kennebec House (a local hotel that often hosted such events), during which participants “drank seventeen regular toasts highly seasoned with federalism.”

(Hon. Henry Weld Fuller [1784-Jan. 29, 1841], born in Connecticut, graduated from Dartmouth in 1801, studied law and came to Augusta in 1803. He married Ester or Esther Gould [1785-1866], on Dec. 21, 1805, or Jan. 7, 1806 [sources differ]. They had seven children, including Henry Weld Fuller II [1810-1889], who in turn fathered Henry Weld Fuller III [1839-1863], who died without issue. North wrote that the senior Fuller served in the Massachusetts legislature in 1812 and 1816 and in the Maine legislature in 1837. He was appointed Kennebec County attorney in 1826 and was a Judge of Probate from 1828 until he died. His grandson, Henry III’s brother Melville Weston Fuller, was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.)

By the summer of 1807, the Democratic Republicans had elected one of their number, James Sullivan, as governor of Massachusetts, and the Maine party members “were in high spirits,” North wrote. On July 4, they heard an oration by Rev. Joshua Cushman, of Winslow, and partook of a dinner for 150 people in lavishly decorated courthouse.

Cushman’s speech was published; North wrote that “it attacked federalism with more vigor of denunciation than truthfulness or discretion.”

(Wikipedia says Rev. Joshua Cushman [April 11, 1761 – Jan. 27, 1834] was a Revolutionary War veteran who graduated from Harvard in 1787 and became a minister, serving Winslow’s Congregational Church for almost two decades. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts from 1819 to 1821, and with Maine statehood continued as a Maine member until 1825. He had just been elected to the Maine House of Representatives when he died. Wikipedia says “He was interred in a tomb on the State grounds in Augusta.”)

By July 4, 1810, the Augusta Light Infantry had been organized and paraded as part of the Federalist celebration, which North believed was held in Hallowell. He listed a parade including the Light Infantry as part of the 1810 and 1812 celebrations as well.

Because 1826 was the 50th anniversary of independence, Augusta officials organized an all-day celebration, North wrote. It began with a “discharge of cannon and ringing of bells” at dawn and continued with a parade, a ceremony, another parade, a dinner and fireworks set off on both sides of the Kennebec.

One of Augusta’s most prominent residents, Hon. Daniel Cony (Aug. 3, 1752 – Jan 21, 1842), presided at the banquet. Attendees included General John Chandler (Feb. 1, 1762 – Sept. 25, 1841), then in his second term as a United States Senator; Peleg Sprague (April 27, 1793 – Oct. 13, 1880), then a member of the United States House of Representatives and later a U.S. Senator; and “some officers of the army and navy who were engaged in the survey of the Kennebec.”

Also present, North wrote, was Hon. Nathan Weston (March 17, 1740 – Nov. 17, 1832), whom Cony introduced as the “venerable gentleman” who served in the Revolutionary army and fought at Saratoga with him. North wrote that Weston “briefly review[ed]…the events which preceded and led to the war of the revolution, noticing the severity of the struggle and the spirit which brought triumphant success, gave the following toast: ‘The spirit of ’76 ­ – alive and unspent after fifty years.'”

(North’s history includes two biographical sections on this Nathan Weston, whom he usually called Capt., and his son, also Nathan Weston, who was a judge and whom North usually called Hon. North did not write anything about Capt. Weston’s military service after the French and Indian wars. However, the younger Nathan Weston was born in 1782 and could not have fought in the Revolution.)

By July 4, 1829, Augusta had been designated Maine’s new state capital (succeeding Portland), and Independence Day was chosen as the day to lay the cornerstone of the State House, leading to “unusual ceremonies and festivity,” North wrote.

The celebration began, as usual, with bells and a 24-gun salute at dawn; continued with a parade featuring the Augusta Light Infantry, many speeches and a banquet; and was climaxed by fireworks set off on both sides of the Kennebec.

One more Independence Day celebration North thought worth describing was the 1832 observance. That year, he wrote, for the first time since 1811, the two political parties – by then the National Republicans and the Democrats – “each had separate processions, addresses and dinners.”

The Democrats got “part of” the Augusta Light Infantry and a band from Waterville for their parade and held their dinner in the State House. The Republicans’ parade incorporated “the Hallowell Artillery and Sidney Rifles, each with a band of music, and the Hallowell and Augusta band.” Their dinner was in the Augusta House.

The local Republican newspaper, identified by North as the Journal, claimed 2,000 people in the Republican parade. The Democratic Age estimated only 700 in the Democrats’ parade, but claimed 1,000 at the State House meal, versus only 400 or 500 at the Republican dinner.

North wrote that the Journal admitted the Democrats fed a larger crowd, but, North quoted, said snidely, “probably half of them dined at free cost.”

Windsor historian Lowden was another who described an occasional Fourth of July celebration, quoting from diaries kept in the 1870s and 1880s by residents Roger Reeves and Orren Choate.

In 1874, Reeves described “Bells, cannon guns, pistols, rockets, bomb shells, fire crackers” on Water Street, but “very little rum” and “no rows.” (Windsor no longer has a Water Street, and your writer failed to find an old map with street names.)

Two years later, Reeves’ family went to the Togus veterans’ home “to see the greased pig caught,” while Reeves himself intended “to celebrate in the hay field.” And in 1878 Reeves again worked all day, earning “a dollar and a pair of slippers” for whitewashing a barn. In the evening he went “up on the hill and played croquet by lamp light.”

Choate went to Weeks Mills for the 1885 Independence Day celebration (he was 17 that year, Lowden said), and wrote that it included races and a dance and he didn’t get home until midnight.

The next year, 1886, July 4 was a Sunday, so the celebration was on Monday. Choate got up at 2 a.m. to join relatives and friends for a trip to Augusta’s celebration, from which they got home at 3 the following morning. “We had a good time,” he wrote, without providing details.

Other local historians made occasional comments about Independence Day celebrations – for example, the Fairfield bicentennial history says that Fairfield’s Civil War monument was dedicated on July 4, 1868.

Your writer hopes that readers remember enjoyable, perhaps moving, ceremonies from years past and will have a safe and fun holiday this year.

Main sources

Fairfield Historical Society, Fairfield, Maine 1788-1988 (1988).
Lowden, Linwood H., good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993).
North, James W., The History of Augusta (1870).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Annemarie Allen receives degree from Quinnipiac University

Annemarie Allen, of Windsor, received a Bachelor of Science degree n Health Science/ Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut, during a commencement ceremony held in May.

Windsor board addresses projects, school concerns and community safety amid crime rise

by The Town Line staff

During the May 23 Select Board meeting, Keith Hall of Public Works reported that winter sand supply is on track, while the schedule for paving work remains uncertain. Local officials are also working on cost-saving measures in collaboration with Marvin Clark.

Transfer Station authorities praised local composting initiatives, with Sean Teekema announcing the rollout of a composting survey. Windsor Fair Association representatives are set to discuss compost site matters in a future meeting, and resurfacing works for the Transfer Station roadway are also in the pipeline.

A vacancy for an Animal Control Officer position will be advertised on the town website and local office, while the Cemetery Sexton reported four recent burials and outlined plans for Veterans Remembrance Day. Dwight Tibbetts is planning a fundraising event, and Joyce Perry suggested changes to the town website to highlight the town’s need for cemetery land.

Local school district RSU #12 will have a budget meeting on May 24, 2023. A resident brought up the concern of using Windsor School as a voting location, noting its disruption to students and proposing changes. The Select Board will consult Superintendent Howard Tuttle to address these issues.

During public comment, residents raised issues about cemetery plot sales and concerns over increased crime rates in the area. The Select Board approved Warrants #51 and #52 and granted several requests from the town manager, including CMP pole placement and safety grant proceedings.

The meeting concluded with a brief executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Windsor select board approves major road construction contract

by The Town Line staff

At its May 9 meeting, the Windsor Select Board approved several major decisions in its recent meeting, including the awarding of road construction and mowing contracts, and acknowledging a resignation of an Animal Control Officer.

The select board, chaired by Ray Bates, accepted a bid from Maine-ly Paving Services, LLC, of $267,692.50 for up to eight major road construction and paving projects in the fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The bid was one of five returned from the six requests for proposals that had been sent out.

A bid from Pierce Works LLC for $4,800 for a single mowing service was also approved. Brush cutting will be charged separately at a rate of $4,000 per mile. The exact areas for brush cutting will be determined at the discretion of the Public Works Supervisor, Keith Hall.

Kim Bolduc-Bartlett, the town’s Animal Control Officer, announced her resignation, effective June 1, 2023. The town plans to advertise for a replacement on its website and at the Town Office.

The board approved Warrants #49 and #50, and it reviewed the Warrant and Notice of Election Calling for the Regional School Unit #12 Budget Validation Referendum.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day was hailed a success. The cost of the collection amounted to $3,735.55, but the expense for the Town of Windsor was only $500. The board expressed interest in conducting the event again next year.

Additionally, a proposal was made to update the Recycling and Dump Ordinances, and the idea will be explored further by the Transfer Station Committee.

Public Works Supervisor Keith Hall reported on various updates, including road and culvert repairs, and ongoing collaboration with the Town of Vassalboro Public Works Department.

The Town Manager, Theresa L. Haskell, reported on various items, including the approval of a motion to convert an inactive Bridge Statement Savings Account into a two-year Certificate of Deposit, and an update on the Central Maine Power (CMP) Section 80 Project.

Whitefield Lions recognized local students

The Whitefield Lions Club is recognizing five local students. These students will receive a $1,000 scholarship towards furthering their education. Each year the Whitefield Lions Club Scholarship Committee chooses among deserving applicants based on hard work, perseverance, leadership, community service and career goals.

This year the club is proud to recognize five outstanding individuals. Carson Appel, from Erskine Academy, in South China, and lives in Windsor, will be studying applied mathematics in the Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University; Ruth Bois, from Coastal Christian Academy, who lives in Jefferson, will be studying to be an elementary school teacher at University of Maine; Abigail St. Cyr, from Lincoln Academy, who lives in Jefferson, will be studying Early Childhood at Southern Maine Community College; Candence Rau, from Erskine Academy, who lives in Jefferson, will be studying physical fitness at Central Maine Community College; and Ava White, from Lincoln Academy, who lives in Jefferson, will be studying neuroscience at Mount Holyoke College.

Windsor town office closed for voting June 13

The Windsor Town Office will be closed on Tuesday, June 13, due to voting being held at the Windsor Elementary School.

WINDSOR: Listing all ways to state would be large undertaking

by The Town Line staff

Town manager Theresa Haskell informed the Windsor Select Board at their April 25 meeting about a bill pending before the Legislature, LD461, that if implemented, would require municipalities to develop or update a list of town ways, private ways, and private roads. Each municipality will have to have this provided to the Department of Transportation by November 1, 2023, and the towns would have to establish standards for private road construction by November 1, 2024. “This is a lot of work,” Haskell commented. Also, LD1177 would increase municipal solid waste and construction debris $5 more per ton.

Haskell also said she received a letter from the Department of Transportation indicating that All State Asphalt will be resurfacing Route 105 from Augusta to Somerville.

In other business, Haskell asked the board to use the remainder of ARPA funds that were approved for up to $35,000 for the Windsor Rescue’s Defibrillator, to purchase a battery for this defibrillator. The cost for the battery is $440.44, and this will not go over the $35,000 that was approved by voters.

Regarding public works projects, Haskell gave an update on bridge inspections. Overall, the bridges are in good condition. All the scores were reported back from the inspections as 7 and 8 for culverts and the channels. The scale for scoring goes from a 9 being very good to a 2 being poor.

The hazardous waste program day that was held at the China transfer station on April 22 was a big hit, according to Sean Teekema, transfer station supervisor. There were tons of TVs brought in. It was mentioned several times by the public that they would like to see this become a yearly event. The total community turnout was between 320-350. The town of China is in discussions with KennebecValley Council of Governments (KVCOG) to perhaps keep this as an ongoing event, and they are seeking other locations that may work better for traffic flow, although consensus among officials is that the China event was very well organized.

Teekema gave a brief update on the transfer station committee. It was noted they may need a 100-foot distance from the transfer station cap to where the compost pile will be located. When a measurement was taken, 100 feet would end in the middle of the cap. This would not provide enough room for the compost area. Tekeema mentioned that a conversation has taken place with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and were told there is no issue with a 100-foot distance. A survey asking residents if they favor having composting available at the Windsor Transfer Station will not be circulated until the 100-foot question has been answered.

Haskell mentioned the town needs to talk with the Windsor Fair Association to get permission regarding composting. It was suggested if this is something the town should ask, as to whether this will be built into the lease that Windsor holds, with the $1 lease agreement, or at least getting a confirmation letter if they approve. Members of the Windsor Fair Association will be invited to attend a transfer station committee meeting.

Sandra Grecenko appeared before the board to rqeust a 911 address for her Barton Road property, in Windsor. She owns property on the road but has no residence there. She keeps livestock there, although there is a structure, just no residence. The property has no utilities other than power. She was advised to set up an appointment with Codes Enforcement Office Arthur Strout.

Select board member Ray Bates is following up on the David Shaw property. Shaw came to the select board asking to have fines reduced and was given an opportunity to pay a reduced fine back in February at a considerable reduction. He was given 30 days to pay the reduced fine and instructed to clean up his property. Bates wanted to be sure the follow up was being done. He said neither fine payment nor clean-up have taken place. Haskell confirmed that CEO Strout has been following up and had begun the next steps. The town will also consult with legal counsel as necessary.

The next Windsor Select Board meeting was scheduled for May 9.

Windsor students are top 10 seniors at Maine Arts Academy

Maine Arts Academy recognizes all 41 graduates of the class of 2023, according to a news release from Diane Manter at the academy. Among the class’s top ten seniors are Alexis Scott, who was second, and Alyssa Gagne, who was third, both of Windsor.

Graduation will be Thursday, June 1, at the Augusta Civic Center.

Windsor select board addresses public works, transfer station concerns

by The Town Line staff

At the April 11 meeting of the Windsor Select Board, attendees discussed various town topics, including the Public Works department, the Transfer Station, the Cemetery Sexton, and the Town Manager’s items.

Public Works Supervisor Keith Hall reported the department would start stripping trucks of plow gear in about a week. They still have some salt left over, and the heat in the garage has been turned off. They are currently cleaning up roads and intersections want to make roadways as safe as possible for the public during the warmer weather.

The department is working with Town Manager Theresa Haskell on an MMA grant valued at almost $3,000. If granted, the funds would be used for new safety equipment for public works. Roadside mowing is still to be done, and the roadside mowing contract will go out to bid again.

Sean Teekema, the Transfer Station Supervisor, reported there has been community interest regarding the Windsor Transfer Station offering composting on-site. The select board proposed reconvening the transfer station committee to meet and discuss several things, including the startup of a composting program on-site at the transfer station. The board wants the committee to bring thoughts and ideas back to the select board as soon as possible. The meeting was scheduled for April 18, at 6 p.m.

The select board also discussed hiring a transfer station attendant, which has been posted on the town of Windsor website and is being advertised on the sign at the town office. The monthly transfer station report was handed out, and it was noted that March was down from last year by $1,575.40, making the overall number under $1,988.79 for the year.

Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry spoke about the troubles she has had getting the cemetery website together and making it user-friendly for the public. She spoke of roadblocks she has encountered with the current web host, IPower. Perry asked the select board to change the current hosting company to Dummy Solutions, owned by Windsor resident Dustin Hinds, who has volunteered his previous hours in helping with the website. Hinds offered a 10-hour bundle rate for service at $50 an hour, and he has already paid for a software widget plug-in. The total cost for the hosting package and set up from an existing provider plus 30 minutes a month of professional in-service is $824.08.

After discussion, William Appel Jr. made a motion to approve Dummy Solutions as the new website host for Windsor Town Office.

Haskell gave an update on the RSU #12 meeting. There had been revised calculations reported that made an impact on the original figures that RSU#12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle presented at the March 28 select board meeting. One of the biggest impacts was that the Maine Department of Education ED279 had errors. The new figures are good news for Windsor townspeople. The RSU #12 district budget meeting will be held on May 24 at Chelsea Elementary School, at 6 p.m., and the community is encouraged to attend.

Daniel West, a resident of Windsor, presented himself to the select board as a potential member of the planning board. Andrew Ballantyne made a motion to appoint West as an alternate planning board member, seconded by Richard H. Gray Jr., and approved $1,166 to the Cemetery Fund for the Windsor Veterans Memorial Fund.

Finally, the meeting concluded with some select board items. Ray Bates mentioned having Joel Greenwood at Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) look into legislative bills LD2003 and LD2014 to see if they would pertain to Windsor, while nothing was reported for the Town Hub.