2019-’20 Real Estate Tax Due Dates

CHELSEA

(Second half)
April 8, 2020

CHINA

(pay all up front or semi-annually)
Friday, September 27
Friday, March 27, 2020

VASSALBORO

(pay all up front or quarterly)
Monday, September 23
Monday, November 25
Monday, February 24, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020

WATERVILLE

(pay all up front or quarterly)
October 11
December 13
March 13, 2020
June 12, 2020

WINDSOR

(pay all up front or)
September 30 or
Half on Sept. 30
and half March 31, 2020

Erskine Renaissance Awards presented for December 2019

Seniors of the Trimester, front row, from left to right, Julia Basham and Summer Hotham. Back row, Lucy Allen, Jacob Sutter, Ben Reed and Dominic Smith. (contributed photo)

On Friday, December 13, Erskine Academy students and staff attended a Renaissance Assembly to honor their peers with Renaissance Awards.

Left, Faculty of the Trimester, Jennifer Tibbetts, left, and Eileen McNeff. (contributed photo)

Recognition Awards were presented to the following students: Jack Allen, Lily Bray, Nathan Million, Sydni Plummer, Hanna Spitzer, Benjamin Lavoie, Alyssha Gil, and Eleena Lee.

In addition to Recognition Awards, Senior of the Trimester Awards were also presented to six members of the senior class: Lucy Allen, daughter of Patrick and Shirley Allen, of Windsor; Julia Basham, daughter of Tim and Catherine Basham, of China; Dominic Smith, son of Katrina and Dan Jackson, of Whitefield; Ben Reed, son of Kevin and Jennifer Reed, of Vassalboro; Summer Hotham, daughter of Charles and Heide Hotham, of Palmero; and Jacob Sutter, son of Richard and Jenny Sutter, of Palermo. Seniors of the Trimester are recognized as individuals who have gone above and beyond in all aspects of their high school careers.

In appreciation of their dedication and service to Erskine Academy, Faculty of the Trimester awards were also presented to Jennifer Tibbetts, mathematics instructor; and Eileen McNeff, business office bookkeeper.

Windsor selectmen decide on a temporary fix to the town’s public works refueling needs

by Sandra Isaac

During the November 26 meeting, Windsor selectmen decided the town will purchase a trailer and 100 gallon fuel tank with a pump, which will enable the public’s work department the ability to refuel the trucks after hours and during plowing season. This option allows the selectmen time to come up with a more permanent solution and factor in the costs to the next fiscal budget.

The need for an alternative fueling option comes after John Moody’s retirement announcement effective this December. Although the town has found another fuel source with Hussey’s Store, in Windsor, the public works department needed a refueling solution for after hours and during snow plowing. The trailer and tank will provide a good alternative until a more permanent solution can be found.

The trailer and fuel tank will be purchased for under $1,800. A pump assembly, lettering, decals, and a hazmat spill kit will all need to be purchased, but the selectmen agreed to keep the cost under $2,500.

The town was previously looking into a truck with a 100 gallon tank mounted on the back, but after further discussion, it was decided the trailer and tank would be a better option. Registration, inspections and maintenance of a truck played major factors in the decision making. A trailer with a tank can be parked or transported as necessary, and could still be used throughout the year.

Windsor Town Manager, Theresa Haskell, also asked for debit cards; one for each of the public works truck and one for the back hoe. The debit cards will allow the town to get discounts when using Hussey’s for fueling and will allow the public works department the ability to track each truck’s fuel consumption.

In other discussions, the topic of the RSU #12 solar farm proposal was reviewed, with Selectman Richard Gray Jr. and Selectman Andrew Ballantyne helping to clarify much of the information. According to an anonymous school board member, “the only action that the school board has made was to look into the project. When it comes to the information currently available, the school board members are as confused as the selectmen.”

“The RSU solar farm proposal had the price increasing yet the state load has decreased due to more efficient lighting, etc. Energy cost and demand cost are items that need to be considered. If there is not as much of a demand, you won’t get much money for the energy produced,” said Gray.

Selectmen are requesting to be present when an official report is presented to the RSU#12 school board. The selectmen have agreed to table this indefinitely or until more information can be provided.

In other news, the Veterans Memorial held another fundraiser, selling homemade pies in front of Hussey’s Store prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Twenty-seven people donated items to be sold at the pie sale, with $840 raised as a result of the sale, along with private donations, brought the total to $1,000.

DEP denies Windsor’s initial request to install a diesel fuel tank

by Sandy Isaac

At the November 12 selectmen’s meeting, Town Manager Theresa Haskell reported that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has denied Windsor’s request to have a diesel tank installed on town property, specifically at the public works department. The need for a new diesel fuel tank stems from John Moody’s retirement announcement, effective this December. The town used Moody’s Fuel on Route 17, which included refueling after hours or during snowstorms. The DEP said the town will now have to apply for a variance, fill out a 25-plus page application, and go through the fire marshal’s office again for approval.

Haskell and Selectmen Ronald Brann had a formal meeting with representatives from the DEP, which, according to Brann, became quite heated at times. During the meeting, Brann inquired about alternatives to the diesel tank plans, including a 500-gallon fuel “cube.” A fuel cube can be placed on site and used as necessary, but still have the ability to be drained and moved. The DEP said this type of system was meant to be used at construction sites or on a temporary basis and would not be appropriate for the town’s needs.

Brann then suggested a trailer or a tank on the back of a pick-up truck. The DEP responded that although it was legal, it would not be secure. Therefore, the DEP recommended a full 1,000-gallon tank install with an electric leak warning system included in the installation plans.

The denial from the DEP is the result of one primary issue: all of the town owned properties that can house a 1,000-gallon fuel tank are located on an aquifer. An aquifer is a body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater. Following the meeting with the DEP, Brann contacted the fire marshal’s office for clarification.

After much discussion, the selectmen decided to look into acquiring a truck with a 100-gallon tank to get through plowing season. This choice would also allow the public works department to utilize the portable tank for off-site work throughout the rest of the year.

Haskell called in Chief Arthur Stout from the Windsor Fire Department into the meeting and asked about the departments plans for refueling. The fire department is currently using fuel cards for filling up. The selectmen indicated that they would like to enter into a conversation with the fire department about ideas and possibly collaborating to resolve the fueling situation. Arthur said he will bring up the topic at the next fire department meeting. Haskell is hoping to get some ideas in motion prior to planning the next town budget.

The next item that presented much discussion was Charter (formerly Spectrum, and before that, Time Warner) Cable Company franchise agreement. The town of Windsor and Charter have a 10-year agreement which allows the cable company to do business within the town limits. In exchange, Charter pays the town a yearly fee. Although the contract is not up for another year and a half, Charter is pressing for Windsor to sign the newly-revised agreement. However, the revisions contain 15 additional pages and, in Selectmen William Apple Jr’s words, “it is not a mutual agreement and leaves us [Windsor] completely culpable.”

For example, revised agreement wording suggests Windsor would be liable for paying for work of laying cable underground or under roadways, to reimbursing Charter an equal amount of money if a utility company is reimbursed for work. Additional wording suggests, if another company were to solicit Windsor, the town must notify Charter and grant them the right to charge the same fees, thus illuminating the competition.

Haskell was asked to find out what would happen if the agreement was not signed. Haskell indicated that most Charter’s responses were repetitive and scripted, but she would reach out to them for an answer.

Haskell stated she would contact Vassalboro and China’s town managers to see if they have similar agreements with Charter. The contract with Charter will be tabled until a later date.

On a positive note, Haskell reported budgeting a six percent increase for Windsor’s employee health benefits for 2019-2020. However, the benefits only increased by three percent.

Finally, the selectmen unanimously approved changing their meeting from December 24 to December 23 at 6 p.m., and allowing the town office to close at 12:30 p.m., on the December 24, and at 5 p.m., on December 31.

The next regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting is set for November 26.

Renovations completed to Windsor Christian Fellowship

The church as it looks upon completion of the project. (contributed photos)

by Brandon Dyer
Pastor-Teacher, Windsor Christian Fellowship

Severe damage to the roof had to be repaired by reconstructing the deck and shingles.

“Didn’t that church burn down?” This question was posed to me several years ago by a student at Windsor School on a day I was substitute teaching. The short answer to this well-meaning child’s question was, “no.” However, the sanctuary of Windsor Christian Fellowship did look as though it had burned down to some extent. Gaping holes in the front of the building, incomplete siding, and general disrepair—the work to be done on the sanctuary was great.

Over the past 200 years, the church has been known by several names: Windsor Methodist Episcopal Church, Windsor Memorial Baptist Church, and now, Windsor Christian Fellowship. Many pastors have served the church, and many Central Mainers have belonged to the church. One constant, however, throughout the almost 200 year history of the church has been the hand-hewn, post-and-beam sanctuary that sits atop a small hill on the Reed Road, in Windsor. Constant, that is, until 2006 when a much needed renovation began.

The steeple is being taken down to complete renovations to it and to make the necessary repairs to the roof.

Since that time, a radiant heat foundation was poured and many other updates were made, such as all new electrical, doors, windows, siding, drywall, trim, and paint. During the years it took to accomplish all of this work, the church had been worshiping in the Fellowship Hall. For most of that time, the smaller Fellowship Hall sufficed; however, the church recently began to outgrow the smaller space and began to look at the possibility of moving into the sanctuary. Although unfinished, the church met for worship in the sanctuary on October 20 for the first time in more than a decade. Despite the lack of carpet, platform, and using a borrowed sound system, it was a wonderful morning of worship.

The sanctuary no longer looks like it burned down. They anticipate using it for worship for many years to come, as well as weddings, funerals, and many other events in the coming years as they seek to serve the community in Windsor and many others throughout central Maine.

The interior of the church getting a complete facelight. Contributed photos

Eagle Scout candidate organizes work day

The brick pad, the picnic table and sign placard near the outlet stream. Front, from left to right, Kameron Rossignol, Kasen Kelley, Remy Pettengill, Ayden Newell, Caleb Knock. Back, Ben Lagasse, Aiden Pettengill, Hunter Praul, Kaiden Kelley, Michael Boostedt, Leaders Derek Rossignol, Darryl Praul and Ron Emery. Missing from photo Leaders Lee Pettengill and parents Keith Lagasse, Jonathan Knock and Grange member Bernie Welch (contributed photo)

by Bernie Welch
Member of the Vassalboro Grange
Photo by Ron Emery, Troop #479

There is something wonderful about being amongst volunteers. What better way than to be part of an Eagle Scout project that promotes community, conversation and education. The Vassalboro Historical Society and the Vassalboro Grange partnered with the Maine Rivers to create an opportunity for the talented troop #479, of China, and specifically Eagle Scout candidate, Ben LeGasse, with the thought of sharing a bit of Vassalboro Lore from the Historical Society and the Grange, plus providing a place to share the plan for an alewife introduction to China Lake. Ben and his father organized a work day on Saturday, October 19. They pre-planned and created a bench and sign placard for the north side of the Grange and also planned and placed a picnic table and sign placard at the Outlet Stream to provide respite for the fishermen, bird watchers and soon to be alewife tourists that promise to be more plentiful once the Maine rivers project is complete.

Ben and his father organized a work day on Saturday, October 19. They pre-planned and created a bench and sign placard for the north side of the Grange. (Contributed photo)

An eagle Scouts project is one that fills a need. The Eagle Scout Service Project, or simply Eagle Project, is the opportunity for a Boy Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part.The project must benefit an organization other than the BSA, and it cannot be performed for an individual or a business or be commercial in nature. Completing an Eagle Project is a requirement in order for Boy Scouts to attain the Eagle Scout rank. Ben chose to organize his project to support the greater Vassalboro community. On the work day he involved his fellow scouts and their fathers. All Scouts actively participated in clearing the area and placing sign posts , the bench, the brick picnic table pad and the picnic table.

Ben also solicited and received tremendous support from Hannafords in South China, Fieldstone Quick stop, Lowes Home supply and, of course, parents and friends. The fathers of the scouts were also out in force providing guidance, institutional memory and wisdom when using hand tools. A ground wasp nest did not deter but did enliven the effort on the day of the event. Grange members provided food and information about the grange. Ben will share his project with the Vassalboro Historical Society and the Maine Rivers during future meetings. His discussion and question answer session at the last Friday Grange meeting was informational and a bit of fun.

Scouting in our area is a hidden community gem. Young people inspire community members to think about the power of doing something for the benefit of others. Yes, there is something wonderful about being volunteers. And you know what , they can be us!

Ben, 17, is a senior at Erskine Academy, in South China, and the son of Keith and Kristie LaGasse, of Windsor.

New farm to table, wellness center coming

The old Resurrection building on Rte. 32, in Windsor, has been purchased and plans are in place to transform the long-vacant building into a community focal point for wellness, dining and gathering while building and supporting the community and its’ local economy. (contributed photo)

After weeks of work and negotiations, the old Resurrection building on Rte. 32, in Windsor, has been purchased and plans are in place to transform the long-vacant building into a community focal point for wellness, dining and gathering while building and supporting the community and its’ local economy. The facility will be managed in a co-operative concept offering membership opportunities as well as host events and workshops throughout the year.

Intentions are to get things started at the property right away with a farmer’s market then open early November will be a certified, gluten-free bakery and a wellness center that will offer a variety of instructed classes such as yoga, tai chi and Pilates as well as personalized consultations and therapies in different disciplines.

If all goes as planned, the Gathering Room will be available for special event rentals in December providing farm to table catered menu selections and local craft beer, wine and liquors.

One of the first spring projects will be to erect a canopy-covered pergola for seasonal dining, event rental and aerial yoga.

Watch for details! Sometime toward the end of October a Harvest Dinner Pig Roast will occur to generate community awareness and raise funds to install the kitchen equipment needed to open the farm to table restaurant/lounge portion of the facility.

The website is currently under construction so find the Facebook page for more contact information and updates.

Windsor selectmen sell two no longer used vehicles

Windsor Town Manager Theresa Haskell received a Certificate of Service from the Maine Town, City and County Management Association for her 10 years of service to the town of Windsor. (photo by Sandra Isaac)

by Sandra Isaac

Windsor Selectmen sold two no-longer-needed public works vehicles to the highest bidder at their meeting on September 3.

Sealed bids for the 2003 International and the 2010 Ford F550, were opened and reviewed. Nine bids were received for the 2003 International, with the winning bid $9,150; 15 bids came in for the F550, with a winning bid of $23,300. Winning bidders have until the end of the month to pay in full or the vehicle will be offered to the next highest bidder. Proceeds from the sales will go into the Public Works Truck Reserve Account, as approved at the town meeting.

In other business, Town Manager Theresa Haskell received a Certificate of Service from the Maine Town, City and County Management Association for her 10 years of service. She has been with the Town of Windsor since 2005 and became town manager on October 28, 2008.  In addition to being the town manager, Haskell has served as the tax collector, treasurer, road commissioner, General Assistance administrator and health officer.

Selectmen noted in their report that many town residents approached them while at the Windsor Fair with concerns or questions about town roads. Selectmen explained that the town road maintenance is on a six- to seven- year cycle, a timeline approved by voters. Other residents suggested improvements to certain roads, such as widening shoulders or increasing a turn flare out. Flashing lights were also suggested at the Route 17 and Griffin Road intersection, or placing a “stop ahead” warning on the tarmac or as a posted sign. All suggestions were noted and discussed in detail.

Further discussion about the fair included Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry’s report on the sale of flowers at the Windsor Fair, which brought in just over $400. These funds, along with the proceeds from continuing sales of concrete or granite pavers will go towards the veterans’ memorial fundraising efforts.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Windsor honors Ladies Aid with Spirit of America

Left to right, Carolyn Greenwood, Judy Baker, Sheila Ready, Diana Gardner, and Ruth Jones. (photo by Sandra Isaac)

On August 20, Windsor town officials honored the Windsor Ladies Aid with the Spirit of America Award.

Front row, left to right, Town Manager Theresa Haskell, Carolyn Greenwood, Sheila Ready, Diana Gardner, Ruth Jones, and Judy Baker. Back row, Windsor Selectmen Ray Bates, Richard Gray, Andrew Ballantyne, William Appel Jr., and Ronald Brann. (photo by Sandra Isaac)

2019 Real Estate Tax Due Dates

ALBION

Monday, September 30

CHINA

(pay all up front or semi-annually)
Friday, September 27
Friday, March 27, 2020

PALERMO

Thursday, October 17

VASSALBORO

(pay all up front or quarterly)
Monday, September 23
Monday, November 25
Monday, February 24, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020

WATERVILLE

(pay all up front or quarterly)
October 11
December 13
March 13, 2020
June 12, 2020

WINDSOR

(pay all up front or biannually)
September 30 or
Half on Sept. 30
and half March 31, 2020