China select board holds ice cream social, presents Spirit of America award

by Mary Grow

China select board members began their May 20 meeting with their second ice cream social in two weeks, as an introduction to the presentation of 2024 Spirit of America awards.

The dozen residents recognized for their volunteerism this year are:

Carol Boynton and Thomas Bilodeau, for service to the Project Linus chapter serving Hancock, Kennebec, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. Project Linus, Boynton explained, is a national organization whose volunteers give handmade blankets to hospitals and service organization to distribute to sick or traumatized children. Boynton said she and Bilodeau have made 55 blankets in the 18 months they have been involved.
Sheldon Goodine (who was unable to attend the select board meeting), for leadership in China’s Golden Agers senior program and service to the South China church, library, Masons and American Legion.
Thomas Maraggio, transfer station manager, for creating appropriate flag disposal boxes for the China Transfer Station. Maraggio explained that he was distressed to find United States flags treated as trash; he could not find appropriate disposal boxes to buy, so he made some. When he reported accepting about five flags a week, there was a chorus of “Wow!” from the audience.
Thomas Rumpf, president of the China Four Seasons Club for the past seven years, for leading the organization that provides recreational activities. Rumpf shared credit with “all the Four Seasons Club volunteers who make things happen.”
Jeanette Smith, chairman of the Thurston Park Committee, for leading the small group of volunteers ensuring accessibility to Thurston Park in northeastern China, including clearing trails after storm damage.
China Community Forest Committee members Larry and Nancy Lemieux, Elizabeth Swahn, Jessica Parlin, Peter Moulton and Susan Cottle, for countless hours maintaining the China Community Forest behind China Primary School.

China Community Forest Committee co-chairs Elaine Philbrook and Anita Smith received Spirit of America awards in 2022.

In other business May 20, select board members postponed continued discussion of town buildings until Goodine, who heads the town’s building committee, is present. He had drafted a plan for remodeling the interior of the old town garage on the north side of the town office lot.

The June 3 select board meeting tentatively includes a tour of the building.

On another ongoing issue, board chair man Wayne Chadwick reported that the South China boat landing “is getting looked at and worked on.” That morning, he said, he and fellow board member Brent Chesley, Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood and Director of Public Services Shawn Reed met there to discuss improvements intended to minimize run-off into China Lake.

Select board members appointed Thomas Maragliuolo to fill a vacancy on the town board of appeals.

They continued preparations for the June 11 elections, approving the Regional School Unit #18 school budget referendum warrant and appointing election officials.

In a separate meeting in their capacity as assessors, they approved five requests for local tax abatements. Two points came out of the discussion:

Anyone planning to demolish a building needs a free demolition permit from the town. The record of the permit ensures that the building is removed from the tax rolls.
Any property transfer should include accurately surveyed boundaries, to avoid many later complications.

Temporary changes in town office hours and related information

The China town office will be closed all day Monday, May 27, for the Memorial Day holiday.

In June, the town office will be closed all day Tuesday, June 11, for the annual town business meeting, school budget referendum and primary election. Absentee ballots are available until the close of business Thursday, June 5.

June 11 voting will be by written ballot in the former portable classroom behind the town office building. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. (after a moderator is elected at 6:45) to 8 p.m. The driveway off Lakeview Drive will be closed June 11; access will be from Alder Park Road, south of the town office complex.

On Friday, June 28, the town office will close at noon to allow staff to complete end-of-fiscal year tasks. The select board will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. on June 28 to approve year-end payables.

The town office will also be closed on Saturday, June 29, because of the end of year process.


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