Town Council Update
At the January meeting of the Dexter Town Council
Doug Pooler was sworn-in as a new Council Member filling a position vacated by the departure of Peter Haskell. Peter had served on the Council since 1982, and because of the 1991 establishment of term limits was required to step down. Marcia Delaware was also sworn-in to her second term on the Council
after her successful re-election in November. Marcia was also elected Council Chairman for the second consecutive year and Roger Brawn was elected to the position of Vice-Chair.
Residents are reminded that the Town Council regularly meets
on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Town Council Chambers located in the Morrison Building.
January Board & Committee Appointments
A host of new appointments were made to municipal Boards and Committees during January. Timothy Mountain was reappointed to the Board of Appeals; Geraldine Mountain will serve another term on the Planning Board; Patti Grillo is a new member of the Conservation Commission; Linda Wilbur takes a seat on the Human Resources Committee for a three year term; Kevin Bilodeau and Donna Bilodeau assumed new appointments to the Recreation Committee; Carla Witham and Carol Feurtado will serve three-year terms on the Cemetery Committee; Roger Fanjoy, Peter Prescott, and Teresa Page were appointed to the Library Board of Trustees; Roland Clukey, Stanley Tremblay, and Tim Briggs took seats on the Airport Committee; and a nine member Board of Directors for the Municipal Golf Course was confirmed. We still have a number of openings on several boards and committees. If you have an interest in becoming a member of one of these groups, please stop by the Town Office and complete a simple application.
Local Business Leaders - Attention!
On the evening of Wednesday, February 23 the Dexter Town Council will host an "open house" at the Brewster Inn to exchange information and ideas with local business owners and operators about the role municipal government can play in improving the business climate in Dexter. We'll have representatives from the Piscataquis County Economic
Development Council and Southern Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce on hand to provide insight into their activities, and offer ways they may be able to benefit local business. If you are a business owner or operator in Dexter, you're invited to stop by the Brewster Inn anytime between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM on the evening of February 23rd to share some of your ideas with municipal leaders.
Boat Launch, Beach & Campgrounds
In late September of last year work was completed on a new boat launch at the municipal recreation area on Little Lake Wassookeag. Thanks to a grant from the Maine Department of Conservation, help from the Tri-County Technical Center in transporting the dock and concrete ramp, and the hard work of our Public Works and Facilities Management employees, the new launch site changed from an idea to reality. Along with the new boat launch, we've redesigned the camping area, done some renovations to the beach house, restored the public beach area,
and will be acquiring some new picnic tables and playground equipment.
Charter Commission Update
The newly established Charter Commission has begun the year-long task of conducting a review of the Town's Charter. Their job is to make recommendations to the Town Council on revisions to the original charter which was adopted in 1975. The Commission meets on the first Thursday and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Town Council Chambers. The public is welcome to attend the group's meetings.
Town Assessor -
Got Your Green Card Yet?
In order to keep information on the Town property cards current, we've been going from neighborhood to neighborhood and asking residents to set up a time for a quick review of their buildings. Many people have already received a little green card to set up an appointment. Those in-town residents that haven't yet received a card, will get one before the summer months arrive.
I'd like to explain the need for this process and allay some of the concerns that people might have. First of all, this is not the type of sweeping revaluation the Town has gone through in the past. Actually, this is not a "revaluation" at all. Property sales continue to reflect a relatively stable market and we've been able to keep values for all classes of real estate well within the ranges that the sales have statistically indicated. There is a need, however, to make sure that our information is reasonably accurate so that valuations will reflect what is actually present for each property. Keeping the information accurate enables us to predict sales prices more reliably and small adjustments made when necessary save the Town the expense of "revaluations" that were done in 1980 and 1991. Accurate property record cards are also important tools for insurance companies trying to make fair settlements, and for other professionals, such as appraisers, to support good lending practices.
Because the basic appraisal system we're using remains sound, adjustments to value are only being made where new construction or fixtures are identified, or if a building's condition has improved or declined. Looking back at the houses I've checked in the past year, I find that most values are relatively unchanged, and it is rare to find a property that needs a significant adjustment.
The inspection itself is a short process of five to ten minutes, and is scheduled at the owner's convenience. If nights or weekends are the best for the owner, I'll try to accommodate those needs as well. We appreciative the support and cooperation of the homeowners in the community who are understanding of the need to conduct such research.
1999 Annual Town Report
The Town's 1999 Annual Report has just arrived from the publisher and copies are available at the Town Office. This year's report promises to be even better than last year's award winning publication. We invite you to pick up one of the reports and take a look.....I think you'll be amazed at the amount of information that's packed in these small books.!
If you haven't noticed already, the Dexter Ambulance Service recently took delivery of a new Ambulance. The old ambulance has been transferred to the Fire Department where it is being used as a support vehicle to carry a variety of equipment including the recently acquired "jaws of life".
One of the "hot topics" around Town is the issue of who's going to be providing emergency dispatching services for our public safety agencies in the near future. If all goes as we plan, the Penobscot Regional Communications Center in Bangor will eventually provide all of our emergency dispatching needs, instead of continuing to maintain three separate arrangements like we currently have. Hopefully, by April the Ambulance Service will be dispatched by Penobscot and during the following months our Police and Fire Departments will also come under the single agency dispatching umbrella. Our plan is to have 911 service available to Dexter by mid-summer. Before we change to a full 911 system we plan to inform the public via a variety of public information resources, so stay tuned for further developments!
Upcoming Recreation Programs
Registration for two of our Recreation Department's Winter programs is scheduled for February. On Sunday, February 20th from 2:00 - 3:30 PM at the Town Hall there will be registration for Indoor Soccer. This program is designed for children in grades 3 - 5. On Monday, February 28th between the hours of 3:00 - 6:00 PM at the Dexter Middle School will be sign-up for wrestling. This program is designed for youth in grades 1 - 5. Remember, the fee for each program is generally $10. If you have any questions please contact Gary Sinclair, the Recreation Director, at 924-7351 between 3 and 5 PM, Monday - Friday.
Pointers from the Ambulance Director
During the past year there have been a number of non-emergency calls on the Ambulance emergency phone line. Non-emergency calls to the Ambulance Service should use 924-6212. Emergency calls should be directed to 924-7315. When requesting an ambulance to respond to an emergency it would be very helpful if the caller would provide the following information:
Dexter on the World Wide Web
If you have access to the internet check out Dexter's Web Site. We've had a Web Site for over a year now, and we're very excited about the new opportunities it provides. We offer a wide variety of information dealing with everything from municipal activities and school functions to a list of local businesses. The Web Page address is www.dextermaine.org.
Cable Communication Advisory Committee
The Dexter Town Council recently authorized the creation of a Cable Communication Advisory Committee. We envision that this new group will have the responsibility to provide oversight for the development, scheduling, and presentation of local public cable television programming as well as function in an advisory capacity on other matters relating to cable television services provided to the community. Once established, it is intended that a member of the committee be appointed as Dexter's representative on the Down East Cable Consortium Board of Directors. If you would be interested in being considered as a candidate for appointment to this committee, please stop by the Town Office and complete a brief application.
Inquiries concerning the responsibilities of the committee should be directed to the Town Manager.
The Land-Use Plan Stays On The Shelf
Last November, voters approved the adoption of a Land-Use Plan for Dexter. Shortly thereafter, a local citizen group known as the "Committee for Property Rights" successfully filed a petition with the Town Clerk seeking repeal of the new ordinance. Under the current Town Charter, once a petition to repeal a newly adopted ordinance is presented to the Town Clerk and determined to be in compliance with state and local laws, the ordinance in question cannot be enacted. Therefore, the Land-Use Plan that was approved by voters stays on the shelf until such time that its status is determined by the Town Council or Referendum action. At their January meeting the Council grudgingly agreed to again place a referendum question on the November ballot which will determine whether or not the Land-Use Ordinance is retained or repealed.
Town Ice Skating Rink.....
- Your telephone number so that the ambulance can call back for further directions if needed.
- The number on the house or mailbox where the ambulance is responding.
- Color of the house or any common landmarks.
- Is the person needing assistance conscious and breathing?
- Always hang up the phone after the dispatcher has acquired all the necessary information .
Alive and Well!
Some of you may not be aware that the Town operates an outdoor ice skating rink each season, weather conditions permitting. This year our Facilities Maintenance team has worked hard to keep the ice in prime condition, and we've expanded the hours of operation for our "Warming Hut". The "Warming Hut" is open seven days a week; Monday - Friday from 3:00 - 7:00 PM, and on weekends from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. If you don't have a pair of skates, we have a good selection of skates that can be used at no charge. We do ask that children under the age of 8 be accompanied by an adult.
Economic Development Update
Recently, the Town Council approved Dexter's participation as a member of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council. This is intended as a one- year trial effort to determine the benefits that could be derived from working in a cooperative
effort with the Piscataquis County based group. Mark Scarano, Business Development Director for the organization, will begin contacting businesses in Dexter during February. We're hopeful that this initiative will help provide some exciting opportunities for some of Dexter's businesses, as well as attract new business to the area. If you are a Dexter business and would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at 1-800-539-0332.
Council Chamber Displays
The front windows of the Council Chambers in the Morrison Building are frequently used for seasonal displays; however, if your group or organization would like to create a display reflecting your activities, programs, or achievements, window space can be made available as the schedule permits. This opportunity is designed for non-profit and service organizations to enhance public awareness about community programs.
A Winter Reminder
During the winter months and especially during snow storms, there is a parking ban on town streets
between the hours of 1:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Violators are subject to having their vehicle towed away and a fine.