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It’s no fun pushing snow around. Yet it leaves behind an artist’s canvas and an empty book for images and stories. Traces of deer tell from the forest and over the stone wall to the small beech
Nibble on buds, then turn back to the safety of the hemlock. Footsteps paint the portrait of a mysterious quadruped with a trailing tail. And snowshoe prints remind us of two-legged friends enjoying the beauty of it all here in Searsmont after a snowfall.
The weekly working session of the Elect on February 7th covered the proposed Route 3 solar farm (current owners may sell the lease), a possible refinancing of the loan for the new fire station, and an evaluation of the old fire station (any buyer interest?). They discussed an order item from the city assembly on electronic billboards, mowing on state roads (the state’s responsibility) and the city’s statutory reserve accounts.
On February 8, after a brief monthly meeting of the chosen few, only a handful of Searsmonters attended the 2022 budget hearing. Most were department heads. The chosen ones were frugal, and the numbers are surprising. “Consolidated departmental budgets,” $1,190,000 last year, are expected to increase just 2% to $1,215,000. Even with $81,000 added to reserve accounts, the community budget presented to voters (excluding expected revenue) will be less than $1,300,000. We’ll be announcing more details soon, but as a preview of upcoming attractions: Roads and Bridges are expected to increase by $20,000, Ambulance increase by $8,000, Fire Department decrease by $8,000, and Transfer Station decrease by $10,000 with no bags purchased have to.
The library will be closed on Saturday February 19th. Much appreciation for Lesia Sochor’s art exhibition including ‘Series of Threads’ oils, pattern collages and ‘Bodice’ collection. Her works and greeting cards are on sale, the ticket proceeds go to the library.
Come in and enjoy recent acquisitions including Frederick Charles Bradford’s Apple Varieties in Maine, Enric Sala’s The Nature of Nature, the last three Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, James Patterson’s The Horsewoman and Brad Taylor’s End of Days. Kids will enjoy The Lego Architecture Book and George’s Marvelous Medicine and the whole family will enjoy new DVDs including A Lego Brickumentary, The Four Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles and Moana.
H. Joyce Withee Fellowship
The Library Board of Trustees is accepting applications for the Withee Grant through April 30. It is a $500 tuition or book award given to a Searsmonter studying library and information sciences or elementary education at an accredited program. The grant is named after the beloved Searsmonter who founded the library.
Post a letter to Searsmont Town Library, PO Box 56, Searsmont ME 04973 telling the Trustees who you are, what you are studying and where, the date you expect to complete your studies and the cost for tuition or books. Also include a “statement of purpose or career goals.” The 2022 award will be announced by mid-May.
bits and pieces
It was disappointing that so few Searsmonters came out to ask questions and voice their opinions at the budget hearing. Selectmen have done a good job of rubbing nickels together to keep taxes down, but we’re hoping for a livelier discussion at the town meeting.
City officials remind us that free salt and sand from Searsmont’s salt shed is limited to two 5-gallon buckets per resident per storm. Take from the small shed on the left, not the big pile.
In snow, ice, sleet, slush, cold rain and wind, the roads can be tricky despite the best efforts of Searsmont’s tillers and grinders. Forecourts and driveways are also adventures. So be careful out there.