Welcome to town

New Gloucester’s Welcome, Neighbor project is a grass-roots community effort loosely based on the old-fashioned welcome wagon concept. In coordination with the town office, it has handed out over 120 welcome packets to new residents during the past two years.

The packets contain items donated by New Gloucester-based businesses and organizations including business cards, fliers and gift certificates. Comments by newcomers who have received them have all been positive, and participating local businesses have reported getting new customers as a result of the free publicity.

The Welcome, Neighbor group plans to meet Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the New Gloucester Public Library. If you would like to assist but cannot attend the meeting, you can still help. Contact Beth Blakeman-Pohl to find out how you can get involved.

“We welcome all community members to join us to work on this project. I think volunteers will learn more about their community while meeting new neighbors. It’s a chance for them to make connections and most of all be rewarded by knowing they helped welcome a new neighbor to our wonderful community,” said Blakeman-Pohl.

Join in this effort or find out more about it by contacting Blakeman-Pohl at [email protected]

Special town meeting

All New Gloucester residents are encouraged to attend a special town meeting Monday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Memorial School to vote on allowing the town to lease property to the Historical Society for building a History Barn. The barn would provide shelter for the society’s collection of artifacts (some large, such as the town’s horse-drawn hearse) and historical records.

The warrant article reads as follows: “To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a lease with the New Gloucester Historical Society at minimal cost, and upon terms as determined to be reasonable by the Board of Selectmen, to construct a Historical Barn to house the Tenant’s collection of artifacts and papers for safe storage and display. The site is located behind the Town Hall, known as the ‘stable’ that is to be demolished by the Tenant.”

The draft ground lease agreement grants a portion of land area behind the town hall large enough to accommodate an approximately 30-by-40-foot barn. The Historical Society would have up to a year to demolish the stable and construct the barn’s exterior, and it will be responsible for costs such as maintenance, improvements, insurance, utilities and services.

The base rent would be $1 per year, and the term of the lease would be 75 years with a possible extension upon mutual agreement.

Get involved

The Board of Selectmen is seeking volunteers to serve on town boards and committees. The following boards and committees have vacancies:

Board of Appeals: (1) 2-year; (1) 3-year

Budget Committee: (2) 3-year

Cable TV Committee: (2) 3-year; (1) 1-year

Community Fair Committee

Economic Development Committee: (1) 1-year; (1) 2-year

Environmental Resources Committee: (2) 3-year

Land Management Planning Committee: (1) 2-year; (2) 1-year

Parks & Recreation: (9) 3-year

Planning Board: (1) 1-year; (1) 3-year

Interested citizens can fill out an application at the town office. Applications are also available online at www.newgloucester.com, so print one out and submit a completed form to the town office in person, or by mail: 385 Intervale Rd., New Gloucester, ME 04260. For additional information, call the town office at 926-4126 ext. 1.

Legal beagle

This is the time of year for dog owners to ante up for each canine in the family. Dog licenses are available at the town office.

Avoid a $15 per dog penalty by paying licensing fees by 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. The license fee for a dog that is spayed or neutered is $6, and $11 for those who are not altered. You can license your dog online for an additional $1 per dog at https://www10.informe.org/dog_license.

A portion of the money collected helps fund the state’s Animal Welfare Program, which promotes animal-friendly goals such as responsible pet ownership through its spay/neuter program.

Cure for the winter blahs

Are you looking for activities for the winter days ahead? You’ll find lots of great books at bargain prices at the Friends of the New Gloucester Library “Cabin Fever Book & Bake Sale” on Saturday, Feb. 14. In addition, you’ll find great jigsaw puzzles and games to help pass the time. Super deals will abound at the sale.

Mark the Cabin Fever Book Sale on your calendar for Valentine’s Day from 9 a.m. to noon at the New Gloucester Public Library.

My next column: Jan. 30 issue

Deadline for submissions: Jan. 24

Welcome, Neighbor volunteers industriously assemble magazine holders and paste on labels to create holders for inserting materials donated by New Gloucester-based businesses and organizations. The packets will be given to newcomers in the spirit of the old-fashioned welcome wagon concept.

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