March 30, 1994

Westbrook Police Chief Ronald Allanach is turning down an offer to be an investigator for the state of Florida. “My gut feeling was that it wasn’t right,” he said. He has been Westbrook’s chief since May 1987. He was on vacation March 16-22 to consider the Florida offer.

Unrecorded auto registration fees are said to be the problem with Westbrook City Hall money. Official city sources were still not ready this week to explain the problem that came to public attention Wednesday, but the unconfirmed rumor is that someone has been taking in excise taxes and registration fees, issuing the proper receipts to vehicle owners but tearing up the city’s records and pocketing the money. The fact that money is missing is said to have come to light when someone recognized that stickers – the tabs that go into that corner of the license plate – had disappeared without a record of an equivalent number of registrations.

Westbrook should have 9-1-1 emergency calling service for its 854- and 856- telephones sometime in June. The City Council voted 7-0 last week to spend $2,587 for the equipment required. Westbrook has 14,650 phones on both exchanges.

Business at the Gorham Municipal Center came to a stop Monday afternoon when Police Officer Gordon Junkins was presented with a 20-year pin by Town Manager David Cole. Before joining the force in 1974, Junkins had been a Gorham reserve officer for six years and a firefighter for 15. In 1974, there were four officers and a chief. Now, Gorham has 14 officers and a chief. “The town hasn’t changed much – just more calls and the force is bigger,” said Junkins.

March 31, 2004

Disability Reinsurance Management Services and its 400 employees will begin moving into the newly constructed office building on the riverfront in downtown Westbrook next week. The company is expected to bring life back to Westbrook’s downtown, where business owners are planning ways to welcome and lure the new customer base. Ed Symbol is hoping his restaurant, Rookies, will benefit when some of the workers look for lunch spots. He’s offering discount cards and is planning a reception with the Tony Boffa Band for the employees. Main Street Diner owner Mike LaChance has remodeled and enlarged his eatery, as he’s hoping he will get as many as 50 more customers a day.

U.S. Rep Tom Allen has announced that $9.6 million is expected to become available soon for the long-anticipated Gorham bypass project. The federal money would be the last piece of funding needed for the bypass that is designed to relieve traffic congestion in Gorham. The state has already allocated $2.5 million.

Neighborhood resistance to a zone change that would allow Wal-Mart to move forward on development of a 24-hour supercenter has forced the Westbrook Planning Board to delay action. Neighbors have formed a group, Westbrook Our Home, to lobby against the change, a request made by the owners of Saunders Bros. mill, which is closing. “We want our neighborhood to be the kind of place people want to move to, not move away from,” Anne Bureau of Oak Street told the board last week. Planners will take a site walk and then take up the proposal again April 6.

Westbrook’s Saccarappa-Canal PTA will be looking for a new president to lead the group next year. Dawn Bernard has resigned as president effective at the end of this school year. She said she decided to step down after three years to concentrate on her duties as a volunteer coordinator at the Canal school.