June 25, 2017  6:31 AM 
May 24, 2012
Other Newsletters
January 25, 2013
January 18, 2013
January 11, 2013
January 03, 2013
January 02, 2013
December 28, 2012
December 20, 2012
December 13, 2012
December 06, 2012
November 29, 2012
November 22, 2012
November 15, 2012
November 08, 2012
November 07, 2012
November 02, 2012
October 25, 2012
October 18, 2012
October 11, 2012
October 04, 2012
September 27, 2012
September 20, 2012
September 13, 2012
September 06, 2012
August 30, 2012
August 23, 2012
August 16, 2012
August 09, 2012
August 02, 2012
July 26, 2012
July 19, 2012
July 12, 2012
July 05, 2012
June 28, 2012
June 21, 2012
June 14, 2012
June 07, 2012
May 31, 2012
May 17, 2012
May 10, 2012
May 03, 2012

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

                        Town Clerk Joanne Rankin has announced that Absentee Ballots are now available for the June 12 Primary Election and RSU 57 Validation Vote.  Requests for a mailed ballot may be made in writing or by telephone by Thursday, June 7, 2012 unless a voter completes a “special circumstances” application.

            Mailing address: Town Clerk, Town of Shapleigh, PO Box 26, Shapleigh ME 04076

            Telephone 636-2839 ext 415 or 413 or use the online request form at http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl or www.shapleigh.net for the link.

            The polls will be open on June 12 from 8 am to 8 pm at the Shapleigh Town Hall, 22 Back Rd, next to Shapleigh Commons.

TRANSFER STATION STICKERS

                        All persons using the Shapleigh Transfer Station are required to have a valid transfer station permit affixed to the window of the vehicle for which it was issued.  The fact that it is in the glove compartment, driver’s wallet, etc. is not considered appropriate as identification for the vehicle since it could be passed from one person to another.  Please comply with this regulation in the spirit of the friendly reminder for which it is given.

JOINT VENTURE

            The Boards of Selectmen of Alfred and Shapleigh and working jointly to offer a one day “Free Disposal of Hazardous Waste”, Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 8 am to 2 pm at the Shapleigh Transfer Station.  Examples of “hazardous wastes” include:

  • Out of date expired chemicals
  • Paint or thinners
  • Pool chemicals
  • Bleach
  • Copier Toner
  • Batteries
  • Fire Extinguisher wastes
  • Any flammable liquid
  • Contaminated or old oil/diesel
  • Pesticides or insecticides
  • Propane Tanks
  • Cleaners
  • Inks or dyes
  • Oil or grease 

In order to participate in this free, one day event, persons must have a valid Transfer Sticker from the Town of Alfred or the Town of Shapleigh OR a car registration indicating residence in either Town.  FMI call 324-5872 (Alfred) or 636-2843, ext 401 (Shapleigh).

WILLIAMS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

      An introductory meeting of the Williams Property Advisory Committee took place Tuesday, May 15 at the Shapleigh Town Hall with all but one of the newly appointed members of the committee and the Board of Selectmen present.  The half hour session opened the door for a good working relationship in the months to come regarding the 300 acres that was donated to and accepted by the Town of Shapleigh late last year.  Selectman Mark Cobb, also a member of the committee, was selected as interim chair responsible for calling the first meeting of the group.

VENDORS WANTED

      Local artists, crafters, and vendors are being sought to participate in the upcoming annual Shapleigh Community Day.  Space is now being rented for Shapleigh Community Day, July 21, 2012.  Vendors are $20 each and non-profits are $15.The event will take place from 9 am to 4 pm at Shapleigh Commons and throughout “downtown Shapleigh.”

      Applications are available from Michelle Rumney by calling (207)636-2839 ext 403 or email treasurer@shapleigh.net. 

CHOO-CHOO TO BOSTON

      The members of the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club took the Downeaster Train to North Station in Boston on Sunday, May 13, 2012, walked to the Aquarium and stayed for the day.  The variety of displays of marine life impressed everyone.  The central tank is 40 feet in diameter and 23 feet deep, holding 200,000 gallons of water and 675 animals.  Arranged around that are smaller tanks showing every type of marine environment from fresh water to salt water, including one exhibit of the Gulf of Maine. 

      Fur seals, harbor seals and penguins were a few of the exhibits that included presentations by the educators.

      Two “touch tanks” were big hits with the group.  Inhabited by small sharks, rays, sea stars, crabs, etc., they were all there for folks not only to observe but also to touch gently as they swam by. 

      The train ride back to Maine topped off an educational and fun-filled day.

LESSON IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

      Twenty-seven fourth graders, their teachers Mrs. Finn and Mr. Marines, and several parents hiked from the Shapleigh Memorial School to the Town Hall on a beautiful sunny Thursday morning to get a lesson in local government.  Greeted by Selectman Ruth S. Ham, the group went upstairs to the large meeting room where they spent an hour learning facts and asking questions about many facets of town government.  Later groups of ten toured the Selectmen’s Office where they viewed the Tax Maps for the Town of Shapleigh which showed the school parcel and the Town Hall parcel.

Later groups of ten toured the Selectmen’s Office where they viewed the Tax Maps for the Town of Shapleigh which showed the school parcel and the Town Hall parcel.

Also of interest was a comparison of an 1852 valuation book, a 2011 valuation book and years in between, showing the differences over time.  For example, in 1852  the dwelling house, outbuildings, land, mills, stock in trade, pleasure carriages, cash on hand and money at interest, horses,  colts (both two and three years old), oxen, cows, (one, two and three years old) swine (pigs) personal property and polls were taxed.  Today it is land and buildings that are assessed.

A portrait of George Lindsey elicited considerable interest since he had been the one who made the construction of the Lindsey High School (now the Town Hall) possible. Lindsey had been born in New Hampshire and later lived in Shapleigh where he attended district schools.  Later Lindsey taught in both Acton and Shapleigh.  According to the terms of George Lindsey’s will, he left $5,000 for the maintenance of a free high school, provided the town would raise one half as much and erect a suitable building at Shapleigh Corner.  The school building served the town well for many years and is continuing to serve as a Town Hall. 

Another item in the office which drew the attention of the students was the framed Boston Post Cane which had been retired several years ago in favor or awarding a replica of the cane to the oldest resident in town.  The latest holder of the cane was Bernadine Dunnells who passed away in February of this year.  When the replica is returned it will be awarded to the current oldest Shapleigh resident. 

Everyone attending the local government lesson session was given a commemorative Shapleigh Bicentennial license plate as a reminder of their day here.  Several other handouts were provided to Mr. Marines to distribute once the children had returned to their classrooms. 

In Shapleigh the Town Meeting/Selectmen form of government is in effect, having endured in New England for over 300 years with many towns still governed in this manner.  This is actually democracy in its purest form.  Citizens can participate directly in town government and can determine how their town is to be run. Unfortunately there are many registered voters who do not take advantage of the opportunity available to them.  

The annual town meetings are held in March with the election of officers taking place on the second Friday and action on the other warrant articles being done on the following day.  Officers are elected at the Town Hall and the remainder of the warrant is acted on at the Shapleigh Memorial School.  Sometimes it is necessary to call special town meetings during the course of the year to take care of business which cannot wait until the next annual town meeting.

Issues for the voters to act on are printed on a warrant which is posted ahead of time.  Only those articles listed may be voted on by the legislative body.  The voters approve the money which is to be spent during the year for public works, public safety, general government, library, recreation, etc.  Laws needed for governing the town are also enacted, such as zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, etc.  State laws regulate their duties and responsibilities relating to town meetings, elections, finances, personnel, streets and highways, public safety, human services, planning, public works, and others.

In Shapleigh the voters elect the town clerk/tax collector, road commissioners, treasurer, selectmen, community forest trustees, school board directors, library trustees, budget committee, and recreation committee.  Other officials such as planning board, zoning board of appeals, plumbing inspector, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, health officer, emergency management agency director, registrar of voters, conservation committee, E-911 coordinator, fire chief and chief of rescue are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

The services that are provided by the Town are decided by the voters when the funding is authorized by them at town meetings.  The money to pay for the services is generated by taxing land and buildings which are assessed in order to determine the total valuation of all taxable property in town.

There are several types of services which are provided: 

Mandated services such as solid waste, roads, schools and general assistance are required by state law. 

Administrative services which are vital to the operation of local government are performed by various elected and appointed officials who keep records and documents, record vital statistics, supervise elections, register voters, assess and collect various taxes, and perform the many other services which permit the community to operate in an efficient and effective manner.  Publishing the town report annually is also considered an administrative service which informs the townspeople of the financial affairs of the town and provides reports from all other departments about the years activities.

Functional services are those which are provided by local government which are expected to be carried out by persons elected or assigned to particular duties.  For example, citizens expect the snow to be cleared from the streets and it is up to the road commissioners to see that it is done.  Such functional services include public safety, public works, social services and recreation.

Other interesting facts include the fact that the original town hall was the structure which is now used as the Shapleigh Community Library.  In March 1952 the town voted to change the location of the Town Hall to the Lindsey High School which was then unoccupied.  Lindsey High School (LHS) had been dedicated in 1877 and operated until 1942.  When LHS became the Town Hall it was divided into two rooms downstairs, the left being used for a library and eventually for planning and zoning board meetings and the right being used for the Selectmen. The town clerk/tax collector had offices at home and did not move into the Town Hall until the mid 1970’s.  Major renovations took place in 1980 by dividing the downstairs into multiple offices much as it is today.  Later an addition was made to “square off” the original building and to provide space for small meetings and as use for a copy room and lunch room.  In recent years additional space was added to provide adequate room for the town clerk/tax collector always mindful of maintaining the same architectural characteristics of the historical building.  It was not until 1980 that modern restroom facilities were installed to replace the old four-holer when a well was drilled and a septic system was installed.  Heat was installed throughout the building to take the place of the two gas heaters, one of which was on the left side of the first floor and the other on the right.  The vault had been installed in1973 for the safekeeping of all the town records dating back to 1775 and had heat installed in it during the 1980 renovation process to eliminate the deep freezer temperatures of its interior which had previously existed.