Summer is here!
Notes from the Town Manager:
I wish to welcome back all of our residents that go south for the winter and all of our summer people also; you missed a very long and cold winter.
A little update on what is going on for this summer:
Last year we started an aggressive brush cut back program on our roadways and will continue that effort this year. We will be paving the Loon Cove Drive roadway and the Chandler Road in their entirety including new drainage systems and culverts. We are doing some mitigation work on several roadways including some crack sealing and maintenance coats in hopes of gaining a few more years of use before having to repave those roads.
Within the next few weeks we will install the rest of our new signage on the roadways into Belgrade and a new sign at the Center for All Season which will have bill-boards on both sides and that sign will be lit.
Maine Department of Transportation (ME-DOT) has placed the rebuilt of RT # 27 through the Village on their list for funding for the 2016 Candler year. Once there is funding for the project by the State then Belgrade has to match funding for several new parking locations and for setting back the sidewalks in order to create wider and legal parking zones throughout the Village area. Any matching funds will have to be approved by a Town Meeting vote. We already have close to $40,000 in a capital Sidewalk Reserve fund that we can draw from. The Select Board approved the establishment of a Committee whose directive is to look at ways to make the Village area keep its charm and historical look while helping to draw in visitors. The idea is to creating a theme of some kind; so, the Committee is looking into lighting options, decoration themes, a parking lot, and even to build a gazebo.
One last thing on road reconstruction; ME-DOT is suppose to rebuild RT #8 from the intersection of RT # 27 to the intersection of RT # 8 next year. ME-DOT has already stated cutting down trees in order to widen that roadway as part of their reconstruction project.
Notes from the Town Clerk:
Cheryl Cook retired on May 21st. She served the Town of Belgrade since 2004 as Town Clerk, Tax Collector, Registrar of Voters, and Deputy General Assistance Director; as well as other positions. I know that replacing Cheryl is not going to be easy. She brought dedication, friendliness, and a thorough understanding of the position.
I have been appointed Town Clerk, Registrar of Voters, Office Manager, and Informational Officer. I have been, and will remain Treasurer, for the Town of Belgrade, since 2012. I bring an extensive 20 year history in municipal government to the positions. I have been all of the positions and more for different towns. I want the town office to be a friendly and convenient place for all of the Town of Belgrade residents.
I believe in an “open door” atmosphere. If I/we can answer any questions, or address any issues please contact us.
Barbara Geaghan, Town Clerk
Seasonal Residents Meeting:
As seasonal residents, many of you own property in Belgrade and enjoy the town during much of the summer. You pay property taxes which helps to support our schools, roads, and local governmental programs, but you have no say in how your tax dollars are used. The Board of Selectpersons offer you, as seasonal residents, friends and neighbors, an opportunity to meet with representatives of our local government to discuss concerns or issues that you may have. Therefore, we invite all seasonal residents to join us at the Center for All Seasons on Wednesday,
August 6, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This information will be posted around Town prior to the actual meeting. We hope to see you there.
Fire & Rescue Department News:
* July 27th – Belgrade Fire & Rescue 8th Annual Auto Show (Please see the attached flyer for details)
*August 2nd - Bean Hole Bean Supper at the Center for all Seasons from 5pm to 7pm.
Burn Permits: The town is now participating in on line Burn Permits. The permit may be obtained by visiting the site: http://www.burningpermit.com/home or under the fire department on the town website at www.townofbelgrade.com .
NOTE: The permits are free; you must print the permit and sign the permit to validate it. If you are not able to access the site, it is a “no burn day”. A burn permit may be obtained by contacting one of the local fire wardens; Chief McKenzie, Mark Day, Eddie Ketch, Bruce Plourd, Bruce Galouch or Scott Damren.
Belgrade Recreation Department
1 Center Drive
Belgrade, Maine 04917
We had a great spring at the Rec. Department, but it is wonderful to finally welcome the warm temperatures of June. Despite the chilly weather, families were able to enjoy the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The children loved visiting with Easter Bunny and searching for the 1500 eggs that were hidden! Special thank you to Tim Horton’s and Cold Stone Creamery of Waterville for providing each child with a free ice cream coupon and to Shaw’s and Hannaford of Waterville and the Board of Parks and Rec for donating juice, muffins and fruit for everyone to enjoy that morning.
May 2nd, we hosted our 2nd Mom & Son Super Hero Bash and it was a Blast!! Dynamic Duos, Fantastic Heroes and Trusty Sidekicks were all here that night in costume. G-Force Laser Tag returned to add to the excitement of the evening. It is fabulous to see moms and their sons having such a good time playing together. A big Thank You to our generous sponsors - Hammond Lumber Company, Kennebec Savings Bank and Dockside Wellness Center, as well as the staff and volunteers that made sure everything ran smoothly.
We are looking forward to a busy summer and will be hosting several family community events. Join us at the Center for All Seasons for the 4th of July Ice Cream Social from 1:30 – 2:30 sponsored by Gifford’s Ice Cream and then down in the Village for the Frog Jumping Contest after the parade. At the Center on July 8th, you will want to grab your Blue Shirts and get ready to sing and dance because Mr. Harley is going to be back in town!!! That's right; Mr. Harley and the Strollers will be kicking off our New Playground Fundraiser! Tuesday, July 8th at 6pm, tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 the day of the show. Saturday, August 2nd, the Belgrade Fire & Rescue’s Annual Beanhole Supper will be held at the Center, followed by Belgrade’s Lakeside Artisan Show Sunday, August 3rd from 9-4. It will be a busy weekend at the Center! There are also several concerts to benefit local non-profits at the Center, as well as other events in the works.
Summer Camps on Great Pond begin June 23rd! Children entering kindergarten through 6th grade will have a blast at Camp Golden Pond. Kids will get to be kids; playing outside, swimming, learning new games and going on fantastic field trips!! Older campers in grades 6th – 9th can join us at Camp Loon where their days start on the lake in kayaks and canoes. This camp is designed to get kids outside, build self-confidence, and strengthen teamwork and conservation awareness. There is fishing, archery and overnights in tents also; a great camp experience for older kids. These day camps run from 8-4 Monday thru Friday, with early care starting at 7:00am and late pick up until 5:00pm, there are weekly and daily rates for both camps.
New this summer, Belgrade Lakes Youth Sailing Program sponsored by Great Pond Yacht Club and SailMaine and hosted by the Belgrade Center for All Seasons. These sailing camps will run from July 21st – August 15th with two sessions per day and have limited space. It will be so exciting to see all of the kids in sailboats sailing around Great Pond! To sign up or for more information go to: http://www.sailmaine.org/Tab03_Programs/0303_Junior/0303_106-BelgradeLakes.html
Weekly adult activities at the Center for All Seasons include:
Mondays ~ Ping Pong Club at 5:30pm.
Tuesdays ~ Morning Paddle at 7:30am using our canoes and kayaks & Pickleball at 5:30pm (there will be no pickleball July 8th) .
Wednesdays ~ Adult Basketball at 7:00pm.
Thursdays ~ Water Aerobics 10 – 11am (weather permitting), Bridge 12:00 (they would love to have you join them, beginners are encouraged to come learn how to play!) and at 6:00pm join us for Yoga in our tranquil waterfront cottage.
Sundays ~ Adult Basketball 6:00pm.
Come enjoy the in-ground pool for Community Swim Monday – Friday from 3-5pm, as well as community swim lessons on Thursday afternoons. Or swim anytime at the Town beaches on Great Pond and Long Pond.
The Belgrade Recreation Department has a new monthly e-newsletter to keep you up to date on What’s Happening. You can sign up on our website: http://www.townofbelgrade.com/belgrade-center-for-all-seasons or on our Facebook page.
Don’t forget the North Belgrade Community Center hosts a Pot Luck Dinner the second Saturday of each
month. The dinner starts at 5:00pm and everyone is welcome. Come enjoy great food and company.
The Belgrade Community Center for All Seasons and North Belgrade Community Center are available to rent for your next birthday or anniversary party, family reunion or business meeting.
The Belgrade Board of Parks and Recreation meets the last Monday of the month at 6:00pm at the Center for All Seasons our next meeting on June 30th. If you are interested in recreation in Belgrade or joining the "playground committee" call us at 495-3481.
Notes from the Tax Collector:
Just a reminder the property tax bills will be in the mail by the end of June. The 2014 property taxes are due September 12th and interest begins the following day. The Town does accept credit cards, with a 2.45% convenience fee. For your convenience, you may also pay them online at www.townofbelgrade.com . Under on line services you may use either a debit/credit card with the convenience fee or you may use your checking account for a fee of $1.50. You will need to have your real estate account number to use the system. In addition, the Town does have a formal tax club, which gives you a chance to pay monthly, with interest accruing as normal. Please call the Town Office for additional information.
Property Tax Relief:
A reminder, to moving or new residents the Homestead Exemption is a program provides a measure of property tax relief for individuals who have owned homestead property in Maine for at least twelve months and make the property they occupy on April 1st (first) their permanent residence. Property owners would receive an exemption of $10,000. This program is not income based and is available for all Maine Residents who meet the criteria. The forms are available at the Town Office prior to April 1st to receive this benefit. If you have already applied there is no need to send in an application annually, once you receive this benefit, you will receive it every year.
Transfer Station News:
RECYCLE PLEASE take the time to help us remove recyclable materials out of our town solid waste stream. The more we can recycle the less we have to landfill. This is better for the environment that we live in. Think about it, this earth is the only home we will ever have; we need to take care of it. It only takes a few minutes to sort out the recyclable items, so please do so for the future of our world and community we live in. Every little bit counts. Working together we can make a difference. Let’s recycle!
Reminder to Pick up your Transfer Station Punch Card it is still good until March 31, 2015: In March of 2013 the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee implemented a trial two-year Punch Card system which allows residential property owners to drop off items free at the transfer station. This program replaced the free drop-off event program held twice a year. The punch cards are numbered and come with a matching numbered window sticker. They are given out to all residential property owners and verified renters. The cards must be picked up at the town office during normal working hours. Renters must have written proof verifying they are renting from the residential property owner in order to obtain a punch card. You can’t give your punch card to anyone else to use. If you lose your punch card are non-replaceable. The Town ordered 3,000 cards and has given out approximately 800 cards. Please take advantage of this opportunity to take items to the Transfer Station for free.
The Town has a new Facility Maintenance/ Sexton, his name is Gary Foss. Gary may be reached at 215-1021 for all your cemetery related questions. Welcome Gary!
The Town of Belgrade would like to thank all the following individuals who participated in the Memorial Day Service events. As always it was very special and memorable.
Messalonskee High School Senior, Darby Martin, the Loons Acapella Quintet, the Union Church Choir Members: Glenn Baxter, Gwen Chase, Laura Grams, Beth Held, Nancy Mastromarino, Don Petersen, Linda Petersen, Kelly Webster, Loyce Hayslett and Louise Young , the Belgrade Boy Scout Troop 453: Lucas Lenfest, Pierce Foxwell, Gil Whitehead, Trent Thompson and Scout Leaders, Master of Ceremonies, Robert Early
Guest Speaker, Major Bradley G. Kelso, US Army National Guard, members of the Belgrade Fire Department, Veteran’s Roll: Michael Barrett, Dexter (Buzz) Bridges, Jr., Samantha Luce, Shawn Grant and Gary Mahler, Sexton Gary Foss, cemetery crew the Cemetery Committee , Pastor Terry Tiner, North Belgrade Baptist Church, Jason Carey, Sound System and a special thank you to Mary Galouch, Bruce Galouch, Robert Lewis, Bobbi Mahler, Gary Mahler, Paul Yeaton and others who participated in posting the flags on the graves of veterans.If you would like to assist with next year’s service, please contact the town office at 495-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sexton would like to thank residents for their patience in the repair and re-setting of head stones that were displaced over the winter months. Provost has been contacted and will be resetting the headstones in the near future.
Belgrade Public Library
NEW HOURS: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-7; Wednesdays 2-6; Saturdays 10-1
Just a quick reminder that the Library has changed its hours. The Library is now open on Saturdays from 10am-1pm and closed on Fridays. Hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays remain the same. Saturday hours will last throughout the summer and fall until December.
Do you have a library card yet? All Belgrade residents are entitled to use the library free of charge. Nonresidents can purchase a family card for only $15 annually to use all Belgrade Library services. (A resident is defined as anyone who pays taxes to the Town of Belgrade.) Come see what we have to offer - books, movies, audio recordings, computer access, children and adult programs, wi-fi access, and so much more!
Summer is almost here and our Summer Reading Program kicks off July 1st. Our theme this year is Fizz Boom Read. It’s every kind of science imaginable. Kids can register to read and receive prizes throughout the summer. Get a voucher for a free Portland Sea Dogs ticket just by signing up! Those who read ten or more library books will receive a free book at the end of the program. Stop into the Library for more details.
Some of our special Summer Reading events include (programs are free and open to the public):
We want to welcome all our wonderful summer folks back for another great year. Please consider this your personal invite to stop in, introduce yourself to the new Library Director, and tour our beautiful Library space. We look forward to seeing you!
As always new books are being added to our collection. Check out the new titles on display or search our catalog online at the library website. Let us know if you have suggestions to enhance our library collection! Don’t forget to check out the library website or our Facebook page (facebook/BelgradePublicLibrary) for more information and updates.
Janet Patterson - Library Director
Community Information & News
BELGRADE/ROME SPECIAL NEEDS FOOD PANTRY:
The Belgrade/Rome Special Needs Food Pantry, located on Route 27 at the Belgrade Town Office, has been providing a valuable service to eligible residents of Belgrade and Rome for almost 20 years.
In Maine, 14.9 percent of households, about 200,000 people are food insecure according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One in four Maine children are food insecure. Often hard working adults, seniors and children simply can not make ends meet. Due to the difficult economic times, many of our neighbors are facing this situation. In 2013 the Food Pantry assisted a total of 80 households from the towns of Rome and Belgrade. Within those households, 162 adults and 104 children were provided with a week’s worth of food and household items each month.
With the monetary assistance and item donations (in 2013 over 11,500 item donations) from the taxpayers of Rome and Belgrade, along with donations from individuals, schools, clubs, churches, foundations and government support, the Pantry was able to assist families who would otherwise have gone hungry each month. Residents of Rome and Belgrade who may be in need of assistance are welcome to visit the Pantry monthly for additional and supplemental items to their family’s budget. We are open on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. throughout the year.
Without the dedicated volunteer force of more than 40 individuals who collect, purchase, organize and distribute contributions this valuable service would not be possible. Anyone interested in making a monetary or food item donation, please drop it off to either the Belgrade or Rome Town Office. Anyone interested in volunteering their time and talent to this worthwhile organization, please call Marylou Butterfield at 495-2022.
Union Church Summer Activities:
· 6/28 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Italian Dinner Night $8 for adults and $4 for Youth 5 to 12
· 7/4 - 11am to 3pm- Strawberry Shortcake Sale
(Also, the Messalonskee Robotics Team will be holding a hot dog sale at this same time)
· 8/16 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Turkey Dinner
Friends of the Belgrade Public Library:
The Friends of the Belgrade Public Library are very busy with fundraising this year to help maintain the library at 124 Depot Road in Belgrade. The library has now been open for a year and a half with much enthusiasm. We hope that you all have a chance to go to the library and see all the new books and programs it has to offer.
The annual Yard Sale is being held on Saturday, June 14th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Day’s Real Estate at 262 Augusta Road in Belgrade. We are still looking for useable items for the sale. For more information you may contact Joan MacKenzie at 242-9408.
The Friends are very busy, beginning with our Annual July 4th Book Sale held on July 4th in Belgrade Lakes Village from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We are still accepting books for the book sale and they may be dropped off at the Belgrade Public Library. For more information and to volunteer you may call Linda Bacon at 649-4238. At the book sale there will also be a homemade pies for sale; to bake pies or volunteer you may call Laverne Pelletier at 495-2966.
On July 10th we are having our 6th Annual Golf Tournament at the Belgrade Lakes Golf Course with an 11:30 a.m. tee off time and a scramble format. Following the Golf Tournament there is a cocktail/buffet reception and an awards ceremony with Tom Alter from the PGA tour as the MC. There are awards for the golfers for the longest drive for a man and woman, along with closest to the pin for a man and woman and the two teams with the lowest score. There is also a car, sponsored by Charlie’s of Augusta for a hole in one. The awards event is followed by a Live and Silent Auction with Dexter “Buzz” Bridges as the Auctioneer. We have many new and different items this year that will make the bidding fun. For information on playing in the tournament, coming to the cocktail reception or being a sponsor for the golf tournament, you may contact Judy Johnson at 495-2101
Our last fundraising event in July is our 5th Annual 5K Road Race being held on Saturday, July 26th at 8 a.m. at Belgrade Central School. You may Run, Jog, or Walk and there are many prizes available in the different age categories. Pre-Registration fee is $15.00 and needs to be in by July 15th registering the day of the race is $20. You may register online at the Library website, the Friends of Belgrade Public Library website and at RunReg.com. For more information and to volunteer for this event you may contact John House at 465-3524.
Our last fundraising event for the summer is a fantastic Acoustic Duo from Massachusetts called Britannica. This musical night is being held at the Center for All Seasons on Friday, August 15th at 7 p.m. For more information you may contact Beverly Megill at 495-2286.
We hope to see you this summer at our fundraisers. We really appreciate all of the volunteers and people that support all of the events that we do. Thanks so much to everyone from the Friends.
Belgrade Lakes Region Business Group Friday, July 4th Activities:
Notes from the Health Nurse:
Understanding Lyme Disease Spring and summer are upon us and so are those pesky bugs. There have already been a large number of ticks spotted on people and their pets, so be sure to check your hair and clothing every time you are in the woods, dunes or tall grass where you might come in contact with any ticks, spiders or any other stinging or biting insect. Cover up with long sleeves and tuck your pants in your socks. Insect repellent (select one that includes tick coverage) is also advised.
Lyme disease is a bacterial tick-borne infection that affects humans, dogs, horses and other animals. Since 1986, there have been more than 100 cases confirmed among Maine residents, primarily in York and Cumberland counties. It is just beginning to appear in inland areas. Deer ticks (jet black, slightly smaller than a black fly) are the only known carriers of bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Adult or nymphs can transmit the infection and it is believed that they must remain attached to the skin for at least 24 hours for the infection to occur.
The first and classic sign of Lyme disease is a donut shaped circular rash that appears around the site of the bite after 7-10 days. Other symptoms may include: hives, facial swelling, redness of the eyes and flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, stiff neck, aches in joints and muscles and fatigue). These symptoms decline over a period of a few weeks. The diagnosis is made by a visit to your medical provider and treated with the appropriate antibiotics. If untreated, more serious symptoms may appear. These include: arthritis in large joints, stiff neck and weakness in the arms, legs or chest. Prompt medical treatment at the onset of symptoms will likely prevent any serious complications.
TIP: To remove an embedded tick, use tweezers to grip the head of the tick and pull gently and firmly until the tick lets go. Do not handle the tick with your bare hands.
If you would like to have ticks you find identified, place tick in rubbing alcohol (in a sealed container) and pack carefully in crush proof container with name, address and telephone # and send to:
The Maine Lyme Disease Project
Maine Medical Center Research
50 Hospital St.
Respectfully, Katherine Riddle
Belgrade Historical Society News
The Historical Society will be holding its annual meeting on Tuesday, June 24th at 6 p.m. at the Center for All Seasons. The election of officers will take place. There will be light refreshments available.
Please visit our Historical display at the Center For All Seasons!
We had a sprinkler head break in the old library room at the recreation center which released over 1000 gallons of water. The ceiling in the room was made of sheetrock which didn’t allow for any access into the area above the ceiling. That area was not accessible from the attic either, it did however, have an outside vent. We believe very high winds caused insulation to blow down from the attic allowing the cold into the area. This was the only section of the ceiling that was not strapped into the entire building.
We have removed the sheetrock ceiling from the room, strapped off the area, replaced the insulation and installed a hanging ceiling that allows us into that attic any time. We were lucky that the library had moved and that the materials the Historical Society had placed into the area were in show cases and protected from water. All work should be finished by the end of February. Also, Valencia has done a great job keeping the facility bookings and activities from being canceled during this process.
The new bathroom at the transfer station is scheduled to be completed this month. The new well and septic system are installed and the bathroom itself is built. Interior finish, bathroom facilities, vent pipe, and a heater is left. The bathroom will be a great improvement for employees and will also allow us to clean the entire facility. We will be purchasing a heated pressure washer that we will used to wash down all the buildings.
This is a quick update on the new sand & salt solution. We are using a brine solution on the sand & salt however it is only being used on our South Belgrade plowing loops. I wish I could report to you how it is working but we have had an unusual storm pattern so far this season. It seems to be working well as far as keeping the roadways open as long as the temperature keeps above 20 degrees. The brine solution is purchased from ME-DOT for $0.25 a gallon and they mix the solution at their Fairfield facility. ME-DOT tells us that they mix in calcium chloride when the temperature gets below 20 degrees so the solution will work down below 0 degrees. We have not seen the solution work that well at those temperatures. The other problem we are having is the solution needs to be put down as soon as the storm starts because the solution works from the road surface up to melt the snow. Our contractors are trying to get out as fast as they can since they live in Smithfield. It takes time for them to drive from Smithfield, load their trucks and get to work on the roadways. I will have a complete report on winter road maintenance for you in May.
Just a reminder that we still offer a monthly tax payment plan for property owners and that many of our services can be done on-line. Just check out our website for those services and for other helpful information.
2014 TOWN MEETING:
Fire & Rescue are requesting to hire a full-time FF-1 & Rescue employee to be on duty 40 hours a week and a 10 hour a week (per diem) fill-in person. Please ask Dan MacKenzie for any added information on these positions.
Our new Road Commissioner is active in doing repair work on the roadways. He requested more maintenance funds in order to increase the amount of work directly dealing with ditching, shoulder grading, and brush cutting. This is the first requested increase in maintenance road funds in several years.
The paving budget is also up a little this year even after the Select Board & Budget Committee lowered their request by over $140,000. The reconstruction and paving of the Point Road was removed from this year’s paving list and replaced with Loon Cove Road and added shim work on several other roadways. We will also be finishing the reconstruction and paving of Chandler Road which had to have a lot of expensive reconstruction work done before we could do the paving. We do not want to pave any roadway until the sub base, ditching, cross culverts, and shoulders have been correctly reconstructed for the pavement layer.
We are requesting another $50,000 for the new Town Office Capital Account. We have been looking for a centrally located lot to build the new office on and have contacted some land owners to see if they would be interested in selling. During this process we have contacted some towns that have built new offices requesting building plans from them and asking some if we can tour their new facility. We want to make sure we get the most out what we spend while being able to meet our needs for now as well as allowing us to expand in the future.
The Select Board received six requests for funds all dealing with water quality issues. The total of the requests was over $50,000 and because of the amount being so high the Board decided to place all the requests on the secret ballot and let the residents decided if they wanted to fund them or not. In the past the Board has used funds received from land use violations to fund these requests but we presently do not have that amount in reserve. The Board also feels that other surrounding Towns should be allocating funds towards some of the requests so they are not all funded by Belgrade taxes.
If all articles pass as presented then we will be requesting permission to spend funds in excess of what the State feels we should be spending, which is known as the LD # 1 resolution. It is also the last article to be voted on at Town Meeting. The LD # 1 figure will be adjusted during the Town Meeting as the articles are voted on.
Hope to see you all at the Town Meeting on March 15, 2014
Gregory E. Gill
Town Clerks CornerTown Meeting is coming again soon! We will be voting on the following officials: 1 Selectperson for 3 year term; Road Commissioner-1year term and RSU#18 Member- 1 year. Also, we have 15 referendum questions to vote on. Voting will take place on March 14th from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the Center for All Seasons. Town Meeting is on March 15th at 1:00 PM at the Center for All Seasons, to vote on the remaining articles of the warrant.
Absentee ballots are available until March 11th. If you want one mailed, you need to call the Town Office and request that it be sent to you, or you can come to the Town Office and pick one up or vote while you are here!
We now have the Town’s tax cards, tax maps and commitment books on our website. Keep checking for any new information that is available!
Belgrade Public Library
124 Depot Road
MARCH HOURS: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-7; Wednesdays 2-6; Fridays 10-1
APRIL- SEPTEMBER HOURS: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-7; Wednesdays 2-6; Saturdays 10-1
The Library is excited to announce a change in hours. Beginning in April, the Library will be open on Saturdays from 10am-1pm and closed on Fridays. Hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will remain the same. Saturday hours will last throughout the summer until September.
Do you have a library card yet? All Belgrade residents are entitled to use the library free of charge. Nonresidents can purchase a family card for only $15 annually to use all Belgrade Library services. Come see what we have to offer - books, movies, audio recordings, computer access, children and adult programs, wi-fi access, and so much more!
Mark your calendar for the following programs and events throughout the year:
*Story time every Thursday at 10:30am
*Minecraft the last Thursday of the month at 3pm-6pm
*Book Discussion Group the second Friday of the month at 10:30am through March and the second Tuesday of the month at 10:30am April-September.
As always new books are being added to our collection. Check out the new titles on display or search our catalog online at the library website. Let us know if you have suggestions to enhance our library collection! Don’t forget to check out the library website or our Facebook page (facebook/BelgradePublicLibrary) for more information and updates.
Ever wonder where your tax dollar goes at the Library? For 2013, look at what was checked out compared with what these items would have cost tax payers IF PURCHASED INDIVIDUALLY (based on the Maine State Library 2013 value calculator estimates). What a great investment!
11,465 books, audio books, movies borrowed @ $17 per item $194,905 1286 eBooks and audio books downloads @ $15 per book 19,290
502 hours of computer time @ $12 per hour value 6,024
7 per day (estimate) of WiFi use x 364 days @ $12 30,576
Library Internet signal is available 24/7
225 InterLibrary Loan items borrowed @ $30 each 6,750
492 Reference transactions @ $15 each 7,380
67 children’s programs with 1079 attending @ $6 value 6,474
20 adult programs with 204 attending @ $10 value 2,040
Total (draft 1/17/2014) $273,439
2013 budget (open 25 hours each week throughout the year) $45,849
Belgrade Public Library receives one-half of one percent of the property tax paid.
For each $1000 paid about $5 goes to operate the Library. Thank you very much!
The return on your investment was $5.96 for every tax dollar spent! Wow!
Janet Patterson - Library Director
Friends of the Belgrade Public Library
The Friends will be sponsoring 8 fundraisers this year to raise money to support and maintain the new library building for the community of Belgrade. Our fundraisers are listed below along with our membership form. We welcome new members and we can always use new volunteers to help us at our fundraising events. We need people to help us set up the events, clean up from the events, solicit food, be willing to volunteer at the events and be able to attend our meetings. The Friends meetings are held once a month on the 3rd Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Day’s Real Estate Conference Room.
We want to thank all of our members, volunteers and donors because without all of you this new library building never would have happened and we would be unable to continue our promise to maintain the library for the Town of Belgrade.
Fundraisers for 2014
1. Book Sale on Saturday, February 22nd from 9-2p.m. at Belgrade Central School.
Basket Bingo with the Fire & Rescue Association on Saturday, March 22nd from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Belgrade Central School. Tickets may be purchased by calling 242-9408, or 495-2101.
2. A Book Release Reception for Earl Smith’s new book, “More Dam Trouble” on Sunday, April 6th at 2 p.m. at the Community Center in Belgrade Lakes.
3. A Yard Sale on Saturday, June 14th at Days Real Estate from 8-2 p.m.
4. Book Sale & Homemade Pies, Friday, July 4th from 9-2 p.m. in Belgrade Lakes Village
5. Golf Tournament on Thursday, July 10th at the Belgrade Lakes Golf Course
6. A 5K Road Race on Saturday, July 26th at 8 a.m. at Belgrade Central School
7. Britannica, a fantastic Acoustic Duo from Massachusetts on Friday August 15th at 7 p.m. at the Community Center in Belgrade Lakes.
Check out our website at www.friendsofbelgradepubliclibrary.org or our facebook page Friends of the Belgrade Public Library for updates on our meetings and fundraisers.
Any donations to help with the operating and maintenance of the new library are tax deductible and are always gratefully appreciated. Checks may be made out to Friends of the Belgrade Public Library and mailed to the Friends of the Belgrade Public Library, P.O. Box 474, Belgrade, ME 04917.
Judy Johnson, President, email@example.com
Beverly Megill, Vice President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Sprague, Secretary, email@example.com
2014 Membership form for the Friends of the Belgrade Public Library
Phone: ____________________ Email:_________________________________________________________
Please mark with an X:
____$10.00 Family Membership ____$25.00 Supporter____$50.00 Director ____$100 Benefactor
Please make checks payable to “Friends of the Belgrade Public Library” and return with this form to:
Friends of the Belgrade Public Library, PO Box 474 Belgrade ME 04917.
Variable Milfoil … With Your Help A Fight We Can Win
By Lynn Matson, Belgrade Lakes Association
Belgrade faces a threat that could be devastating for our entire community. The problem is an invasive aquatic plant called variable milfoil. Invasive milfoil has destroyed the recreational value of many lakes across the country and the same thing could happen right here in the Belgrades.
Variable milfoil can grow an inch a day in water up to 20 feet deep. With no natural enemies, it forms thick mats at the surface that make swimming and boating all but impossible.
This invader is not new to our area. Invasive milfoil has been growing in Belgrade Stream and Messalonskee Lake for years. But the problem is potentially much worse for Great Pond, where it was found growing in 2010. In fact, the entire lower third of Great Pond is less than 20 feet deep and could become covered in milfoil from shore to shore.
Variable milfoil is not just a problem facing those people who live right on the water. Our lakes are the economic engine that drive our entire community. If we lose Great Pond and Long Pond to invasive milfoil, everyone will suffer.
Here’s what could happen. First, our lakes will be much less attractive to prospective property buyers, renters, vacationers and boaters. Their numbers will drop which will have a dramatic affect on our local businesses, some of which might even be forced to close.
Property values of camps on the lakes would also drop shifting more of the tax burden to non-shorefront properties. This is significant because today over 60% of the total tax revenue in Belgrade comes from lakeside properties.
This is not a hypothetical situation. Lakeshore property values decreased 15-20% on Lake Arrowhead in Limerick, Maine after it became infested with milfoil. The same thing can happen here.
How Bad Can It Get?
To answer that question, let’s take a look at Chautauqua Lake in western New York. It’s 13,000 acres and highly valued for recreational use, just like our lakes. But it’s overrun with milfoil.
To make their lake usable, the Chautauqua Lake Association employs 8 milfoil harvesters, 8 barges, 3 mobile shore conveyors, two front-end loaders, a fleet of 8 dump trucks and a summer staff of 40. The replacement value of their equipment alone is $2,845,000 and their annual operating budget is over $500,000.
In 2013 they removed almost 15 million pounds of milfoil from their lake … that’s 85 truckloads a week, all summer long! We can’t let that happen here.
Is This A Fight We Can Win?
The short answer is yes. The Belgrade Lakes Association (BLA) in partnership with the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (BRCA), both based in Belgrade Lakes Village, have been waging a very successful battle with the invasive milfoil on Great Pond for the last two years.
It is important to understand that success does not mean fully eradicating the invasive milfoil from Great Pond. That’s unrealistic because the milfoil is intermingled with native plants along a mile and half stretch of Great Meadow Stream and in several heavily vegetated acres in North Bay.
What is realistic is removing 90% of the invasive plants every year. That will reduce the size of infestation and make it easier and less expensive to control in subsequent years. It will also greatly reduce the chance of the milfoil spreading to other parts of the lake and into Long Pond.
It should also be pointed out that the BRCA and BLA are working closely with the Friends of Messalonskee volunteers and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on plans to control the extensive milfoil in Belgrade Stream below Wings Mill dam and in critical “hot spots” in Messalonnskee Lake, such as the areas around boat ramps.
2014 STOP MILFOIL Action Plan
While we have made tremendous progress reducing the size of the milfoil infestation the last two years, this fight is not over. We need to keep at it or we’ll lose all the headway that we’ve made.
This summer we will implement another very aggressive STOP MILFOIL action plan to remove the invasive milfoil from Great Meadow Stream and Great Pond. The divers from New England Milfoil will be back at work pulling the plants as will a team from the BRCA.
We will also build our own DASH (Diver Assisted Suction Harvester) Boat to increase the productivity of the plant removal operation. Having our own DASH Boat will also permit us to remove the milfoil on a much more cost effective basis in the future as we’ll be able to scale back and eventually eliminate the major expense of hiring a dive contractor to do this work.
As you might expect, this mitigation work is expensive. Approximately $200,000 was spent in 2012 and again in 2013. But that is just a fraction of what it will cost us if our lakes become overrun with milfoil, to say nothing of what it will do to our community.
Last year the Town of Belgrade contributed $20,000 to the STOP MILFOIL capital campaign. That same amount is being requested again this year. Almost all the remainder of the funding has come from private donations.
How Can You Help?
1. Learn to identify milfoil. Then check your boat, motor and trailer, fishing gear, duck hunting gear, kayaks and canoes for plant fragments.
2. Be vigilant when you are on or near the water. If you see variable milfoil, please call BRCA Milfoil Program Director Toni Pied at 207 215-2685 so she can verify the identification and take quick action.
3. Vote “YES” on the STOP MILFOIL articles at the Belgrade town election this March. Those funds are critically needed to continue this fight.
This fight with invasive milfoil can be won. With your support it will be won. Our community is counting on it. Thanks for your concern, your vigilance and your support on Articles 14, 15 and 16 on Belgrade’s election ballot this March.
Belgrade Lakes Region Business Group
The Belgrade Lakes Region Business Group (BLRBG) would like to thank those who are a part of our community for supporting local business and for supporting our organization and the events that we sponsor. The BLRBG has begun preparing for our annual enrollment. We appreciate and encourage existing members to renew their membership for 2014. For those businesses that are not currently members we would like to highlight the wonderful networking opportunities, community involvement, state of the art website, printed maps, and many other benefits of joining the BLRBG.
March 14th PLEASE VOTE YES on Article 17! The BLRBG matches these funds to make July 4th in Belgrade Lakes possible.
March 19th Monthly Meeting open to the public: Laura Benedict from the Red Barn will be speaking about her journey. 8:30am at the MLRC.
April 16th Monthly Meeting open to the public: Nancy Marshall of Nancy Marshall Communications will be speaking about creating your personal brand. 8:30am at the MLRC.
May 8th Annual Meeting at the MLRC.
May 21st Alfond Center for Health tour of the new hospital
June 28th Information Center Season Opening
4th of July Join us for a wonderful day! Parade, frog jumping contest, and much more!
Save the Date! Existing BLRBG members and those who are not members but are interested in joining our group please mark your calendars for our Annual Meeting. Our Annual meeting will be held Thursday, May 8th at the Maine Lakes Resource Center from 6-8pm. This year’s meeting will again be an open house format. There will be food, a cash bar, mingling, and booths displaying the wonderful things that our group has to offer the Belgrade community.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support last year in approving the referendum vote which assists us in organizing and funding the 4th of July fireworks and events. We would like to ask for your support again this year so that we can continue this great tradition which makes our town so unique and special. Please support Article 17!
Newsletter Update from Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (BRCA)
Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program: In 2014, BRCA plans to increase coverage on Great Pond (our busiest boat launch) and Messalonskee Lake (our next busiest lake and the most infested). Prevention is the key to winning the battle against invasive aquatic plants and is much more cost-effective than removing plants once they are established. Belgrade has helped fund the CBI program for over 10 years.
Milfoil Removal program: BRCA continues to work in partnership with Belgrade Lakes Association on the STOP Milfoil campaign to remove milfoil from Great Pond. In 2014, BRCA will build on last year’s milfoil removal work in Messalonskee Lake and Belgrade Stream by focusing on four priority areas: 1. Boat launches (both public and unofficial launch sites); 2. Areas close to uninfested waterbodies (the area next to Wing’s Mill Dam); 3. Endangered wildlife habitat (Black Tern and Least Bittern habitat in Messalonskee Marsh); and 4. Newly infested areas. BRCA is using a USFWS grant to build a new DASH (diver assisted suction harvester) boat and to do milfoil removal. Belgrade’s contribution will be used as match for the USFWS grant and to leverage more funding from the State of Maine and other foundations.
Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program: YCC improves the health of our lakes by installing “best management practices” (BMPs), like stone riprap and plant buffers on lake shore properties, that reduce erosion and phosphorus from getting into lakes to improve water quality and to reduce algae blooms. Since 1996, when YCC was started, we have conducted 955 projects – 294 of these projects were done in Belgrade! Funding is a team effort – towns fund 19% of YCC, lake associations fund 8%, individual donors and businesses/foundations fund 30%, and homeowners whose properties are improved fund 43%. Belgrade has helped fund YCC for over 10 years.
Road Improvement program: BRCA was recently awarded a $75,000 DEP 319 grant to conduct erosion control work on Great Pond and Long Pond in 2014 and 2015. We will work with towns, road associations, and private landowners to improve roads and driveways that cause erosion to these two lakes. This cost-share grant requires 50% match from the road owner. If you have a project, please give BRCA a call at 207-495-6039, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRCA funding is provided by watershed towns, private landowners, businesses, lake associations, foundations, and state and federal grants. We are all fortunate to have broad support for water quality improvement and invasive plant prevention in the Belgrade Lakes watershed. Town funding is critical to BRCA getting foundation and government grants for our watershed. Thanks to the Town of Belgrade for your support!
Friends of Messalonskee Lake
Hand-Pulling Milfoil Report-West Cove in Belgrade
Janna and Peter Townsend of Belgrade organized a small group of Messalonskee Friends to meet in Loon Cove West (west of the Sidney boat launch in Belgrade) to carefully remove milfoil, roots et al, using a hand-pulling technique. Janet Croce, Janetha Benson, Woody Woodworth paddled north, while Ned and Anne Hammond pontooned south to meet in the muddy cove. Searching for firm ground to begin pulling milfoil, we became more comfortable on the slimy bottom and began to gently, but quite easily pull the invasive plant up by the roots, depositing them in our burlap bags. The bounty was added to compost sites away from the lake. More efforts will be made this summer to control Milfoil in this cove with our volunteers and summer interns from Unity College.
Submitted by Janna Townsend
Loon Count Report
When we do the loon count on Messalonskee, each counter is on a boat, canoe or kayak. The lake is divided up into about seven areas and we are given 30 minutes to drive or paddle around the assigned section and count loons. The loon count is a state wide event held at the same time on all lakes in Maine (it is organized by Maine Audubon). The count is volunteer based and would not be possible without individuals making their time and resources available. I have tallied the final 2013 loon count results for Messalonskee and wanted to share them with you. We managed to cover the entire lake with counters again this year. We have a great group of counters and my Thanks to All the volunteers ! We had a total of 30 Adults and 4 Chicks for 2013. I believe the weather on the day of the count has a lot to do with large year to year changes in the count. Windy or rainy days make it difficult to spot every loon in a half hour trek.
Submitted by Ron Fluet
Friends of Messalonskee Lake-MILFOIL MAPPING ON MESSALONSKEE LAKE
Friends of Messalonskee were busy this fall tracking the locations of colonized milfoil, starting at the Oakland end of the lake and continuing in Belgrade and Sidney. Earlier this month, Anne and Ned Hammond, along with Rachel Whitney, set out to get specific locations of the milfoil using GPS tracking. They started at working slowly along the shore and shallow areas and checked the entire area near the Oakland boat landing end of the lake and continued their efforts at the south end of the Lake toward Belgrade. New growth has been detected in some areas, mostly in small patches of 3-5 stalks. Other areas marked were extensively covered in milfoil for many feet. There were 13 total marked areas, including the point off the boat landing beach, the house beside the landing, and the cove on the opposite side of the landing where it was the worst.The remaining shoreline will be inspected and milfoil plants documented. Getting coordinates of the plants will help in the future when we harvest more milfoil, and check to see if it has multiplied. If you see the FOM boat in front of your property on one of our search days, come chat with us! We would love to hear if you have seen any milfoil in your area and what control methods you have been using (if any). Call Ned at 660-5069 for assistance.
Submitted by Rachel Whitney-Unity College
Membership and Milfoil Boat Update
Through a big effort from volunteers, we have doubled our membership and have gotten tremendous support from corporate donors. We want to thank the Towns of Belgrade, Oakland and Sidney for their help in protecting our natural resources through their support of Friends of Messalonskee. One significant gift was half of a boat that was acquired by the "Friends". This boat will be converted to a Milfoil Suction Harvester and enable us to operate for approximately 1/2 of the cost of hiring outside operators. Without your help this effort would not be possible.
If anyone sees milfoil in the Lake, please let us know. Also,if anyone has an interest in volunteering for a committee or for lake projects, please give Ned Hammond a call at 207-660-5069.
News from the Belgrade Health Center
There are many fun and healthy things happening at the BRHC.
1. Healthy Gains: This program helps patients set goals for healthy eating and weight loss, make connections with others and get needed support. Participants enrolled since the beginning of the program have collectively lost over 600 pounds. A free exercise class for the health center patients is part of the program but for $5, any community member can participate. If you would like to join this healthy group, contact the health center for further information. (495-3323).
2. Healthy Gains Quarterly Class: In connection to the above program is a quarterly class with a specific focus. The next session starts Thursday. May 8th at 5:00. The focus will be on Growing Your Own Salad and someone could earn a free CSA membership for some summer veggies.
3. Cooking Matters: This is a free program beginning Tuesday March 4 thru April 8, from 6-8 pm. Each of the six, two hour classes, will provide education around cooking healthy, tips on how to prepare meals and a sample of a meal. Each participant will go home with a bag of groceries related to the class. Call the Health Center to sign up.
4. Pre-Diabetes Class: This has also become a successful program. The new session begins March 28th from 4-5:00 pm. There is a 16 week commitment to the program to help participants learn to manage their condition.
Belgrade Recreation Department
This has been a very busy winter at the Belgrade Recreation Department! Our 2nd Gingerbread House Making Contest had 12 entries at the Holiday Fair on December 7th; they were all fantastic! Santa was joined by The Great Falls Model Railroad Club and the Maine 3-Railers Club with spectacular model train displays on Santa Movie Night. And this year’s Father Daughter Dance was bigger and better than ever. The music provided by Derek White was fantastic and the dads and girls looked amazing. Many thanks to our sponsor Gagne & Son Concrete!
Also this winter, Belgrade Rec. Dept. & Central Maine Wellness are offering discounted lift tickets to SUGARLOAF USA. All RSU #18 staff, students and their immediate families are eligible for $35 lift tickets. Other Belgrade Community members are eligible for $43 lift tickets. That is a HUGE savings! Remaining discount dates are: 3/2/2014, 3/16/2014, 3/23/2014 & 3/30/2014. Call our office before noon on the Thursday before you want to ski to reserve your spot.
After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) that runs week days from 3:30 – 5:30pm and Kidzone which runs 7:30am – 5:30pm during vacations from school, teacher workshops and snow days has been hopping with children. Call if your child would like to join the fun of Kidzone or ASEP!
We continue to hold our Community Lunch at the Center for All Season the first Tuesday of each month and at North Belgrade the third Tuesday of each month. Everyone is welcome! These are donation run lunches and all forms of donations are deeply appreciated. In case of inclement weather, please contact the Rec. Office.
Town elections will be held here on Friday, March 14th from 8:00am – 8:00pm, with Belgrade’s Town Meeting the next day at 1:00pm.
Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, April 20th. We will be hiding 1500 eggs this year, with two Golden Eggs that have special week passes to Camp Golden Pond inside. It is fun morning to start the Easter weekend.
Last year, we held our first Mom & Son Super Hero Bash and it was Fantastic!! This year’s Bash will be on Friday, May 2nd from 6 – 8 pm and is sure to be just as incredible. G-Force Laser Tag will return with their new inflatable city to add to the fun. Moms and sons are encouraged to dress as super heroes again (come on moms, we know you are all super heroes) and be ready to enjoy an evening of wild and crazy play.
Cleaning out closets this spring? Join our yard sale on May 31st and make a little cash.
There are many daily activities this spring at the Center for All Seasons:
Monday-Friday ~ 10am-3 pm Move More Walking
Mondays ~ 3:30 – 5:30 Youth Basketball (must be accompanied by an adult) and Kids in the Kitchen cooking class. Ping Pong at 5:30pm for all ages.
Tuesdays ~ 9-10am Walk and Stretch, 5:30 – 7pm Pickleball in the gym, 6-8pm Cooking Matters for Adults
Wednesdays ~ 10-11:00am Toddler Playtime & Adult Basketball at 7:00pm.
Thursdays ~ 6:00 – 7:00pm Yoga
Sundays ~ 6:00pm Adult Basketball.
Coming this summer, Camp Golden Pond and Camp Loon start June 23rd, 4th of July Ice Cream Social and our 1st Lakeside Artisan Show August 3rd.
We are very interested in finding out what you want from the Recreation Dept. Please contact us; we would love to hear what you have in mind.
Don’t forget the North Belgrade Community Center hosts a Pot Luck Dinner the second Saturday of each month. The dinner starts at 5:00pm and everyone is welcome. Come enjoy great food and company.
The Belgrade Community Center for All Seasons and North Belgrade Community Center are available to rent for your next birthday or anniversary party, family reunion or business meeting. To learn more call 495-3481 or visit: http://www.townofbelgrade.com/belgrade-center-for-all-seasons and be sure to like us on Facebook.
If you are interested in recreation in Belgrade, please join the Board of Parks and Recreation a meeting on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:00pm at the Center for All Seasons.
Recreation Director - Town of Belgrade
FIRE CHIEF’S REPORT
It has been a long winter. Hopefully warmer weather is on the way. During this cold winter I know woodstoves have been hard at work. Please remember to clean your chimneys.
On another note, while snow is on the ground, it is a good time to burn your brush piles. As we approach Spring and the snow disappears, the Maine State Forest Service starts to issue class days and burning is only allowed on a class 1 or 2 day. Belgrade Fire Department started a free online burn permit site last year. It allows you to obtain permits at your convenience. Go to burningpermit.com, fill out the permit and print it. The town wardens receive the information immediately. If you go to the site and you are not able to receive a permit, it is a class 3,4 or 5 day and burning is not allowed. Burning is for brush or clean wood, no garbage or wood with paint on it. A permit is not required for a camp fire as long as it is in a rock lined pit. Please be considerate of your neighbors when burning.
I would also like to take this opportunity to discuss an article that will be presented to you on Friday before the town meeting. We continue to struggle with day time coverage for Fire and Rescue. The town has been fortunate to have a town employee available to respond to rescue and fire calls during the day for years, however he has accepted another position. This is going to leave the town with little or no coverage during the work week. I have proposed the town hire a full-time Firefighter/Rescue person for 40 hours a week with benefits and a per-diem position (no benefits) for 10 hours a week. This would provide coverage Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. for immediate fire and rescue and help with the increasing demands our State requires of Volunteer Fire Departments. If funded; the cost for the first year, which will cover a 6 month period from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, would be $29,350 which would cost you $2.64 for every 100,000 in valuation. From that point on the position would be funded yearly at an estimated cost of $58,700 or $5.27 per 100,000 valuation on your tax bill. The decrease in volunteerism in all communities continues to be a problem that many towns continue to struggle with.
Chief Dan MacKenzie
DATES TO REMEMBER!
ABSENTEE BALLOTS AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH MARCH 11TH AT TOWN OFFICE.
OFFICER AND REFERENDUM VOTING TAKES PLACE ON MARCH 14, 2014 FROM 8:00 AM TO 8:00 PM AT THE CENTER FOR ALL SEASONS!
TOWN MEETING IS MARCH 15, 2014 AT 1:00 AT THE CENTER FOR ALL SEASONS!