Board OKs new Town Hall hours

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NEW GLOUCESTER – Selectmen on Monday reversed an earlier decision to change the hours of operation at the Town Hall based on a written request by town employees.

The new hours of operation that begin on June 5 by unanimous approval by the board will be: Monday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last month, the board OK’d ending a temporary winter schedule aimed at cost savings in a four-day plan with more hours of service each day. The new schedule would have started on May 30 with late hours offered Thursday night rather than Monday.

The town employees in a memo requested selectmen reverse the hours of operation by adding back the customary Monday night, which served the public for the past 18 years despite Monday holidays, plus keep intact the four-day work schedule and closed three consecutive days including Friday.

Selectmen agreed to return Monday night to the public but supported the shorter work days approving a five-day plan as prior to the winter schedule for the public.

In other business, the Public Safety Committee’s Chairman John Randall told the board that proper numbering on all houses town-wide is critical to resolve public-safety problems.

During the past year, the committee sought information from the Maine State Police, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, SAD 15 transportation officials and fire and rescue personnel.

In some cases response time has been hampered by improper or non existent numbering on dwellings. Now a major public safety issue needs immediate remedy, said Randall.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people think they have to do numbering for the mailman,” said Selectman Steve Libby, the board’s chairman.

Randall suggested that new properties be aware of the importance of street numbering on their buildings.

New Gloucester has a street numbering ordinance and the project will include help from the town’s code enforcement officer.

Finally, selectmen adopted a new fee schedule as part of an animal control ordinance.

First offenses result in a warning for impoundment or return of at-large dogs and animal noise.

Then a second offense for impoundment or return of at-large animals sets a $20 fee. A third offense is $35 and subsequent offenses at $45.

A second violation for barking dogs ranges between $50 and $100, plus costs.

A third violation ranges between $100 and $250, plus costs. And subsequent violations range from $250 to $500, plus costs.

An owner may reclaim an impounded animal by paying the town a fee of $20 for first offense; $35 for second offense and $45 for subsequent offenses.

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