Government at a glance: Sabattus

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Board: Sabattus Selectmen

Met: Tuesday night

Changes at PD

Issue: After returning to the Sabattus police after boot camp, Officer Melanie Skidgel is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan soon. Police Chief Thomas Fales said that Sgt. Gil Turcotte has also indicated he’ll retire in May.

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The scoop: Fales needs staff.

Up next: Selectmen approved having him get an agreement in writing with Western Maine Community Action, which has agreed to pay training and other costs if the town hires Dennis Matthews as a temporary patrol officer. WMCA will pay for the cost of Matthews to attend to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Old stuff, over and out

Issue: The town spent grant money on new fire department radios, leaving the old radios obsolete. Fire Chief Donald Therrien asked selectmen if he could destroy them so no one else could get hold of the town frequencies.

The scoop: The board agreed.

Issue: Sabattus fire also had hundreds of feet of old hose to get rid of. Transfer Station Manager Jerry Sabins volunteered to cut off the valuable brass before it’s trashed.

Ice shacks, away

Issue: The town got a complaint about ice shacks poking through the melting ice on Sabattus Pond and concerns about water quality. The code enforcement officer was told by the state that owners have to remove them by early April.

The scoop: Sooner wouldn’t be a bad idea, if it’s safe — there’s already open water.

Brainstorming notes

Issue: Residents came up with 23 ideas at a Jan. 12 brainstorming session on the future of the town. Ideas included: Join the local chamber of commerce, develop zoning to promote business growth, look into a trail system and a library, and develop a technology plan.

The scoop: Selectmen asked if the list was missing anything, and if it could be prioritized. New town manager Rick Bates offered to do the latter.

Up next: The board will get the list back and brainstorm on it with Andrew Gilmore, who does community and economic development work for Municipal Resources Inc.

Staff writer Kathryn Skelton can be reached at 689-2844 or kskelton@sunjournal.com

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