Hartford backs U.S. paper companies

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HARTFORD — Dino Gilbert asked the Board of Selectmen Thursday night to support tariffs and duties on certain coated paper imports from China and Indonesia.

Gilbert was seeking signatures on a petition against unfair trade. He said his grassroots group will take a packet filled with the petitions from supporters to Washington, D.C., to the Department of Commerce asking it to impose duties on foreign products that have benefited from unfair subsidies.

He said that paper mills in Maine are suffering because paper is imported at prices below the actual cost to produce it. Gilbert said there are seven people in Hartford who depend on the mill in Rumford for their livelihood.

He added that members of Congress in Maine have already signed the petition along with officials from many towns.

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Each board member signed the petition and Selectman Chairman Lee Holman wished Gilbert success with his endeavor.

Richard Green, who lives on Farrand Hill Road, appealed to selectmen to see that ditches are dug on his road. “I’m here because I called Road Commissioner Jeremy Johnson and he did not return my call,” he said.

Green says the road is in rough shape because of a lack of maintenance over the years. He said culverts were plugged, pieces of tar are in people’s yards and buried cables are now exposed.

Holman said the roads didn’t stay frozen this year and that the tar was broken up everywhere, even on state roads.

Selectman Jack Plumley said he would take a look, but lack of funds was a problem and the state had cut funds to all the towns this year.

Diana Young, who also lives on Farrand Hill Road, asked if the town had a five- or 10-year plan on roads.

Plumley said the Road Committee did have a partial list of roads.

Young replied that either the town has a plan or it doesn’t. “You people don’t know?” she asked.

The discussion was lengthy and the resolution was that Plumley would check with Johnson to see if he had a plan to work on the road.

Holman announced that a monthly 30-pound box of food was available at the Oxford County Cooperative Extension in South Paris for people, 60 years or older, who have a monthly income of less than $1,174. For more information, people may call 1-800-287-1482.

Selectmen plan to meet with the Planning Board on May 3 to discuss some issues.

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