DIXFIELD – Selectmen decided Tuesday to advertise for someone to mow the grass in the town’s nine cemeteries. They also decided to turn over lawn maintenance of several parks to SAD 21.

Much of Tuesday’s meeting was devoted to lawn maintenance and working on the warrant for next month’s annual town meeting.

Hugh Daley, who had been mowing the cemeteries for several years for $10,000 annually has resigned. Town Manager Tom Richmond believes the cost will likely rise because of the escalating price of fuel.

Advertisements will soon appear in local newspapers seeking someone to cut for the cemetery grass.

SAD 21 has also requested that it be responsible for maintaining the grass and fields that had been maintained by the town, Richmond said.

He was given the go-ahead to work out a deal that would call for the town paying for SAD 21 personnel to do the work with municipal equipment. In addition to maintaining Harlow Park, which is town-owned but used by the district for its athletic program, and McGouldrick and Marble parks, the district would also care for the lawns at all four of the schools, including the newest one in Peru now under construction. The district had paid the town about $5,000 annually for the work.

The board also agreed to continue the town’s annual collection of leaves and brush from residents’ yards. But this year, all leaves must be bagged, and all brush may be no longer than 4 feet. In the past, public works employees have raked piles of leaves into trucks. Richmond said the work was too labor-intensive for a three-man crew.

The date for the cleanup has not yet been set.

In other matters, Eva Sassi Taylor, a longtime resident of the town and originally from Rumford, was named the latest recipient of the Boston Post cane. She is 99 years old. No one has received the award in honor of being the eldest Dixfield resident for several years.

Richmond and board Chairwoman Bettina Martin, and other selectmen will make a presentation to her of a plaque and flower bouquet within a few weeks. The cane remains on display in the town office.

The board approved hiring the Wilton certified public accountant firm of R.H. Smith and Co. to conduct a water department audit, and appointed William deVries the town’s representative to the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste board.


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