MEXICO — Police Chief Roy Hodsdon told selectmen Tuesday evening that the Police Department will start its new Senior Watch program Wednesday, March 26, with a public meeting.

“It’ll be more of an informational meeting, so if people’s families want to come out for it, they can,” he said. “We’ve already had four people submit applications to be a part of the program.”

Hodsdon said the program is to help senior citizens.

“Every day, seven days a week, if a person wants us to, we’ll call them around 7 or 8 a.m. and see how they’re doing and if they need any help. We figure that it’ll help cut down on some welfare checks that might occur because nobody hears from them, and it’ll give them someone to talk to.”

The chief said some seniors in the area aren’t getting daily calls from their family.

“We get a lot of family members approaching us and saying that something like this is a good idea since they’re not always in town. It gives us a chance to keep an eye on them,” he said.

The department is holding a Neighborhood Watch meeting Wednesday, March 19, to select signs to place around town.

“How many signs are you hoping to set up?” Selectman Reggie Arsenault asked.

“As many as I can,” Hodsdon said, to let people know there are areas being watched to prevent crime.

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that stresses education and common sense. It teaches citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods, according to USAonwatch.org.

In addition, it provides citizens with the opportunity to make their neighborhoods safer and improve the quality of life. Neighborhood Watch groups typically focus on observation and awareness as a means of preventing crime and employ strategies that range from simply promoting social interaction and “watching out for each other” to active patrols by groups of citizens, the website said.

Ouellette lauded Hodsdon for “bringing new stuff into the town” and “making the people feel safer.”

Arsenault said he thought the Senior Watch program will be a “great asset to the community.”

In other business, Town Manager John Madigan told selectmen he received a complaint from an Osgood Avenue resident about a parking spot in front of the Thai Smile 2 restaurant on Main Street.

“Apparently, there was a truck parked at the corner, in front of Thai Smile, and (the complainant) couldn’t see the oncoming traffic when she was trying to make a left-hand turn from Osgood onto Main Street,” Madigan said. “I told her I’d bring it before the board.”

Arsenault said, “I’d hate to see us take out another parking spot. Those poor businesses can use all the parking spots they can get. It’s already difficult. I don’t see why they can’t get on Gleason Road and get onto Main Street from Roxbury Road.”

Ouellette asked if there was any way to post a sign that would temporarily prevent parking for the rest of winter.

“I don’t know why all of a sudden, it’s a problem,” Arsenault said. “That spot has been there since the Chicken Coop was around. I know every now and then, there might be a truck making a delivery, but I don’t know. I’m surprised it’s an issue now.”

Selectman agreed to leave the parking spot and discuss the issue at a future meeting.

The board also received requests for donations from the Maine 4-H Foundation and the Roxbury Pond Watershed Survey volunteer group.

Madigan told selectmen this is the first time that either organization had submitted a request for donations.

“As far as I can tell, they’ve never approached us in this fashion for a donation,” he said.

Ouellette said the Maine 4-H Foundation is “a very worthy cause,” but money is tight now.

“I’m sure that funds are drying up for all sorts of organizations right now, and that it’s harder and harder to find money,” he said.

Madigan suggested selectmen wait on making a decision or have the organizations submit their requests for the town meeting warrant in June.

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