PERU — The Board of Selectmen on Monday approved the schedule for the New England Forest Rally on July 18.

One of the dozen or so legs of the rally is run on the six-mile gravel section of Dickvale Road in Peru. The road will be closed for the event.

According to organizer Mark Everett, the 23rd annual rally is sanctioned by Rally America, the national governing body for this type of race.

Contestants start at one-minute intervals and are timed over the course. There is no wheel-to-wheel racing. Everett said contestants come from all over the United States and from foreign countries.

The present leader for the national championship is David Higgins, who lives on the Isle of Man in Great Britain, Everett said. The runner-up is American Travis Pastrana. Both will be among the 50 teams expected to participate in the rally, he said.

Top factory-sponsored contenders drive cars valued at nearly $250,000 and that will exceed 100 miles per hour on the Dickville Road course. Most competitors are amateurs who just love the sport. They drive cars more likely to be in the $30,000 to $50,000 range and probably will not go over 75 mph on the course, Everett said.


While the cars start out as stock, owners make extensive safety, speed and handling modifications. A $25,000 conversion kit for a Ford Fiesta can be purchased from an English firm to make a competitive rally car. All of the cars are registered and legal for street use, Everett said.

More information can be found at

Board secretary Angelia Barkhouse reminded residents that the public meeting to set the RSU 10 budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Dirigo High School in Dixfield. A validation referendum will be held Tuesday, June 10, at polling stations in each town.

Barkhouse also reported that the test for E. coli and coliform bacteria at the public spring came back negative in May.

Board Chairman Jim Pulsifer and Town Clerk Vera Parent told residents why the referendum ballot for June 10 included Article 24 that permits the town to exceed the state tax levy limit.

They said two articles recommended by the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen push the municipal budget above the limit of $344,701.85. These articles are for needed work on East Shore Drive and a new truck needed by the highway department.

Polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

Selectmen were not sure what options were available if Article 24 does not pass.

Pulsifer said if all articles pass, it will result in approximately a $1.50 increase in the tax rate.

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