Bangor Savings Bank on Main Street in Dixfield is closing in November, according to Town Manager Dustin Starbuck. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times photo

DIXFIELD — The only bank in town is closing in November and municipal officials are looking for a replacement.

Town Manager Dustin Starbuck said he has contacted Bangor Savings Bank to express his displeasure with the move.

“This was a decision made at the corporate level and they aren’t going to change their minds,” he told selectmen Aug. 12.

The bank has a branch in Rumford.

Starbuck suggested town officials contact other financial institutions to invite them to consider moving to town.

“Try to find a smaller and more community-centered bank that might want to be centered here,” Starbuck advised the board. “And we have a building that might be perfect.”

The town manager said it is going to be difficult not having a bank. He said he is going to have to send Deputy Clerk Angela Varnum “with $10,000 or $15,000 in cash out to make deposits.”

“Come tax time, we have people who come in to pay all their taxes with cash,” he said.

Board Chairwoman Norine Clarke said officials could have a police officer pick up the deposit.

“But now you’re taking one of the police officers, who’s not patrolling Dixfield, and going to Rumford and back,” Starbuck said.

Selectmen authorized him to write a letter to Bangor Savings Bank on their behalf expressing their displeasure and asking that the decision be reversed.

“It wouldn’t hurt to express our concerns,” Selectman Ricky Davis said.

“And our disappointment,” Clark added.

In other matters, Starbuck said the latest vandalism at McGouldrick Park includes a hockey rink wall broken down by a vehicle, obscene artwork painted on the warming hut and damaged stairs. He did not have an estimate for repairs.

“We’re going to have to have to use monies in the reserve fund just to make repairs,” he said. “We’ve bought some paint and going to use someone who has community service time to do some painting.”

Selectman Peter Holman suggested contacting both lumber companies in town.

“We have started some limited surveillance,” Starbuck said, acknowledging the park at 38 Dix Ave. is isolated.

“First thing is to repair the damage,” he said. “If anyone wants to help with that, they can certainly volunteer to do carpentry, painting or if they have materials or leftover pieces they’re not using they put towards repairing the boards, that would be great.”

Clarke said when the park first opened it “was wonderful. But it was more than we could maintain. It may be, that for sometime to come, the only thing we’ll be able to maintain is the ice rink, which is a worthy goal.”

In another matter, Starbuck said the state is offering a total of $375,000 in grants to communities holding bicentennial-themed events to commemorate the state’s 200th birthday, which is March 20, 2020. He said he applied for a $500 grant as seed money to honor an early settler of the town.

Solomon Leland was a selectman for several years and was a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention in Portland in 1819. His headstone is in Severy Hill Cemetery.

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