OXFORD — Retiring Recreation Director Patty Hesse was honored Thursday night for her decades of service to the town. Her last day was July 29.

Oxford Recreation Director Patty Hesse, right, is presented with a bouquet of flowers Thursday night by Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Sharon Jackson at the municipal building on Pleasant Street. Hesse is retiring as recreation director, a job she’s held for the past three years. Before that, she served 32 years with the Fire and Rescue Department. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

“Patty has served the town for the past 35 years, Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Sharon Jackson said when presenting Hesse with an arrangement of cut flowers.

Hesse was employed by the town as recreation director the past three years. For the 32 years prior to that she worked for the fire and emergency medical services department.

“We wish you all the best in your travels to Arizona,” Jackson said. “Thank you for your service to the town.”

Hesse said Friday that she is moving to Arizona this month to be with her family.

She was applauded by selectmen, Police Chief Rickie Jack, Fire & Rescue Chief Paul Hewey, Highway Department Foreman Jim Bennett and Transfer Station Manager Ed Knightly.


“I’d like to thank you (department heads) for everything you’ve given me over time,” Hesse said.

Later in the meeting, Town Manager Adam Garland said he has posted the recreation director position and plans to convene a three-person committee, including himself, to interview candidates starting in September. Jackson will represent selectmen on the committee and requested that Lois Pike, one of the founders of the Recreation Department, be the third committee volunteer, which Pike agreed to.

During public comment at the meeting, discussion of Oxford’s transfer station ordinance was renewed after selectmen previously instructed Garland to correct language in the facility’s informational brochure.

The brochure stated residents are not allowed to take items left at the transfer station without permission. However, the town’s ordinance says only selectmen are allowed to approve of residents  removing discarded items.

Resident Robert Conrad asked why residents would not be able to take useful items. He said he’s taken discarded newspapers from the recycling bin for people who heat with wood in the winter. He also pointed out that bikes left at the transfer station can be picked up by families who can’t afford to buy new ones for their children.

Jackson said it was inconsistencies between the brochure and the ordinance that were addressed at last month’s board meeting. She reiterated her previous point that residents going through piles of trash at will is a safety hazard and poses liability issues for the town should someone get hurt. If there is a mess, employees have to clean it up, she said.


Knightly said that in 2007 Maine law was changed. Since then, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection encourages “swap shop” buildings at transfer stations as a way to reuse recycled items and reduce the amount of trash going into landfills, he said.

Conrad said he hopes there is room to revise the ordinance to provide some benefit to taxpayers who have relied on recycled and reused materials in the past.

In other transfer station business, Garland advised selectmen that two overhead doors at the transfer station and one at the recycling building on Smith Road need to be replaced.

Knightly said previously solicited bids were $23,000 for the rolling type and $15,000 for section doors.

Garland requested the board approve using the town’s fund balance toward the purchases because there is only $8,000 budgeted for repair and maintenance at the station.

Selectmen agreed and instructed Knightly to secure bids for both types of doors.


At the July 21 meeting selectmen tabled voting on the purchase of a new zero-turn mower for the Highway Department because the bids did not match the specifications requested. Bennett said he specified a 42-inch mowing deck but some bidders were unable to provide that size and instead gave prices for the closest size available.

Even though the price for a 48-inch from United Ag & Turf in Auburn was only slightly more than a 41-inch model from Reid’s Service Center in Oxford, Bennett said 48 inches is too wide to safely mow cemeteries. He recommended the 41-inch mower for $89,038 offered by Reid’s.

Selectmen voted to approve his recommendation.

In his regular update, Garland said renovations are underway at the new municipal headquarters at 127 Pottle Road. He has scheduled the move for between Sept. 14 and 16. The town offices on Pleasant Street will close for good Sept. 13 and the new office will officially open Sept. 20.

Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway accepted Oxford’s bid of $750,000 for the one-story building May 5.

The Municipal Center at 85 Pleasant St. is for sale. Situated on 1.2 acres, the 12,420-square-foot building was constructed about 1900 and served as Oxford’s school for decades. The town acquired it in 1998 and converted it to municipal offices. For years it has been plagued by basement flooding, moisture and mold issues, as well as structural deterioration.

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