FARMINGTON — Selectmen May 9 named May 14-20 as Arbor Week and were told the Conservation Commission will be holding an invasive species walk at noon Saturday, May 20, at the Prescott Trails.

“Our latest mission has been to educate about invasive species, whether it is plants or the Emerald Ash Borer,” Conservation Commission Chair Bill Haslam said. “Down at the trails by the river, come by. There will be some goats and lambs chewing on some invasive plants, other demonstrations. We’ll take walks and identify some invasive plants.”

Participants will get to know what some invasive plants are, what they can do harm wise and how to deal with them, Haslam said. The walk will be on the newly developed Prescott Trails, he noted. The bridge [near the parking area] washed out in the May 1 flood, other than that, it is solid, he added.

The walk will be held near that parking lot. Additional parking will be possible in the UMF lot, also on Front Street.

Recognizing Arbor Week is done every year in Farmington, Haslam said. “This is the 46th year Farmington is a Tree City USA,” he noted. “The Arbor Week proclamation is part of that designation.”

Tree City USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation. Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the foundation’s oldest programs. “The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover,” according to the foundation’s website. “It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change.”


Farmington is one of three Maine towns having the longest run of Tree City USA designation, Haslam said. “The other two towns have arborists, park staff, forestry staff to maintain their trees,” he noted. “We do it with town staff, volunteers, CMP’s work.

“We are a unique situation. A lot of volunteer work, a lot of different groups working together.”

Selectman Dennis O’Neil asked if there were requirements to qualify as a Tree City USA.

“There is a check list,” Haslam said. “You have to have a tree related ordinance, have to spend X amount per capita on tree maintenance and upkeep, have this proclamation and hold an event for Arbor Week.”

Board Chair Matt Smith is an ad hoc member of the commission, doesn’t participate in the work. “It’s amazing the amount of work that gets done with very few people,” he stated. “It goes unseen until it is not being done.”

In other business, the board was updated on the status of properties in foreclosure and voted to send one final letter to the owners.


Treasurer Tammy Bureau said there are 24 properties that have matured liens, technically the town now owns them. She recommended sending the letter to try to get the owed taxes paid.

The required three-year foreclosure procedure has been followed, Bureau noted. Someone is interested in buying one property, she said.

As a further incentive, O’Neil suggested stating in the letter the list would be published locally.

One owner signed an agreement with the town, interim Town Manager Cornell Knight said. The town attorney would need to advise on the status of that, should review the letter before it is sent, he noted.

O’Neil also noted Selectmen are supposed to put the town’s banking services out to bid every three years, it has been many years since it was done.

Knight said doing so was a lot of work, suggested waiting until after the new Town Manager is on board.

The last eight or nine years interest rates were low, they have started to move up, Knight stated. It might make a difference now, be easier to compare bids, he said.

In addition to interest rates, O’Neil would like to see the scope of what else is available.

Franklin Savings Bank wants to participate when the time is right, Beckie Bowering, business solutions officer, said.

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