2014-03-07 / Front Page

Down East salutes Arundel

Magazine puts town among Maine’s top six places to live
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — In the March issue Best Places to Live, Down East magazine listed Arundel as one of six best places to live in Maine.

Other selected towns include Gorham, Bowdoinham, Hampden, Hope and Turner.

Arundel has approximately 4,100 residents with a median age of 43, according to Down East. Qualifying factors included the exclusion of towns where median household incomes are less than the 95 percent of the state’s median income, which is approximately $48,000; the median household income of Arundel families, according to Down East and the United States Census Bureau, is $60,156. The median home price is $218,000. Approximately 5.5 percent of families are below the poverty line in Arundel.

Statistics also used to determine the top six included towns with graduation rates higher than the 85 percent state median (Arundel’s graduation rate is 86.5 percent). Anecdotal evidence contributed to the top six selections to help writers gauge, among other things, the “intangible qualities like sense of community,” according to the article.

Referring to Arundel’s secession from Kennebunkport as an “effort to preserve its agrarian roots,” the article states: “The town — which reverted to Kennebunkport’s 18th-century name, Arundel, in 1957 — remains a rural outpost, a rare pastoral respite along the I-95/coastal corridor in York County that residents prize.”

Also included is the mention of Bentley’s Saloon on Route 1, The Landing School, and the historical novelist Kenneth Roberts of Kennebunkport, who wrote a book simply titled, “Arundel.”

When asked if the selection is encourag- ing, Town Manager Todd Shea said, “Any tiles of accolades are best reserved to the judgment of the residents. I know that several residents who I have informed about the article were very happy to hear about it since Down East seems to have a very large area of circulation.

“As for me, I will continue to do my job as I have in the past, and spread the word the best that I can. Town managers use articles like this to try and best our colleagues and I will be sure to make them all aware of this commendation.”

The article made mention of the fact that visitors often mistakenly think Arundel is a coastal town.

“It doesn’t annoy me at all, and I hear it quite often, actually,” Shea said. “Everyone just assumes that Arundel is on the coast, but I can completely understand where the confusion comes from.

“The interchangeability of the name Arundel applies not only to this town, but historically the communities of Arundel and Kennebunkport, including Cape Porpoise. I’m a history buff so I have a pretty good handle on the name and the circumstances surrounding the use of it. Whenever someone raises the question here at town hall, I am more than happy to explain.”

When asked if there was anything he wishes Down East would have included in its description of Arundel, Shea said, “Maybe something to the effect that if people are willing to venture off of Route 1 or Route 111 in their travels through southern Maine, they might just like what they see.”

“In my opinion there are many beautiful sights to see here in town,” Shea said. “The rural setting that the town has to offer is a setting that we see less and less in Maine as areas get developed. That is a setting that is very important to many of the residents of this ‘”Best Place to Live.’”

Said Shea, “I think the people who live here do so specifically for the reason that the article was written. It may be nice for residents to have affirmation of their beliefs, but most Arundel residents would agree that the article won’t change much, other than maybe help move some of the properties that are for sale in town.”

Want to comment on this story? Visit our website at www.post.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top