2015-04-17 / Community

News Briefs

Arundel town manager offer made

Although they’re not quite ready to divulge a name, Arundel selectmen have selected a new town manager to replace Todd Shea, who left in February to become general manager of the Kennebunk Light and Power District.

According to Selectman Thomas Danylik, the town received 33 resumes in bids to replace Shea. “Several were from Maine, some from other New England states, and others from across the country,” he wrote in an April 13 email, in response to a Post inquiry on the status of the search process.

Danylik wrote that with the help of Easton Peabody Consulting Group, a search committee “carefully reviewed the applications of 11 of the most qualified individuals and elected to interview five,” one of whom dropped out of the running before face-to-face talks began.

“An offer has been tendered to one of those four [remaining candidates] and contract negotiations are in progress,” wrote Danylik, who declined to provide a name or any other details on the prospective manager, “until the contract terms are finalized.”

Arundel resident Jack Turcotte has been serving as interim town manager since Shea’s departure. As he also works as the start-up administrator of the Andover School Department, which is in the process of separating from Bethel-based RSU 44, Turcotte did not apply for Arundel’s top job.

Community yard sale scheduled for April 19

The new Waterhouse Center in Main Street in Kennebunk has played host to a series of firsts since it opened last fall, and the latest in that line of events will take place this weekend.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, Kennebunk will conduct its first community yard sale under cover at the Waterhouse Center. The event will be held rain or shine. Although some vendors will specialize, offering newly made quilts, vintage linens and kids’ sporting equipment, among other items, the event will largely be a mix of items one might expect to find at an roadside rummage sale.

“It’s going to be a wide variety. We really don’t know what to expect,” said Town Clerk Merton Brown, who helped organize the event alongside Downtown Committee Chairman Linda Johnson.

According to Brown, the last of the 35 available table spaces, each measuring 10-feet square, sold out three weeks ago.

“It’s been extremely popular,” he said. “We’ve done this mainly for people who can’t have a lawn sale at their own house, because they may live at the end of a dirt road or something, or maybe they just don’t want to do it at their own home.”

The town charged a nominal fee of $20 per table and all proceeds after advertising costs will be used to stage future events at the center. Those events will probably include future community yard sales.

According to Johnson, after selling out, she and Brown ended up with nearly 30 names on a waiting list.

“We could have done this twice over, and in the future we probably will,” she joked, adding that, if Sunday’s inaugural event goes off without any problems, future yard sales could be staged two or three times per year.

Meanwhile, Saturday also brings another first — a community health fair, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 18. Scheduled events at the Waterhouse Center that day will include information from a variety of health-based resources in and around Kennebunk, with aides, ideas and demonstrations in nutrition, fitness, dancing and exercise. Specialty events for the kids will include scavenger hunts and a downtown health-based storybook walk.

Landing School to award three scholarships for 2015-16

The Landing School, a full-time, post-secondary school founded in Arundel in 1978, has announced plans to award three $5,000 scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year.

The school offers associate’s degree programs in modern yacht design, boat building and marine systems technology,

The competitive scholarships will be awarded based on a prospective first-year student’s ability to illustrate his or her creative skills by building an object of their choice.

“This scholarship is one that truly reflects the kinds of students who come to The Landing School,” said Richard Schuhmann, Landing School president. “Our students are creative and inventive and love working with their hands. But attending college can be a strain financially. We need to help prospective students fund their education. So why not do that by giving them a chance to show us their imagination, initiative and invention?

“They get a chance to show us their passion while potentially earning $5,000 towards their education, and we get a chance to learn more about our students and their dedication to their craft,” Schuhmann said.

To apply for the scholarship, prospective students should upload a video no more than five minutes in length to YouTube. The video should describe what they built, how they built it, and why they built it. Once the student has uploaded the video, he or she should then email a link to susangross@landingschool.edu. The application deadline is June 22. Faculty and staff at The Landing School will assess the projects and name the award winners by July 17.

Selectmen table request for cemetery donation

If backers of the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery want a donation from the town of Kennebunkport, they’ll need to wage a more forceful battle. At their April 9 meeting, Kennebunkport selectmen tabled a request for a donation from the association that works to beautify the facility, opened in Springvale in 2010.

The 89-acre site, designed to house the final remains of 20,000 veterans and family members, was built with federal grant money. It is owned and maintained by the state. However, an association exists to manage projects beyond burials and routine maintenance. The group has completed extensive landscaping and built walkways, in addition to building a display cabinet for military memorabilia.

In October 2014, the association announced fundraising plans for a $15,000 monument honoring past, present and future veterans. In the future the group hopes to erect additional monuments to prisoners of war and veterans declared missing in action, to purple heart recipients, and to veterans killed in action, among other groups.

Following a $1,000 donation from the town of Shapleigh, the association circulated a letter to other southern Maine towns asking them to pitch in as well.

“I see this as a sort of open-ended obligation that I’m not sure ought to be supported by the town,” Selectman Patrick Briggs said, explaining that he feared the request to fund special monuments might become an annual gift to a site already supported by taxpayers.

“The cemeteries the government supports around the country are very well maintained. It would never go into disrepair, or become an eyesore,” he said.

“That’s what we said about the VA hospitals,” Selectman Sheila Matthews-Bull quipped.

Still, while Matthews-Bull was “all in favor” of making a $1,000 donation from the board’s contingency fund, her peers were less inclined to open the purse.

“I find it ironic that the two veterans on the board are the ones who are most against this,” Selectman Edward Hutchins said.

However, the board did leave the door open, saying it would entertain a direct plea from the cemetery association at a future meeting.

Goose Rocks nonresident parking fees on the rise

If you don’t live in Kennebunkport and only visit Goose Rocks Beach occasionally, it’ll cost you more in 2015. At the March 26 meeting, the Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen raised the price of a nonresident daily parking sticker good for use at the beach by 25 percent, from $12 to $15.

The price for weekly and seasonal parking stickers will remain the same for nonresidents, at $50 and $100 respectively.

Town residents continue to get the best deal. They can purchase a parking sticker for the season for $5.

– Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington.

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