Woolwich selectmen convene in 1837 Town House

Wed, 06/22/2022 - 8:45am

    “This building has been a part of the town of Woolwich for 185 years and it’s important that we carry on the tradition,” said Selectmen’s Chairman David King Sr. when he called the June 21 board meeting to order in the 1837 Town House. The board meets in the historic meetinghouse at the corner of Old Stage and Dana Mills roads for one meeting every June.

    Prior to the meeting, King recognized Woolwich contractor Dale Reno, owner of DAR Construction, for the restoration work he’s doing to the exterior. “The town is paying for the materials and he’s donating the labor,” he told Wiscasset Newspaper. “He’s replaced all of the clapboard siding on the building’s east side and has been glazing and repainting the windows. We’re very appreciative for the work he’s providing.”

    In the meeting, King said since Bath and Dresden have increased their trash disposal fees he’s observed a lot more trash bags in Woolwich for curbside pickup. King doubted all the trash was being generated in Woolwich. It’s great to help your neighbors but it’s illegal to carry trash from one town to another unless you’re licensed, he commented. “At $80 a ton (for trash removal) this adds up fast,” he said. “It’s not fair for residents of Woolwich to pay for trash not generated here.”

    Road Commissioner Jack Shaw said summer paving will start in the next week or two.

    In his report, Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Engert said building permits were on the upswing. Most were for small additions and home alterations, not new home construction.

    EMS Director Brian Carlton’s written report noted there were 15 ambulance calls over the past two weeks. Six involved transports. Brandon Bailey is now a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT), stated Carlton. Fire Chief Shaun Merrill said the fire department had responded to 10 calls since June 1. Two were to help Bath at the recent Dike-Newell School fires. The board appointed Crystal Murray to the Nequasset Park Committee.

    The board announced it would meet with Town Administrator Kim Dalton at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, the close of the town’s fiscal year, to review the 2021-2022 town budget. The meeting will be in the town office on Nequasset Road.

    The tradition of the select board holding a June meeting at the 1837 Town House started in 1996. The historic building, painted a Colonial yellow, has no plumbing or electricity; power to illuminate its overhead lamps was supplied by two car batteries attached to an inverter, said King. Woolwich contractor Jack Shaw and Sons supplied a porta potty.

    According to “History of Woolwich, Maine: A Town Remembered,” the Town House was paid for with federal monies the community got as a result of the liquidation of the national debt. The Maine legislature gave its share to its cities and towns to do with as they pleased. Woolwich voters chose to use their money, $800, to buy land and build the town house. William Leonard, a local carpenter, was hired to construct the 40-by-35-foot building that has always been painted its distinctive shade of yellow.

    In February 1976, the 1837 Town House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. “That’s something that I’m very proud of,” said King.