Ronald (Bun) Ramsey, Superintendent of SAD 37 addressed about 20 C.F. residents at the selectmen’s meeting on Monday, May 13th, 2013 to explain the factors that effect the proposed school budget for the coming year. He passed out a 16 page booklet of the District’s financial history for the past 28 years. In 1986-87 the state subsidy was $2,059,766 (68% of the total budget) and the amount has not changed much over the 28 years and is still only $2,082,130 in 2013-14 (25% of the anticipated 2013-14 budget). Now consider that the cost of living has doubled, local contribution has gone from $702,228 to $4,936,944 (2012-13), base teacher salary has gone from $12,000 to $30,573, the school budget has gone from $3,009,503 to $7,920,155 (2012-13) and yet enrollment has dropped from 1004 to 729 (28%). The combined town’s valuation went from a low of $82,250,000 in 1987 to a high of $612,100,000 in 2013 an increase by a factor of 7.4 times! In 2013-14 the state subsidy is expected to be $219,000 less than last year and 1.4 million less if Cherryfield leaves.
The selectmen approved a warrant of $60,222.41 and a payroll warrant of $2531.93. Nancy Bailey, administrative assistant said that Maine Controls has visited the municipal building and found that some heating controls were disconnected since they were maintaining the heating system years ago. Maine Controls will need a day to examine the controls in order to make a recommendation. They will provide a quote for the cost of this examination.
PRSWDD has sent an addendum to the town extending the waste disposal contract to 2018. Before signing this selectmen requested that the town’s representative, Ed Van Dam come to the next selectmen’s meeting.
Monthly financial reports are now available and the treasurer gave copies to each selectman to be signed.
Nancy Bailey, administrative assistant requested clarification on the municipal building usage by nonprofit parties. Selectmen agreed that it had to be handled case by case as it is now.
Auditor James Wadman’s bill included $83.00 for selectmen Jay Look and Bun Ward. Look and Ward agreed to pay this personally as Treasurer Weaver and Nancy Bailey had paid theirs.
Bun Ward said volunteer, Rich Poirier has repaired the baseball field dugout as required by insurance inspector and he donated $200.00 for new bases. Also he inquired about the possibility of adding electricity for vendors. No decision made.
Jay Look said that a permit to burn slash and brush had been issued for a location on the Centerville Road and the party had also burned an abandoned mobile home on the property. He asked if they could be made to clean it up. Fire Chief, Dave Perham suggested checking with the DEP.
Treasurer Weaver said the warrant included a lot of checks for the 150 celebration which is not until June 29th so she did not print them. Also she verified that the $15,000 required for salt shed engineering is to come out of salt shed account.
Selectman Bun Ward read a letter from Dawn Robins requesting that the Greenwood Cemetery Society disband and care of the cemetery be turned over to the town. Rick Farnsworth, president of the Great Hill cemetery said last year they had been asked to take over the Greenwood Cemetery. No decision made.
Mike Bailey, road commissioner presented a quote of $12,000 by County Concrete for paving 700 feet on Church Hill Circle. This was approved and is to come out of the road assistance account.
Fire Chief, Dave Perham reported on the fire department consolidation meeting between Columbia and Columbia Falls. Two major capital improvements would be required by C.F. to the existing Columbia fire station in order for C.F. to move in and occupy about 1/3 of the building- paving and interior work.
Selectman Grant requested financial information from the 150 committee on the celebration. A complete report was provided by Chuck Hammond. (It should be noted that all 150 finances go through the town office and financial reports are available from the treasurer). Hammond also reported other 150 news: Gloria Hayward’s new history book was at the printer; The salmon Federation fish fry would be at the Pleasant River Hatchery and not at the fire station; Celebration tee shirts are on sale now; Nancy Bailey had received an email from Governor LePage’s office stating that he and the First Lady would not be at the 150 celebration. They did offer to send a celebratory letter.
Nancy Bailey said the finial balls on the flag staffs used on utility poles ought to be painted. Chuck Hammond will look into this.
Grace Falzarno reminded selectmen that Articles #28 and #30 needed to be corrected at a special town meeting since Auditor Wadman had misinterpreted what the people voted on. She also suggested that in the future the auditor might send selectmen a draft audit to be reviewed before the final one to catch misunderstandings like this.
Roberta Hammond requested approval to purchase about $100.00 worth of material to make some shelves and finish the School Memorabilia room. (Approved). She also needs a volunteer carpenter to make the shelves.
David Weaver made a “political” statement at the end of the selectmen’s meeting. The following is an accurate transcript of his entire narrative taken from a recording at the meeting, brackets are added for clarification:
“First thing I would like to say is that this was a very productive meeting tonight for a change, I’m impressed. This is my own opinion and my own observation that I have made over the years, I’m sorry it has come to this, but I have sat on my hands and bit my tongue long enough, I wrote this after the last selectmen’s meeting. I have sat on these bleachers and other locations for the last four to five years listening to a small group of little people trying their best to cause hate and discontent to this town. This small group of people is so full of hate and jealousy because they can’t get their own way it’s pathic. They have caused the town to spend an untold amount of money probably in the thousands of dollars to find there is nothing wrong with the money accounts in the town. If you think I’m standing here defending my wife [Lenora Weaver, Town Treasurer] I am. But I’m also defending all of the town officers. They are trying to do the best they can about carrying out the business of the town under a microscope. They shouldn’t have to put up with that crap and you all know it. These people have been elected by the voters of this town to carry out the town’s business not to defend every move they make by a small bunch of head hunters. How many special town meetings and special audits do we have to have to satisfy this small group of [cough unintelligible]. You can’t hold a special town meeting without incurring cost to the town and you can’t visit or have the auditor come here without showing a cost. Bun spoke about that cost tonight. I’m going to say this group requested that the town have our auditor present for the last Selectmen’s meeting so they could question him at length about irrelevant facts which I thought he answered truthfully as he could. They didn’t like his answers because he didn’t immediately throw Lenny under the bus. So rather than listening to the answers they were trying to figure out a way to ask him the same question from a different direction. He didn’t pay attention.
You talk about transparency but what you are really talking about is transparency for some but not for others. How come the financial results for the cost of the costume ball have never been presented at an open meeting? Why weren’t these financials handled thru the town? The way they were supposed to be. The answer, because we wanted to, should not be acceptable. It would not be accepted from anyone else. How come from the committee. How can one selectman who is a big advocate for the celebration committee be impartial when a vote comes to the board about anything pertaining to the celebration committee. How can one selectman abstain from a vote and when that vote doesn’t go the way he wants it, he changes his vote so it carries his way. How can the steering committee justify spending $1800.00 for a four hour horse and buggy ride. How much money has this celebration committee actual raised in the last two years? I think the horse and buggy bill will probably use up most of it. If you attend the selectmen’s meeting and then read Chuck’s column sometimes you would think you’ve been at two different meetings. Chuck [Hammond] puts his own twist on the way he interprets the meeting. He never misses an opportunity to bad mouth my wife or my daughter. But he almost fails to mention anything negative about anyone else. Is this by design Chuck? This little group of little people made my wife’s job at town treasurer so unbearable with their snide remarks and vicious innuendos and accusations a couple of years ago that it forced her to resign her job cause either that would drive her foolish always living under a cloud of unwarranted suspicion. After she got done John Tibbetts tried it for a couple of months and he came to a conclusion real quick that the job involved way to much work for the amount of money paid and he realized that he was not qualified for the job. The town then hired Sara Decker Wilson to do the job. John Tibbetts praised her up one side and down the other. Great job she was doing all the while for the time she got hired. He never did mention the fact that she never balanced the check book all the while she was the treasurer. Where were the head Hunters then? This was a real problem.
When Lenny was asked to come back to straighten out the mess that Sara had left, I told her she was nuts. It’s just goes to show you how much influence I have on her. She took it anyways. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many hours it took to finally get all of the accounts straighten out and recorded properly. But she did it with no praise just vocal criticism till she had it completed. For the time it took to accomplish this project, she received very little compensation because only so much money was raised for the treasurer’s position and Sara had drawn most of it. She had not much more got the accounts straighten out when it was decided to change the computer program and go with the Trio program. This was a whole completely different program that she and Nancy was not use to and was quite a learning curve to learn and understand it and be able to work it. It is still not one hundred percent perfect because as a time goes on it takes a little tweaking to have all the information entered to where it needs to be and in the right account. Again they have put in a lot of uncompensated time to accomplish this and listening to this little group of assassins tear them apart makes you wonder why I come in here day after day and why they are sometimes not happy to see some of you axe grinders come in to the office for some of the information that they know they will have to defend at some point in time. With the exception of the town administrator, who does not get paid enough, no one takes a town job for the money. They do it because they want to give back to the town and help where they can. For anyone to sit up front of you people and get insulted, ridiculed and criticized and to be called everything but a thief is ridiculous. They should not have to put up with the degree of harassment and bulling with the people they are trying to help. In bringing this to conclusion I want to inform you that Lenny and I have seen a lawyer and we have submitted to him as many articles that we could find where you were literally slandering and accusing and insinuating that my wife was not honest and that money accounts were not being properly administered to. From now on we will be recording all conversations and submitting them to our lawyer. This does not only mean you Chuck [Hammond], but also John [Tibbetts] and Sally [Thompson]. One more point I would like to make that in a small town it’s next to impossible not to be related and have dealings with one town official. Where you head hunters have to accept Lenny and Nancy [Bailey], were elected by the majority of the voters at the last town meeting and I’m sure they knew they are mother and daughter. That’s something you rotten guys got to live with. Thank you.”
Dale Smith has posted portions of selectmen’s meetings on youtube.com to see these videos go to http://www.youtube.com/user/CF04623Truth
Get your garden started right, or add to your existing landscape at the annual Ruggles House Plant Sale Saturday May 25 from 9:00 am until noon. The parking lot at the House (146 Main St Columbia Falls) will be loaded with homegrown annuals, perennials, vegetable plants and seedlings all available for sale. There will even be a few of the Ruggles roses available.
If your thumb was greener than usual or your garden is already full and you have “plants with out places”, we are happy to take donations to add to our sale.
For more information contact:
Volunteers needed for annual roadside cleanup on Saturday May 18th, Volunteers meet at the fire station at 7 a.m. For information call Pam Look at 483-4338.
Crafters and Vendors wanted
Crafters and Vendors wanted for Columbia Falls’ 150th Celebration on June 29th, 2013. For more information call Dawn Bragg at 483-4751.
Historic area artifacts wanted
Historic area artifacts, old photos and antiques wanted for display in Union Hall on June 30th during the C.F. 150 celebration. For more information call Roberta Hammond at 483-4120.
Columbia Falls United Methodist Church
Lay Speaker Nancy Heallen provided a wonderful service on Sunday, May 5th at the Columbia Falls United Methodist Church. She is a Kindergarten teacher at Machias Valley Christian School. Lay Leaders have been providing the message each Sunday while Pastor Jan Rhenow is recovering from surgery.
UNDER THE DOME
Narraguagus High School
Spring Concert, featuring NHS Band, NHS Chorus & SAD #37 Junior Band, will be held at NHS on May 15th at 7:00 p.m. Support music in our schools.
Annual Memorial Day program will be held on Friday, May 24th, at 9:00 a.m. Community members are welcomed to attend.
Graduation Ball will be held on Saturday, June 1st, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Semi-formal attire is required.
Baccalaureate services will held at NHS on Sunday, June 2nd, at 7:00 p.m.
Class Night at NHS on Thursday, June 6th, at 7:00 p.m.
Graduation at NHS on Friday, June 7th, at 2:00 p.m.
“History of Columbia Falls”, Gloria Hayward’s new book is at the printers for the first printing of 125 books. Sixty two books have been pre-sold. Call Roberta Hammond at 483-4120 to purchase a book, cost is $20.00 each.
Crafters and Vendors wanted for Columbia Falls’ 150th Celebration on June 29th, 2013. For more information call Dawn Bragg at 483-4751.
Zumba for Kids and a Tug of War for adults will be added to the list of events for the C.F. 150th celebration on June 30th. Organizer Joe Bragg is looking for 8 area town, 10 person tug of war teams. Brackets will be drawn randomly. Single elimination. Call 944-1713 for information or to register.
Celebration Tee shirts are in and cost only $8.00 any size. See any steering committee member to purchase one.
Street walkers wanted for roadside cleanup on Saturday May 18th. Meet at the fire station at 7AM. For information call Pam Look at 483-4338.
Love Birds- I was taking pictures of an old 1953 Nash Rambler in a junk yard recently. It was a beautiful sunny morning, very quiet and still. Suddenly there was a sound like a slap. I thought maybe there was another person around but I didn’t see anyone. Then I heard it again and then again. I searched for the source. What I found was a robin inside of a pickup truck flying around and hitting the windows trying to escape. Her mate was hopping up and down on the roof and looking at me. There is no doubt in my mind that those two mates had communicated with each other to make a noise which would attract my attention so I could set her free.
Glen Textor on April 29th was the first person in the village to mow a lawn, followed closely by Tony Santiago and Charlie Herr. Thank you very much guys for initiating this chore that will have to be repeated some 15 times this season.
The Congregation of the Columbia Falls United Methodist Church were pleased to have a sermon by guest minister Reverend Pat MacHugh, the district superintendant for United Methodist Churches of Northern Maine on Sunday on April, 28th.
Columbia Falls’ auditor James Wadman’s Management letter to the Columbia Falls Selectmen dated March 15th (copy to Maine Department of Audit) lists three “Material Weaknesses” in internal control, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the town’s financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis. 2013-1 Segregation of Duties
Criteria: Segregation of duties involves the assignment of responsibilities in such a way that different employees handle different parts of the same transaction. Appropriate segregation of duties helps to detect errors in a timely manner and helps deter improper activities.
Condition: Because of the experience level and size of the town’s staff, ideal segregation of duties is not always possible and is likely cost prohibitive. Certain functions, ideally performed by separate individuals, cannot be accomplished and therefore, accounting controls are not as strong as they might otherwise be. (Additionally at the public meeting Wadman stated that C.F. has two people performing the same duty and they are related (mother and daughter))
Effect: Anyone who records transactions and/or has access to assets ordinarily is in a position to perpetrate errors or irregularities.
Recommendation: We recommend that the Board of Selectmen perform a review of the financial transactions on a consistent basis. We recommend that monthly financial reports and bank statement reconciliations be reviewed by the Board of Selectmen to identify financial fluctuations of an unusual nature.
Management’s response; Management concurs with the recommendation.
2013-02 Reconciliation of Checking Account to General Ledger
Criteria: Checking account should be reconciled on a monthly basis to the TRIO general ledger account for checking to ensure accuracy of revenues and expenditures.
Cause: A reconciliation was completed each month, however it was not understood that this needed to be compared to the TRIO general ledger account for the checking account.
Effect: The auditor spent extra helping to reconcile cash and investments. Revenues and expenditures were misstated because of unrecorded and double recorded transactions.
Recommendation: We recommend that all cash accounts be reconciled to the general ledger on a monthly basis. We further recommend that reconciliation reports be submitted to the Board of Selectmen for approval on a monthly basis.
Management’s response; Management concurs with the recommendation.
(No monthly reports were made available for selectmen or interested individuals for the whole year. Deputy Treasurer, Nancy Bailey stating that the report was 400 pages long)
2013-3 Financial Statement Preparation
Criteria: Based on auditing standards, inadequate design of internal control over the preparation of the financial statements being audited is deemed to be a material weakness in the internal control structure.
Condition: Due to financial and time constraints to effectively prepare and evaluate the audited financial statements and detect material misstatements in those financial statements, the board and management approved the auditors to prepare the financial statements.
Effect: The auditor prepared financial statements are deemed to be a material weakness.
Recommendation; The board and management understood and take responsibility for the financial statements.
Management’s response; Management concurs with the finding.
According to Mary Gingrow-Shaw CPA, Deputy Auditor of Maine Department of Audit Material Weakness is the most serious deficiency of the three categories being: Material Weakness, Significant Deficiency; and Deficiency. Columbia Falls has three Material Weaknesses and none of the less serious ones! Two of the same Material Weaknesses were included in Wadman’s letters for three previous years. There was no improvement in four years and in 2012 the financial situation got worse by adding a third Material Weakness.
The selectmen’s meeting on April 22nd was started at 6PM, an hour earlier than scheduled so that the people could discuss town finances with the auditor, James Wadman. In spite of the limited posting of the time change there was a larger than usual attendance of about 30 people. Mr. Wadman is the auditor for about 60 municipalities. He said he has been the auditor for C.F. for 15-20 years. Wadman had prepared a presentation for his audit of the town’s financial statements and passed out an outline of it. His explanation had hardly begun when it became clear that folks just wanted answers to their questions. Possibly the most confusing and misunderstood issue in the town report was the apparent overspending of budgets. Since 2004 municipalities must list their fixed assets like businesses do. These assets are depreciable and the depreciation appears on financial statements as losses. It is an accounting entry only and not cash outlets. Examples of these assets are: buildings; roads and bridges; the ball field; and fire protection. Unfortunately depreciation does not show up on all pages of the financial report and the layman going from page to page may find this confusing. Grace Falzarano asked about the Municipal Building Maintenance Reserve Fund– 2011 Town meeting Article #28 reads as follows: “To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for Municipal Building Maintenance Reserve Fund. Selectmen Recommend: $5,000; Budget Committee Recommends: $10,000” The Town voted to raise and appropriate $10,000 for this article. Why is the money going into and then out of this account? Answer from Auditor, Wadman, The Town Meeting Minutes show that this was voted as a Municipal Building Maintenance Repair. (This is contradictory to notes taken by many town meeting attendees) Falzarano also asked about Trio Assessment Computer Program – 2011 Article #30 which reads as follows: “To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for an update from the current Assessor’s computer program to the Trio Assessment Computer Program. Recommended: $15,000 Town voted to raise and appropriate $15,000 for this article – there is no mention of this being a roll-over account. Assessing – roll-over account 2011 Exhibit A-1 indicates a remaining balance of $2,576. Why was this account rolled into the remaining balance of the Trio Assessment Computer Program? After further discussion and explanation auditor, Wadman suggested this be corrected and brought to the attention of the selectmen. Pam Look asked the town’s auditor to explain as to why the balances for the sand and salt shed capital project on exhibit A-1 were different than the amounts that were secured in the monetary instruments (CD & Money market accounts exhibit A-4). Mr. Wadman explained that the balance in exhibit A-1 is showing any transactions that pertained to this project such as the land purchase ($28,520). Look asked why the revenue source was from the project’s capital vs. surplus (undesignated funds). She referred back to Article number 22 of the 2011 of annual report which stated “To see if the town will vote to transfer $24,000.00 from surplus to the Sand and Salt shed reserve account.” Mr. Wadman said he would have to refer back to the minutes of last year’s town meeting to confirm the revenue source. Look also inquired on article # 20 “ To see if the town will vote to take $15,000.00 from the sand and salt shed account and apply it to the proposed site” The town officials confirmed there were no expenditures for that appropriation for the last fiscal year. Other questions Look asked included: (1) Are overdrafts in any account supposed to be ratified at town meeting? Wadman stated that all overdrafts must be ratified by the people. This is contrary to what Selectman Alan Grant stated at the selectmen’s meeting on April 8th “we never ratify overdrafts”. (2) Does the auditor recommend an amount of surplus (undesignated fund balance) that may be used? Wadman stated that it is common for towns to use surplus for cash flow instead of borrowing until taxes come in but he does not recommend any amount. This is contrary to previous selectmen, Todd Emerson’s statements at town meeting “our auditor recommends we take $50,000 from surplus, undesignated fund balance”.
There are three documents that the auditor has to file with the State Department of Audit: (1) Communication of those charged with governing which includes; any disagreement between the auditor and the selectmen, estimate of depreciation, any significant changes, an estimate of bills still owed after the closing of the books; (2) Management letter which lists material weaknesses, significant deficiencies and deficiencies of town government; (3) Government Procedural Report –an audit check list.
After the meeting with Mr. Wadman the Selectmen approved a warrant of $45,176.97 and a payroll warrant of $5333.36. School Board Director Sally Thompson stated that Superintendant Bun Ramsey would meet with the selectmen and town residents at the next selectmen’s meeting to present the new SAD 37 budget which is likely to have significant changes if Cherryfield pulls out. Bun Ward spoke for Dan Kane about the insurance issue concerning the ball diamond dugout. The doors face home plate exposing the occupants to an unsafe condition. Rich Poirier volunteered labor to fix this for the kids at cost of materials only. The May calendar was approved and the second selectmen’s meeting night was moved from May 27th, Memorial Day to the 28th. Nancy Bailey said that the municipal building’s alarm repeatedly went off during recent high winds. She had called Eagle Security and they have apparently fixed the problem. However while they were here they discovered that the fire alarm was not connected to the telephone system and therefore no one outside the building would know about the alarm. Eagle Security offered a quote of $616 to hook this system up and add two more sensors. There would be an annual service charge of $308. Selectmen requested Bailey to get other quotes. Rich Poirier provided an estimate of $108,000 to repair the settling and leaning fire station. This would include raising the building and installing a new foundation. Costs to move the fire station to Columbia’s building is not available yet for comparison. The board approved the use of the gym by Sarah Wilson for a girl scout pizza party on April 25th. Tony Santiago reported that Rick Farnsworth has finished the work on the Union Hall columns.
The following items were discussed at our April 11th meeting: 1) The rear access door hardware is now installed and complete.2) The landscaped portion of the handicap ramp needs to have new surfacing (reclaimed tar/hot top) and widened just a bit. 3) The interior modified drawing is ongoing with Nancy Herr and Dick Grant overseeing Gary Williams drawing requirements. 4) Electrician has installed the ground light timer set for 7:30 to 10:30. Bill to follow. 5) Scott Alley has been notified that we will still need him to finish the flooring at the appropriate time frame. 6) Rick Farnsworth has been working on the exterior columns this past week. 7) The Clock tune up has been approved by the selectmen. Now awaiting a date that P. Rioux can schedule this in. 8) At the last Selectmens meeting the selectmen were notified that Nancy Bailey and Lenora Weaver should be the bank transaction signature trail. They all agreed to it and it has been approved. R. Campbell will be removed from the signature list as discussed at the meeting (4/11).
It was a warm sunny evening for the Downeast Salmon Federation Smelt Fry, and as always it was a great success. This year you could purchase your tickets early then move about and socialize without waiting in that long line until the gate opened. There was no line and yet quite likely the largest turnout ever when the final tally is done. Upon entering one proceeded on either side of a long buffet table lined with vegetables, baked beans, many different salads and chicken drumsticks. The next table had moose meat stew. The fried smelts were delivered to your table time after time. There were hot dogs cooking on grills outside and popcorn available. Dessert was blueberry cobbler. The main tent was filled to capacity and when people were finished there were others that sat down immediately to take their place. There was additional seating in the old community room behind the fire station and it also was filled to capacity. The weather outside was lovely and many chose to sit in the sun at the café tables and others sat on the lawn. Children were seen running gleefully everywhere and the bounce house was as popular as ever. Vehicles observed “from away” included Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland and Wisconsin. For those who missed this wonderful feast and social event the DSF will have another one on June 30th to celebrate Columbia Falls’ 150th anniversary.
Dwayne Shaw, Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation supervises the popular bounce house at the Annual Smelt Fry on Friday April 26, 2013
Left to right Charlie Robins (Columbia Falls), Ariel Harris-Porada, The Dickson-Smith family; Alan, Susan (Mom), Teddy, and Jeremy (Dad) all from Gouldsboro enjoying a family outing in the warm sun at the Downeast Salmon Federation Annual Smelt Fry on Friday April 26, 2013. Susan said “I used to live in Columbia Falls, we come to the fish fry every year”.
The 150 Committee and Dan Kane’s Intramural Athletics co-sponsored a 4th grade coed Pee Wee basketball tournament on April 13th and 14th at the D.W. Merritt gym. Volunteers for the athletic program sold Chinese auction tickets and 150 committee volunteers manned the concessions and sold admission and raffle tickets. Fourth grader Eben Strout won the fishing equipment raffle and Rhonda Schoppee won the 50/50 raffle and donated it back to the 150 committee. There were six teams from area towns; Harrington, Jonesport, Jonesboro, Milbridge, Cherryfield and Addison. As in the past the event was well attended by families of the players. The “hot shot” contest in which a single player races against the clock to shoot 8 baskets was very popular.
On Thursday April 11th, selectmen approved a warrant of $39,287.69 and a payroll warrant/quarterly tax of $4339.71. Nancy Bailey, administrative assistant requested more paid holidays for herself. The board approved adding Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving to the existing paid holidays of New Years, July 4th and Christmas for a total of six. Bailey has contacted Maine Controls to do an evaluation of the municipal building heating system. The ByUs company will do the street sweeping for the same cost as last year. Bailey also requested some clarification on the Union Hall accounts- restoration vs buildings and grounds. She was advised to use the buildings and grounds account for general maintenance and the restoration account for restoration. Ultimately the board would have final decision. Selectmen Bun Ward and Jay Look understood that they were to go to the town’s auditor with the administrative assistant and treasurer on Monday, April 1st but then found out that the treasurer and administrative went on Thursday, March 28th the day Ward and Look were in Augusta for the 150 recognition by State Representatives. Ward and Look went to the auditor’s office on April 1st anyway. Selectmen approved a motion to have the auditor come to the next selectmen’s meeting on April 22nd. Bailey announced that Dan Kane has requested use of the ball diamond for a little league type baseball season. (Approved) Kane’s insurance company has inspected the field and requires changes to the dugout – doors need changing. (Postponed until next meeting) Bailey stated that the computer in the treasure’s office is old, slow and cumbersome and suggested that a new one is needed. (board approved the purchase of a new computer) Bailey requested that she be allowed to attend the Vital Statistics Workshop in Augusta on May 5th, 2013 to keep up on new laws on same sex marriages and online registration of births and deaths. (Approved) Dave Perham has offered to try and speed up the performance of internet speed on town computers. Tony Santiago (1) presented a quote to have the Union Hall clock serviced for $450.00. (approved use funds from buildings and grounds account) (2) There is covered ornate woodwork on each side of the stage he would like to get quotes to have this covering removed to expose the original woodwork. (approved, funds would come from the restoration account) (3) A timer is now installed on the exterior lights. (4) U.H committee wants the administrative assistant and treasurer names on the bank account. Bailey said there had been no disbursement requests for the Civil War Ball and wondered why? MMA requires that all funds for appointed committees be run through the town. Pam Look the 150 committee treasurer reported that expenses were paid out of ticket sales. A full accounting report will be made available. John Tibbetts said he would like to see where MMA states that money must go through the town. Richard Poirier questioned the status of the fire station. The building is leaning and settling. The town’s insurance no longer covers replacement value. He also noted the town welcome signs are not equally landscaped and suggested that the west sign be landscaped to appear as nice as the east sign.
John Tibbetts responded to Treasurer Weaver’s comments at the last selectmen’s meeting (for a full transcript of Weaver’s statement go www.columbiafallsmerecord.org). In a prepared statement Tibbetts read “I come before you tonight not to castigate any one person, as may be thought by some. I come to you tonight to point out to you the need for change, change in attitude change in action and change in performance. We have a truly wonderful historic town but there is blight afoot in our town and it is of that blight I wish to speak tonight and the need for change. Nancy saw the need for change when she started her job as your administrative assistant. On her own time she created a truly professional office space in which to carry on the town’s business. She greets everyone with the utmost courtesy and efficiently fulfills their needs. She sets an example of the kind of change we need in this town. Let’s be sure nothing interferes with that and let us be sure we give her the support to continue what she has set out to do.
I am not here to have a conversation or discussion tonight. I am here to speak to the selectmen to whom I asked to speak and to whom I address these comments and to answer any questions they have.
I believe, in light of what was said publicly in the Selectmen’s Meeting on March 27, 2013, by the treasurer, it is time for the citizens of Columbia Falls to speak up and to say they are tired and sick of the mean-spirited attitude of certain town officers. We believe it is time to put officers of this town who publicly demean and put down efforts of other citizens for the betterment of the town on notice that we are sick of it and we are not going to put up with it anymore. And, might I remind certain officers that Facebook is not private – we know what you are saying there even though you may be deluded in thinking we don’t see or hear about it. And I would also say that we are tired of being put down or made to look foolish when we ask questions – questioning is our right and if we are questioning you, and it is your actions or report we are questioning, don’t turn it around to look like we are the problem. That has been going on far too long in this town as a way to excuse or explain disruptive actions such as resignations by town officers and we have had enough!!! If you can’t or don’t want to do your job then resign but don’t put the blame on others for exercising their right to ask questions! It is your fault if you if you signed up for a job you can’t or don’t want to do. I mentioned the treasurer a few moments ago but these comments are addressed to any officers, and there is more than one who exhibit the chacteristics of which I speak.
The citizens of a democracy have the right to petition the government when they feel they are mistreated by that government or when they perceive things are not right with that government. These rights are given to us by the Constitution of the United States. In addition there is also federal and State of Maine law which defines citizen’s right to question their government – called right to know legislation. So for anyone to imply Mrs. Thompson had no business questioning the treasurer’s report and the auditor’s report at town meeting is ridiculous. In fact Mrs. Thompson was given permission to speak by the chairman of the Board of Selectmen. The treasurer is absolutely wrong when she said, “Mrs. Thompson loudly (she was using a microphone) and publicly (it was Town Meeting) berated all of us for what we have done, and how little we know, all that.” That was wrong because Mrs. Thompson was questioning the financial records of the town which are solely the responsibility of the Town Treasurer. The Treasurer should not have used the words “us” and “we”, she should have used “me” and “I” because as Harry Truman would say, “the buck stops with her”.
To say the Selectmen are elected to “run the town” is not really correct and misleading at best. The selectmen are elected to manage the affairs of the town, to be the town administrators, actually, following the will of the people as the people directed things be done in the town meeting and most importantly, accountable to the people. It is the town meeting – the people - that is the legislative branch of town government. The town meeting basically votes on what the people want and the selectmen must tailor their actions to follow the will of the people.
Questioning was categorized with micromanaging – not the case at all – it is, in fact, questioning the managing of town affairs and wanting answers. The treasurer also stated, “we have to decide we trust or not trust people we elect.” Obviously, in electing someone to office we put our trust in that person but as a town officer that person’s performance is open for judgment and “by your actions shall you be known”. If the records are not correct step up to the plate and take responsibility. Don’t use the “us” and “we” excuse when it rightly is “me” and “I”. Don’t try to blame someone else!
The treasurer also defined the functioning of town government as “…raise your money, tax bills go out, pay your bills and surplus and the job is done.” This is hardly a definition of town government in the year 2013! Last year in her report in the 2011 Annual Town Report this same person said when speaking of the auditor, and I quote, “We live to make him happy!” This is a surely a misguided vision of the treasurer’s job if I ever heard one. If the job is done right the auditor will issue a good report. It is the happiness of every citizen of this town which should be of the utmost concern to the treasurer!
Why are citizens questioning town reports and town officials? Could it be because they see errors in those reports? Is it because when they ask questions are met with suspicion and nasty comments and nasty looks? As Shakespeare said in Julius Caesar, “yon Cassius has a mean and hungry look!”
It was said at your last meeting, “…the town of Columbia Falls is getting to be a joke.” Now, I ask you, who is making the town a joke? Could it be the person who resigned not long after she was elected in 2010 planning to take with her the administrative assistant/tax collector/town clerk and thereby shut down the town’s ability to transact any business? Could it be that same administrative assistant / tax collector / town clerk who stayed on then and resigned two years later leaving the town office closed for most of the summer and citing the reason as questioning that took place two years earlier? Ridiculous! Could it be some of the town officers of this town who are bad-mouthing every thing the Selectmen appointed 150 Celebration Steering Committee is doing to make a fine celebration of our 150th birthday as an independent town? Certainly, as a town officer, one does not have to personally agree with everything that is done in the town but to bad-mouth every effort and try to make it fail – I think this may just be why we look like a joke – because some of town officers act the way they do. Are we thought to be so stupid we don’t know what is going on? Didn’t one of our officers say on Facebook before our Town Meeting last year, that she wanted Alan Grant to win because she could influence him – tell him what to do and how to think? …And people think our town is a joke…. Well, why wouldn’t they?
At the end of her remarks at your last meeting, the treasurer said, “Chuck, I look forward to your spin on that in the paper. Your column is always good for a laugh, thank you for that.” Chuck Hammond writes a column for the Downeast Coastal Press and his writing contains nothing but factual information, and not his opinion about anything. He doesn’t put a spin on anything – just the facts. This is a good example of what I have just been speaking about – high-handed, mean-spirited treatment of citizens by certain officers of this town – the people who make this town a laughing stock if it is one. Isn’t it time we, the citizens of Columbia Falls, say we are absolutely sick of this kind of vitriolic hate that is spewing out and we want it to cease now and forever! Chuck’s articles are showcasing our town – putting it on the map – showing that things are happening here. Don’t we want that?
The day has come when a lot of the people of this town are saying “we have had enough”, “we want these people out of office”, “we want our town business carried on with the kind of dignity our forefathers carried it on in times when this town worked together for the common good of all”.
I have some suggestions:
(1) It is time to fire Jim Wadman as the town’s auditor. He has far too cozy a relationship with some in this town
(2) It is time to have a forensic audit of the town’s financial records by an independent firm totally unfamiliar with the town records and its officers. This audit to include at least the last 4 years.
(3) We want total transparency in our town government with all town business being conducted in public session at the table where the selectmen sit this evening and the ability to see and questions the financial transactions of the town. I believe in view of the recent election we have a hope of that happening now.
Gentlemen, we need careful listening on your part and we need answers to our questions, we have a right to know and we are going to know. And, listening is not enough, that is done all too easily with a nod of the head and concerned look and nothing happens. We want and expect action on your part to rectify wrongs that have waited far too long to be righted. (If you want an example of what I’m talking about you will get up from your table, after the meeting is finished, and walk over and look in the two room to the left of the stage and see there the old records of the town, which I have mentioned on numerous occasions, left lying there in unlocked room for anyone to help themselves to them. This is an example of how citizen’s concerns have been treated in the past even in defiance of state law. A nod and a concerned look….and that’s it. We won’t put up with that anymore.
If any officer can’t do his or her elected job give it up and go home. Don’t stay on doing nothing and using the we and us excuse or putting innocent people in the middle to take the blame. Get out before we have to put you out – the law does provide for that you know.
Thank you gentlemen for listening to me tonight. I appreciate it. And, I have hope now, hope that things are going to change for the better in this town. We have waited long and you gentlemen have much to do but I believe you will do it. Please listen to the citizens of the town. Please bring about total transparency in government. Because it was done that way in the past is no excuse for continuing to do it that way. Change is coming – listen – take action – we have faith in you - now it’s up to you.”
Sally Thompson raised questions/problems with the treasurer’s report in the 2012 annual town report. The miscellaneous category under 150 celebration has a figure of $2690 what is in this? The 150 committee will provide a detail report. The auditor’s report states that pages 3 through 6 and 19 be presented to supplement the basic financial statements. Pages 3 through 6 were not presented in the annual report. Why? Such information is required by Government Accounting Standards Board as stated in the auditor’s report. Thompson had to go to the town office to get them. “The town finances need help and truthfulness”. Last year the annual report (2011) did not even have a treasurer’s report or audit report. (The audit report was made available separately at town meeting) “For two years no treasurer’s report and now that we have one it doesn’t match any of our accounts, all kinds of things are wrong with that report”. Page 5 of the Auditor’s report (one of the missing pages) shows overspending for the last 5 years. In 2011 expenses exceeded income by $163,630, in 2012 by $133,845! Several other categories exceeded income. Legal fees not accounted for. Thompson believes that the public should have been informed before spending all that money on the legal issue. Computer software transition – no accounting. In Highways and Bridges category $110,000 was budgeted, $170,288 was spent. Mike Bailey, road commissioner said the difference was paid by state revenue sharing. This information was not in the treasurer’s report. She mentioned a rumor that town officials might use the same auditor as the town. In response each elected official stated who their accountant was and none of them used Wadman. At one point when the administrative assistant attempted to answer one of her financial questions Thompson said “I shouldn’t be talking to you, I should be talking to the treasurer, are you the treasurer Nancy”. Nancy Bailey said “I am the deputy treasurer”. Lenora Weaver, the treasurer was present at the meeting but most responses to financial questions as in the past are answered by her daughter the deputy treasurer.
Thompson also presented a preliminary proposed SAD 37 budget proposal which showed that only two towns have increases in State Evaluations (which will affect local contributions), Columbia and Columbia Falls. She tried to generate some interest in fighting this increase.
The long awaited and much anticipated Columbia Falls Grand Civil War Ball took place Saturday evening at the historic Union Hall in celebration of this town’s incorporation during the Civil War in 1863. The walkway leading to the hall was lighted on both sides by antique kerosene barn lanterns hung on shepherd’s hooks. The party goers started arriving around 6:30. Inside the hall folks were greeted by Charlie Herr. The tickets were old fashioned dance cards listing the order of dances. A little pencil was attached so one could write in each dance partner. The hall was decorated with civil war recruiting posters, bunting and an original civil war flag made by the Martha Washington Society and presented to the Co. D volunteers from Harrington by the citizens of the town. At the fall of Port Hudson the 22nd Maine was one of the first regiments to enter the works and the Harrington flag was the only national flag there. All other regiments carried state flags so it was given the honor of replacing the Confederate banner and announcing the victory. After a short period of socializing the first dance was a grand march led by Robert and Helen Hammond. The parade was long and took up the whole floor. It was cleverly ended facing the musicians on the stage in groups of four. The dance caller was Alba Briggs and he quickly seized the opportunity to have these ready made groups began the first “square” dance. There were five musicians led by Lynn Brubaker. Bottled water, punch and coffee were available all evening, but the table of refreshments was not uncovered until the intermission. Many folks came dressed in the fashion of the day, circa 1863: long dresses with hoop skirts for the ladies; white shirts, black string ties, dark pants, vests and even stovepipe hats for the men. Danielle Nelson had set up a photographic studio in a back room so revelers could have a professional portrait taken on the occasion. Dances were a mixture of contra, squares and waltzes. Briggs was very patient with the novices as he explained the moves of each dance. The music was lovely and many folks were quite satisfied simply listening to the music and watching the dancers. One comment often heard was “we have to do this again next year!”
Please email your ball pictures to email@example.com
Please email your ball pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
34 star Union Flag
The town of Columbia Falls will be displaying a 34 star Union Flag on utility poles this summer in celebration of the 150th anniversary of incorporation in 1863. This flag with its stars arranged in a circle was popular in the Civil War. These display flags maybe purchased by individuals in honor of or in memory of someone special. The cost is $20.00 per flag and checks should be made out to: Town of Columbia Falls, Attn: Union Flag Order and mailed P.O. Box 100, Columbia Falls, Maine 04623. The deadline to order the 34 Union Star Flag is April 24th. Anyone from any town
may order flags. Forms are available on the website http://www.columbiafallsmerecord.org and at the town office.
Narraguagus High School
The Winter Sports Banquet was held on Tuesday, March 12th. Athletes were recognized for their contributions to the cheering squad, girls’ basketball team and boys’ basketball team. Individual plaques were awarded to the following athletes:
Kathryn Mathews--Most Dedicated
Maddison Peterson & Sandra Anthony—Most Improved
GIRLS’ VARSITY BASKETBALL
Carolyn DeSchiffart—Coach’s Award
Caryl Ann Young—Most Improved
BOYS’ VARSITY BASKETBALL
Jordan Perry—Coach’s Award
Caleb Dublin—Most Improved
BOYS’ JV BASKETBALL
Zachary Look—Most Improved
Nevin Dorr—Coach’s Award
The Student Government, along with Mrs. Tenney & Ms. Holub, assisted the American Red Cross with a Blood Drive on March 13. Approximately 50 pints of blood were donated.
Junior & Seniors, along with parents were invited to the 7th Annual P.I.E. Night on March 14th. This is a night dedicated to Promoting an Individual’s Education. The evening started with a “meet & greet”, a chance to eat PIE and to sign up for prize drawings. Students & parents attended two sessions of their choice. Session choices included:
A panel of former NHS students discuss things you need to know now before you start college in the fall
Janie Small & Dan Molinski of the Machias Career Center discuss a scenario of getting Downeast Dan ready for college by teaming together and helping him get everything completed.
SFC Walter Cummings of the Maine Army National Guard was on hand to show students how the military can help you pay for your education and other options.
Shelbie Ross, Admissions Counselor at UMM, discussed what students need to complete successful college interviews, essays and applications.
Mila Tappin of the Finance Authority of Maine discussed financial aid plans with juniors.
The Downeast Athletic Conference recognizes the following athletes as DAC All-Stars.
Cheering: Jennifer Mathews & Bayley Ray Smith
Melanie Omlor-Fox was named Coach of the Year for Cheering
Girls’ Basketball: Anna Ramsay, Kelli Kennedy & Lauren Ramsay
The girls’ varsity basketball team received the DAC Sportsmanship Award
Boys’ Basketball: Spencer Thompson
The boys’ varsity basketball team received the DAC Sportsmanship Award
Congratulations to Kelli Kennedy on her selection to the Bangor Daily News All-Tournament Team for Girls Class C.
Each year, students in the art classes enter the Downeast Salmon Federation Art Contest. The following NHS students were chosen as winners: Desiree Grant—1st place and Ridge Osgood—Honorable Mention.
The Annual Academic Awards night was held on March 21. Students are recognized for the number of times they have been on the honor roll during their high school career.
Academic pins for those making the honor roll 6 quarters were awarded to: Jennifer Batson, Thania Centeno Hernandez, Amber Davis, Jonella Esposito, Joshua Goston, Kayli Gray, Brooke Hachey, Brynn Jellison, Nicholas Kennedy, Chelsi Libby, Jennifer Mathews, Ridge Osgood, Cristina Perez, Maddison Peterson, Danielle Robinson, Wendy Ruiz Lopez, Blake Wright & Caryl Ann Young.
Academic Letters for those making the honor roll 10 quarters were awarded to: Francesca Couture, Carolyn DeSchiffart, Caleb Dublin, Samuel Duenas, Anna Ramsay, Bayley Ray-Smith, Monica Spatafore & M. Fabiola Zamora,
The elite prize of a Golden Apple for making the honor roll for 14 quarters were awarded to: Lindsey Collora, Katlyn Dow, Kathryn Mathews, Lidia Ortiz & Lauren Ramsay.
On April 3, the NHS students, along with students from the elementary schools, were entertained by The University of Maine Symphonic Band at a special concert assembly arranged by our music director, Danielle Sullivan. The University of Maine Symphonic Band is a group of 45-60 aspiring instrumentalists chosen from students of all disciplines. Membership to this fine organization is determined each fall by a rigorous audition. The band, under the direction of Christopher G. White, is currently on tour throughout Maine from April 3-6. Our school was fortunate enough to be the opening concert for this tour, which includes 10 concert sites. Students were shown the different instruments included in this year’s band….piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass, percussion, electric guitar & piano. This was a great cultural experience for many of the students in MSAD #37.
2013 Golden Apple Recipients
(L to R) Lidia Ortiz, Katlyn Dow, Lauren Ramsay,
Lindsey Collora and Kathryn Mathews
Columbia Falls’ town meeting supper on Monday, March 25th, 2013 in the municipal center catered by the United Methodist Women.
Columbia Falls held its Annual Town Meeting on March 25th, 2013 in historic Union Hall on the anniversary date of its incorporation in 1863.
ARTICLE 1 To elect a Moderator to preside at said meeting. Courtney Hammond was elected moderator and he appointed ballot clerks Joyce Grant, Lenora Weaver and Mary Lamoureux (alternate)
ARTICLE 2 To hear from a citizen regarding the 150th birthday of the Town of Columbia Falls. John Tibbetts spoke briefly about this being the 217th time that the citizens of this area have met for a town meeting from the incorporation of Columbia in 1796 to the separation and incorporation of Columbia Falls in 1863 and now the 150th anniversary in 2013. He explained that the title of the historic Union Church was transferred to the town in 1902 and that one of the 5 conditions of the transfer was that it be named Union Hall. Tibbetts gave credit to the individuals who have been instrumental in the successful restoration of Union Hall.
ARTICLE 3 To hear a report from the Chairman of the Selectmen. Allen Grant gave a brief report about the accomplishments of the past year and suddenly turned the microphone over to Sally Thompson. Mrs. Thompson said she has held just about every office in the town at one time or another and was very complementary about this year’s town report saying “probably the best town report I have seen in twelve years”. She went on saying that she found many errors in the treasurer’s report and cited some examples. She also found it confusing. Thompson said “I am not here to criticize, but this town needs help. I am willing to help straighten out the town’s bookkeeping”. She said the financials need auditing and she made a motion to postpone the meeting until it was finished. The motion was defeated.
ARTICLE 4 To elect a citizen to serve as the Administrative Assistant for a three year term. Nancy Bailey was reelected.
ARTICLE 5 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for wages of the Administrative Assistant. (Wages include the consideration of the Town Office being open 4 days a week.) Recommended: $20,000.00. Approved
ARTICLE 6 To elect a citizen to serve as Selectman for a three year term. Jay look was elected by one vote over incumbent Todd Emerson.
ARTICLE 7 To elect a citizen to serve as Assessor for a three year term. Dale Smith was reelected.
ARTICLE 8 To elect a citizen to serve as Treasurer for a three year term. Lenora Weaver was narrowly reelected by one vote over challenger Grace Falzarano.
ARTICLE 9 To elect a citizen to serve as Road Commissioner for a one year term. Michael Bailey was reelected.
ARTICLE 10 To elect a citizen to serve as S.A.D. #37 Director for a three year term. Sally Thompson was reelected
ARTICLE 11 To see if the Town will vote to fix the Compensation for the Municipal Officers and Officials of the Town for the 2013 fiscal year.
Chair $3,100.00 Chair $2,050.00
Members $2,000.00 Members $1,650.00
Code Enforcement 1,200.00
Fire Chief 950.00
Animal Control 600.00
General Assistance 400.00
Chair $27.00 per meeting
Members 22.00 per meeting
Recommend: $19,900.00 Approved.
ARTICLE 12 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the operation of the Town for the 2013 fiscal year (advertising, computer services, deeds, dues, office supplies, postage, elections, audit, insurance, training sessions, Municipal Officers’ compensation, technical support, etc.) Recommended: $60,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 13 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for Payroll Taxes. Recommended: $4,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 14 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for Streetlights. Recommended: $8,000.00 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
ARTICLE 15 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District. Recommended: $16,518.43 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
ARTICLE 16 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for General Assistance. Recommended: $1.00 Approved
ARTICLE 17 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Columbia Falls Alumni Association. Recommended: $1,000.00 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
ARTICLE 18 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the maintenance of Town Buildings and Grounds. Recommend: $10,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 19 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the operation and care of the Municipal Building and Grounds. Recommended: $12,500.00 Approved
To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the care of the Town Cemetery. Recommended: $500.00 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the care of the Ruggle’s and Great Hill Cemeteries. Recommended: $500.00 Approved
ARTICLE 22 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Pleasant River Ambulance Service. Recommended: $11,872.00 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
ARTICLE 23 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for maintenance of Town Roads and Bridges. Recommended: $20,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 24 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Assessors. Recommended: $5,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 25 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Washington-Hancock County Community Agency. Recommended: $2,092.00 Approved
ARTICLE 26 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Eastern Agency on Aging. Recommended: $500.00 Approved
ARTICLE 27 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Fire Department. Recommended: $14,000.00 Approved (take from undesignated surplus fund balance)
ARTICLE 28 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Fire Truck Fund. Recommended: $5,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 29 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for Municipal Building Maintenance Reserve Fund. Recommend: $5,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 30 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for Town Hall Repair. Recommended: $5,000.00 Approved with modification to name the fund Union Hall Restoration Fund
ARTICLE 31 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the Legal Account. Recommended: $3,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 32 To see what sum of money the Town will raise and appropriate for the 150th Birthday Celebration Committee. Recommended: $5,000.00 Approved
ARTICLE 33 To see if the Town will vote to transfer all snowmobile registration reimbursements for the State to the Narraguagus Snowmobile Club to be used to establish and maintain existing trails for the use and recreation of all citizens. Approved
ARTICLE 34 To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to issues Town Warrants to pay employees and State Reports, from the closing of the 2013-2014 Town Books on January 31, 2013, until the Annual Town Meeting on March 18, 2014. Approved
ARTICLE 35 To see if the Town will vote to increase the property tax levy limit of $301,588.00 established for Columbia Falls by state law in the event that the municipal budget approved under the preceding articles will result in the tax commitment that is greater than the property tax limit. Approved
ARTICLE 36 To see if the Town vote to set State Wage to be paid to laborers and for equipment and to set State Scale for travel and required training for Town Officials for the ensuing year. Approved
ARTICLE 37 To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen and Treasurer to borrow money in anticipation of taxes, the sum not to exceed $75,000.00. Approved
ARTICLE 38 To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $1,500.00 to cover the costs of borrowing $75,000.00. Approved
ARTICLE 39 To see if the Town will set a date for the Tax Collector to settle with the Town and set a rate of interest to be charged on all unpaid taxes after that date. Recommended: February 1, 2014, at a State Interest Rate of 7% Approved
ARTICLE 40 To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to take action on all Tax Liens in which the redemption period has expired and sell by sealed bids with no less than three weeks notice by posting to all citizens. The Selectmen being authorized to execute Quitclaim Deeds. Approved
ARTICLE 41 To see if the Town will vote to accept an ordinance amendment to reflect the role of the Division of Forestry in the administration of Timber Harvesting Standards as depicted in Section 15, part (N) in the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, Municipality of Columbia Falls. (Residents may review a copy of the ordinance changes at the Town Office.) Approved
ARTICLE 42 To see if the Town will vote to accept a change in the title of “Town of Columbia Falls Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Siting Ordinance” to include Wind Tower Facilities. Approved
ARTICLE 43 To see if the Town will vote to instruct the Selectmen to add to any future Town Meeting Warrants, wherein there are articles to elect any Town Officials, the requirement that the Ballot Clerks be elected to serve before that meeting only. The number of Ballot Clerks should be determined by the Town Clerk. Ballot clerks may not be currently officers of this town or running for office in this town. The purpose of this article is to have independent Ballot Clerks, chosen by the Town Meeting, and thereby prevent any question of conflict of interest. Defeated
ARTICLE 44 To see if the citizens of Columbia Falls want their building, commonly known as the “Town Hall” to continue with that name, or do they want to refer to it as the “Union Hall”. Indefinitely Postponed
ARTICLE 45 To see if the Town will vote to give the selectmen approval to sell the Municipal Building (formerly the grammar school) for fair market value or better. If being sold, to hold the option to lease such building for up to one year after the sale so to have time to build a new office. The new building is to be purchased with money from old building. Indefinitely postponed
ARTICLE 46 To see if the Town will vote to elect the Road Commissioner for a three year term instead of the current one year term. This term change would take effect at next year’s Town Meeting. Approved
ARTICLE 47 To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen and Treasurer to accept and expend on behalf of the Town all Federal and State Funds which may be received from the following: Municipal Revenue Sharing – Local Road Assistance – State Aid to Education (including Federal pass through funds and property tax relief) – Public State Aid per Capita – Civil Fund-Emergency Management Assistance – Snowmobile Registration – Tree Growth Reimbursement – General Assistance Reimbursement – Veteran Exemption Reimbursement – Homestead Exemption Reimbursement – State Grants and other funds to include funds not received from the state that are not included in items listed above – Any and All Grants Received. Approved
Photos courtesy Ronie Strout
Selectmen at their meeting on March 27th, 2013 approved a warrant of $3137.33 and a payroll warrant of 1327.33. Treasurer Lenora Weaver stated that the light bill for the Union Hall was much higher than usual. Tony Santiago, Chairman of the Union Hall Restoration Committee explained that he thought that it was due to the new outside lights which as yet do not have the timer installed. Weaver went on to say she had cleaned out her office on Monday and did not expect to be here today “however when I got to town meeting and Mrs. Thompson loudly and publicly berated all of us for what we have done, how little we know, all that. Decided I would stay another term if I was elected and try to at least clear my name and whatever. Another thing I would really like to say – to me, in my opinion we elect three selectmen to run our town. Its been done that way for 145 years, last five years it has been micromanaged so we have to decide we trust or not trust people we elect. Obviously we don’t, but hopefully we can put it behind us and start over. To me you raise your money, tax bills go out, pay your bills and surplus and the job is done. I don’t know what, I think selectmen, you need to find out what exactly it is expected that we’re obviously not and not just one of us but none of us are doing a good job. You know every single article, every single financial thing is questioned then there is something seriously wrong with some of us or all of us and I think for another year if this continues I don’t know what the answer is- I just don’t know what the question is and something has to be changed or fixed or whatever, but it continues meeting after meeting and town meeting after town meeting. I mean the town of Columbia Falls is getting to be a joke. It’s a sad, sad thing. This is what I needed to get off my chest. Chuck (Hammond), I look forward to your spin on that in the paper. Your column is always good for a laugh, thank you for that.” Santiago presented a bill for $633.00 from Rick Farnsworth for hardware installation on the Union Hall doors. Santiago has contacted Down East Correctional and they will work on our building this summer but do not have a schedule as of yet. He has contacted Peter Rioux, the clock man, in regards to a "tune-up". Rioux will get a price and schedule to be discussed at next meeting. Having the Town hall meeting gave us a good idea of just how many chairs/tables fit in the space available. Robin Santiago is working on a plan for the next meeting to help make a decision on how many tables and chairs are needed to buy.
Rick Farnsworth has put new hardware on the Handicap door. He will be working on the columns when the weather permits.
Tracey Gamache is working on the Bangor Savings Grant with Nancy Herr providing information from our records. Dick Grant, Nancy Herr and Santiago will meet next week to start looking over the Interior drawing with Gary Williams for the purpose of modifying the drawing to meet the intentions for "Phase 1" interior work. The next meeting will be April 11th 6PM at Dick Grants house.
The Selectmen chose Alan Grant to be their chairman. Temperature control of the heating system throughout the municipal building has been a constant problem. Selectmen directed administrative assistant, Nancy Bailey to contact Maine Controls (Bangor) for a recommendation and an estimate to fix the problem. Chairman Grant and previous selectman, Todd Emerson met recently with Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America. Chairman Grant reported on their meeting. Karen had stated that WAA can not get funds for maintenance of a building they do not own. She has proposed that the town give WAA the municipal building. They would then be responsible for all maintenance, heating and utilities. The town office space, memorabilia room, library and gym would remain as they are with no rent and the town would have no building expenses. The playground would have to be moved and WAA would want to use the town right of way to access the back parking lot. If and when they were done with the building it would revert back to the town. There was a lot of discussion on this proposal between the elected officials and the interested citizens present. Selectmen decided to have a public meeting with Mrs. Worcester and the townspeople soon.
John Tibbetts requested to be on the agenda for the April 8th selectmens meeting so he could respond to Treasurer Weaver’s remarks made this evening.
March 27th in the municipal center Columbia Falls’ first selectmen’s meeting after the annual town meeting. Left to right Administrative Assistant Nancy Bailey reelected, selectman Alan Grant, new selectman Jay Look and selectman Bun Ward
Twelve Columbia Falls residents including the three selectmen traveled to the state capitol on Thursday, March 28th in response to Representative Peter Doak’s invitation to be recognized by the House of Representatives for the 2013 Sesquicentennial. Mr. Doak greeted the group at the café and introduced us to Dan Fournier, who gave the group a guide tour of the Capitol Building and seated them in the gallery of the House of Representatives. The House Calendar - The Advance Journal and Calendar of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Maine Legislature for 26th Legislative Day Thursday, March 28, 2013 on page 17 read as follows: “The Town of Columbia Falls, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a town. Formerly part of the Town of Columbia, the Town of Columbia Falls was incorporated on March 25, 1863. Situated on the falls of Pleasant River at the head of the tide, the town was well-placed to provide power for early saw and grist mills. We extend our congratulations and best wishes to the good citizens of the Town of Columbia Falls on the sesquicentennial of their town; Presented by Representative DOAK of Columbia Falls. Cosponsored by Senator BURNS of Washington.” The Speaker of the House spoke briefly about the history of Columbia Falls and called on Mr. Doak who also spoke about the history of Columbia Falls and invited all members of the house to the celebration weekend event scheduled for June 28, 29 and 30, 2013. The Speaker requested that the group stand to accept greetings of the House. The House Members also stood, turned around to face the gallery and applauded. The party of twelve all had lunch together at Slate’s restaurant in Hallowell.
Twelve Columbia Falls residents including the three selectmen traveled to the state capitol on Thursday, March 28th in response to Representative Peter Doak’s invitation. The town of Columbia Falls was recognized by the House of Representatives on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a town. Left to right back row: Grace Falzarano, Philip Worcester, Brenda and Bun Ward; middle row Robin Santiago, Jay Look, Chuck Hammond, Allen Grant; front row Tony Santiago, Pam Look, Roberta Hammond, Richard Grant and Representative Peter Doak
Shoreland Zoning and Telecommunications Tower ordinance public hearing held on February 12 (see Downeast Coastal Press February 19 – 25) was not properly advertised so a second public hearing was held on Tuesday March 19th at the regularly scheduled planning board meeting. There were no additional interested individuals present. The planning board approved two applications and issued building permits to: Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Co. for a 40 foot by 60 foot out-building behind the garage; and Stephen Tibbetts for a 10 foot by 16 foot addition to a mobile home. The town reports are out, very business-like and yet the design is fitting for a town celebrating its 150th birthday. Administrative assistant Nancy Bailey and the selectmen are to be complemented for a very professional report. Volunteers for the 150 Steering Committee delivered the town reports house to house on Wednesday, March 20th and the usual cost of $125.00 will go toward the celebration.
History Book Presale- Columbia Falls History in Pictures & Writing by Town Historian, Gloria Allen Hayward are being presold at $20.00 per copy to raise money for the printing. This book has the history, builders and owners of over 90 homes, buildings and businesses in Columbia Falls with many pictures. To reserve a copy call Roberta Hammond at 483-4120 or Grace Falzarano at 483-6647. Copies are expected to be available by June 1st, 2013 in time for the big 150th Celebration weekend.
Selectmen approved a warrant of $47,500.75 and a payroll warrant of $862.30 at the meeting on March 11, 2013. Other business included: Tony Santiago spoke about the Union Hall Restoration Committee meeting of March 7th. A handicap Porta Potti will be rented before town meeting on march 25th and picked up after the April 6th Civil War Ball. The committee met with grant writer Tracy Gamache. She will write 6 grants for a flat fee of $2500 plus expenses which includes research and follow-up. Gamache is going to donate 50% of the costs to the town, so the total will be only $1250. A 50% deposit of $625 is required before starting. Selectmen approved this expenditure from Union Hall Committee raised funds. Dick Grant donated a 1904 4th of July poster to Union Hall. The committee had it framed and requested approval of the $148 expense. (approved). Santiago requested professional maintenance and a tune-up of the tower clock. (approved) The committee would like to hire Gary Williams to modify the 2005 plan for the interior Union Hall to suit some desired changes. This will make a level playing field for the contractor bids. Williams would be making design changes only and will not be bidding on the actual construction. Selectmen requested an estimate of Williams design services. Chuck Hammond stated that Representative, Peter Doak has invited the Selectmen, all other elected officials and residents of the town to Augusta at 10:00AM on March 28th to hear and receive a Proclamation concerning the Sesquicentennial Celebration from the Speaker of the House of Representatives. There would be an opportunity to tour the Capitol and possibly a photo with the Governor. Mr. Doak said he would be happy to personally deliver an invitation from the selectmen to the Governor to attend our celebration on June 29th. Selectmen directed that an invitation be written and to be signed by the selectmen and delivered to Mr. Doak. Nancy Bailey, administrative assistant has been approved by the state to register trucks. Bailey also stated that she has saved two copies of old annual town reports for permanent town records and advised that there are still two boxes full of extra copies which could be given away if the selectmen desired. It was decided to make them available to residents at this year’s town meeting. Bailey pointed out the internet service was slow since the library has been reopened. Selectmen approved closing Main Street from 8AM to 4PM and Point Street from 8AM to 11:30AM to regular vehicular traffic for the celebration on Saturday, June 29th. Local traffic for residents on those streets, post office business and emergency vehicles are excepted. Selectmen approved the purchase of four more tables for the community center. Fifteen aluminum flag holders will be purchased for the cemeteries to replace old plastic ones. Lita Bagley has resigned from the Pleasant River Ambulance board. Volunteers interested in this position should contact the town office. Treasurer, Lenora Weaver and Nancy Bailey attended a property lien workshop recently.
Town Library hours starting April 4th are Wednesday and Saturday, 11:00 to 4:00 as noted on a sign on the front door of the municipal center. Also a sign that says Easter Egg hunt at the library on March 30 at 2PM.
Local News The ice went out of the falls basin on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Amanda McLaughlin will be doing Civil War Era Hair Styles for the Civil War Ball. Complete your costume with a period hair style. Call 598-8204 to reserve an appointment for Saturday April 6th. Welcome to 16 year old Kylie Lenfestey the new Downeast Coastal Press correspondent for Addison.
Annual town meeting supper Monday March 25, 5:00 PM in municipal center.
Annual town meeting Monday, March 25, 7 PM in Union Hall (Old Town Hall)
Selectmen’s meeting Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 7 PM, in the municipal center.
Columbia Falls Sesquicentennial Proclamation 10AM at the Maine House of Representatives, 2 State House Station, Augusta.
The Columbia Falls United Methodist Church Palm Service, 11:00, March 24
Christian Seder Meal, 7:00 p.m., March 28 at the Municipal building
Good Friday Service, 2:00 p.m., March 29 at the church
Easter Sunrise Service, 6:00 a.m., March 31, behind the fire station
Traditional Easter Worship Celebration, 11:00, March 31
Sesquicentennial Celebration Proclamation
District 33 Representative Peter Doak has invited Columbia Falls’ residents, Selectmen, 150 celebration steering committee members and elementary and high school students to the Capitol in Augusta on Thursday, March 28th when the Maine House of Representatives issues a Proclamation honoring the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Town of Columbia Falls. The Speaker of the House will address the group at 10:00AM. A head count is required for reserved seating so call Chuck or Roberta Hammond at 483-4120 if you plan to go.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At Selectmen’s meeting on February 25th, 2013 a warrant of $17473.07 and a payroll warrant of $717.38 was approved. Tony Santiago, Union Hall restoration committee chair, stated (1) that there was still $35.00 left in the Davis Grant and needed to be used or forfeited. He requested selectmen authorization to use this money and the balance from town buildings fund to modify the back door so it can be opened from the outside. Approved. (2) A handicap portable toilet is required for the town meeting and the Civil War Ball to be held in Union Hall. Approved- money to be taken from the 150 funds. (3) 100 chairs will be borrowed for both of the above events. Michael Bailey, road commissioner (1) asked if any decisions had been made on the CES proposal for salt/sand shed. Phase 1 of the proposal approved. (2) He has investigated the complaint that large rocks in the road sand have ruined tires. He interviewed the complainant and County Concrete. He also got sand samples. His investigation was inconclusive. Selectmen approved the March calendar after moving the 2nd selectmens meeting date to Wednesday March 27th and adding the planning board meetings. It was agreed to quit Glacial Energy co. for electricity since there have been no savings of electricity costs. Selectmen authorized the 150 committee to deliver town reports at a cost of $125.00.
The Selectmen met with the Budget Committee on February 26th. Nancy Bailey, administrative assistant had prepared a spreadsheet of accounts in columns showing 2012 town meeting “appropriations”, “beginning balance”, “income”, “spent 2012”, and “balance”. The treasurer, Lenora Weaver was absent; however Bailey answered all financial questions as proficiently as if she had done the town’s bookkeeping herself. The committee and the selectmen came to agreement on every line of the proposed budget of $261,620 to be presented to town meeting on March 25th as follows: Administrative Assistant pay- 20,000; Town Office/Administration- 60,000; Payroll Taxes- 4,000; PRSWDD- 16,518; General Assistance- 1; Columbia Falls Alumni awards- 1,000; Town Buildings and Grounds- 10,000; Municipal Buildings and Grounds- 12,500; Town Cemetery- 500; Ruggle's/Great Hill Cemeteries- 500; Roads and Bridges- 20,000; WHCA- 2,092; Eastern Agency on Aging- 500; Fire Truck Fund- 2,500; Municipal Maintenance Reserve- 5,000; Town Hall Repair- 5,000; Assessors- 5,000; Legal Account- 3,000; 150th Celebration- 5,000; Streetlights- 8,000; Fire Department- 14,000; Pleasant River Ambulance- 11,872; SAD #37- (not received yet); and County Tax- 54,637. Here is more information including a comparison with the 2012 Town meeting appropriation and expenditures.
|Account||2012 Approp.||Beg Balance||Income||Spent 2012||Balance||Request|
|Columbia Falls Alumni||$1,000.00||$1,000.00||$0.00||$1,000.00|
|Town Buildings and Grounds||$15,000.00||$9,659.40||$0.00||$10,000.00|
|Municipal buildings & grounds||$12,500.00|
|Ruggle's/Great Hill Cemeteries||$500.00||$500.00||$0.00||$500.00|
|Roads and Bridges||$20,000.00||$80,333.00||$20,366.00||$91,210.00||$29,489.00||$20,000.00|
|Eastern Agency on Aging||$500.00||$500.00||$0.00||$500.00|
|Fire Truck Fund||$5,000.00||$69,646.00||$0.00||$69,646.00||$2,500.00|
|Municipal Maintenance Reserve||$10,000.00||$10,000.00||$10,000.00||$5,000.00|
|Town Hall Repair||$5,000.00||$10,219.00||$395.00||$14,824.00||$5,000.00|
|Trio Assessment Package||$15,000.00||$11,749.15||$0.00||$0.00|
|150th Celebration Fireworks||$2,500.00||$10,963.37||$5,577.05||$7,886.32||$5,000.00|
|Pleasant River Ambulance||$9,072.00||$9,072.00||$0.00||$11,872.00|
|SAD #37||$269,230.45||- - - -||not in yet|
Shoreland Zoning Ordinance
A public hearing was held on February 12th at the municipal center to review proposed changes to the Columbia Falls Shoreland Zoning Ordinance which will be voted on at this year’s town meeting. Individuals present were: Planning Board members - Philip Worcester (chairman), Jay Look, and Chris Rackliff; Selectmen - Bun Ward and Alan Grant; Maine Forest Ranger- Courtney Hammond; Administrative Assistant- Nancy Bailey; and interested residents – Tony Santiago, Chuck Hammond, Roberta Hammond, John Tibbetts, Grace Falzarano, and Pam Look. The State is updating shoreland zoning to be current with DEP laws and is working toward a statewide standards program for shoreland zoning that will have less restrictions to (1) make it easier for landowners to build or harvest on shoreland, (2) make it easier for officials to enforce and (3) simplify the permitting process. Ranger Hammond suggests letting the Forest Service handle the permitting process and enforcement because they have new authority which allows quick response and resolution to infractions without the long legal process of the past. There are three options for the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance open to the Town: (1) maintain the present ordinance and do all the permitting and enforcing locally by the Code Enforcement Officer (2) Adopt the State guidelines and let the Forest Service handle the permitting process and enforcement or (3) Make these state suggested and planning board recommended changes to the present C.F. shoreland ordinance and let the Forest Service handle the permitting process and enforcement. Copies of the proposed ordinance will be available at town meeting and may be reviewed at the town office. The proposed changes affect the following paragraphs: 12.C. Non-conforming Structures (C.F. has few known non-conforming structures, only the fish shacks on the east side of the river below the falls); and 13.A. Resource Protection District. There is a small revision to the Shoreland Zoning map which changes some of the Indian River wetlands from Resource Protection District to Limited Residential District.
The Telecommunication Towers Ordinance is being revised to include wind towers. The present rules for location and height of telecommunication towers will also apply to wind towers. This ordinance will be up for vote at the town meeting.
Selectmens meeting February 12th, 2013: Selectmen Alan Grant and Bun Ward were present, Todd Emerson was absent. The warrant was $39954.60 and payroll warrant was $1121.72. Tony Santiago reported to the Selectmen that the Union Hall Restoration Committee met on February 7, and discussed purchasing chairs and tables to be used for future events in the Hall. The committee is busy compiling information for the new grant writer, Tracey Gamche. The Committee is also working on developing a plan for the interior which will consist of a kitchen area, a bathroom and storage area. The next Union Hall Restoration committee meeting will be February 21st, 6PM at Dick Grants home. All are invited to attend. The Union Hall Committee is always looking for volunteers to help out with our restoration effort. Any interested persons may contact 546-5464 if interested in volunteering. Administrative assistant, Nancy Bailey spoke for Mike Bailey, road commissioner and asked if the selectmen had reviewed the CES quote on the salt/sand shed? Postponed until next meeting. Chuck Hammond stated that the flag previously chosen for display on the utility poles on this 150th anniversary year is in fact the same flag used by the 20th Maine Regiment in the Civil War. Grace Falzarano stated that she had spoken to Frank Norwood of the Maine Honor Guard and he approved our use of this flag for display during our celebration summer season.
John Tibbetts spoke to the selectmen about three items of concern to himself and other taxpayers in the town. They are: this year’s town report; the upcoming annual town meeting; and the care of town records. Tibbetts said “Since before last year’s town meeting some of my fellow taxpayers began speaking to me about these items I am asking you to address tonight and the conversations have continued until now – so I am not speaking just for myself tonight but reflecting the thoughts of other taxpayers too. Please understand I am not here tonight to embarrass anyone – my intent is to point out changes that need to be made not to criticize. That we have ‘always done it that way’ is no reason to continue to do things the wrong way. I am giving a copy of what I wish to bring up to the selectmen to read themselves while I am here to answer any questions. I have already stated why I am not reading it to them. I would ask that what I am giving the selectmen be made a part of the minutes of this meeting and I have a copy here to give Nancy (Bailey, administrative assistant) for that purpose when I finish with it. Verification of what I have said in the paper I am giving you can be obtained from the attorney General’s office or from M.M.A. (Maine Municipal Association).”
The selectmen each read the document silently and expressed agreement after reading it but there was no motion to accept or carry out whatever was written.
I caught up with John Tibbetts after the selectmens meeting and asked him what was in the document that he had passed to each selectman. He provided me with the following statement: “I cautioned the selectmen, who are responsible for the annual Town Report, that it should not be used by any town officer to express what could be considered political views or opinions. It is a factual report to the taxpayers and paid for with tax money.
I reminded the selectmen that the Warrant governs what may come before the annual Town Meeting and speeches, which could be considered political, are not an appropriate way to begin the meeting. I suggested the Warrant contain an article to elect ballot clerks, such as other towns do to avoid a possibility of conflict of interest. In the past our treasurer and town clerk have served as ballot clerks. I also suggested a warrant article that would set the rules of governance of the town meeting as being the Maine Moderators Manual.
I asked the selectmen to see to protecting the old records of the town. They are required by law to do so and yet many of these records are not in a safe place nor have they been for some time now.”
There was discussion about the election of planning board members because all 5 members were elected at the same time for the same term of 3 years. No decisions were made. Selectman Ward had recently attended a meeting of the Washington County Council of Governments and he said Judy East mentioned that she was still watching for a grant opportunity for insulating the C. F. municipal building. Ward asked East and Betsy Fitzgerald who were discussing auditors how often the WCCG changed auditors and they responded every three years. Ward suggested that this was something C.F. should consider for next year.
Work on the Columbia Falls School memorabilia room at the municipal center is progressing. Selectmen authorized installation of the rug that was purchased with donations from four Columbia Falls’ alumni. Peter Buck will be installing it on February 26th. Julia Worcester, Sally Peterson Cooper, Hillary Pineo and Roberta Morris Hammond are meeting weekly to add memorabilia for Columbia Falls Elementary School, Central District School, Hamlin Primary and Tibbettstown. The project is expected to be finished in time for the 150 celebration weekend, June 28, 29 and 30, 2013. Columbia Falls High School and Longfellow Grammar School were finished last year before the annual C.F.H.S. alumni meeting and banquet.