Category Archives: News

New Gloucester project aims to bring disabled Maine children back to state

|Jane Vaughn, Lakes Region Weekly|

Dozens of children with intellectual and development disabilities are being sent out of state for treatment, but the Morrison Center plans to change that with new residential, educational and therapy services at its Opportunity Farm campus.

The Morrison Center has launched a $14 million capital campaign to build out its 150-acre property on Gloucester Hill Road, starting with homes for 24 more children. It currently houses 12. Keep reading

What’s the story with the NG Fire and Rescue? It’s complicated

| Debra Smith, NGX |

Between the decline in volunteerism and the increasing training and credentialing requirements, fire and rescue departments across the state face challenging personnel issues, described in several recent articles in the Portland Press Herald and elsewhere. The situation is most acute in Maine’s remote rural areas.

It would be easy to say that the recent loss of several of New Gloucester’s Fire and Rescue’s long-time members is part of this larger pattern. But according to current and former NGFR leaders, this is not the whole story, and it didn’t need to happen as it has.

Fire, April 2018
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Maine Municipal Association partners on town manager search

| Joanne Cole, NGX |

The job ad for New Gloucester town manager looks straightforward: qualifications and responsibilities, a destination and deadline for applications.  Beyond the ad and behind the scenes, however, David Barrett, Director of Personnel Services and Labor Relations at the Maine Municipal Association, is helping guide the search. 

Barrett describes MMA’s decades-long role as providing professional assistance to town officials through the hiring process, from initial advertising to “cutting a deal.”  In New Gloucester, the select board is responsible for hiring a town manager.  Following the resignation of town manager Carrie Castonguay in November, the board hired MMA for search support at a fee of $5500.

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Patti’s Jan. 17 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

The first cribbage night, organized by resident Penny Hilton, attracted such a strong turnout that players filled the public library’s Community Room and spilled over into a different area of the library. Future monthly games are planned for 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, same location. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Winter tracking

Naturalists Polly Haight Frawley and Karen Massey are leading the next Get Out! Nature Walk from 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22. The location is Pisgah Hill and the curriculum is winter tracking. Get Out! Nature walks are offered jointly by the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust.

A 1.2-mile loop trail begins at a trailhead near 74 Dougherty Road. The small parking lot is off-road and plowed in winter. This primitive trail has a few short steep ledges that require some agility. The trail is ideal for trekking or snowshoes.

Members of the public are invited to join the group for a well-planned, free outing held rain, snow or shine. Because the purpose is nature observation, dogs are not allowed. For more information, email or call the Royal River Conservation Trust office at 847-9399.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to

Eagles donate $10,000 to Fire & Rescue for life-saving device

The Town of New Gloucester would like to thank the New Gloucester Fraternal Order of Eagles #4131 for their wonderful donation ($10,000) to the New Gloucester Fire & Rescue Department for the Lucas 3 Chest Depression System. The Department is fundraising for this device and the donation is a huge step towards acquiring the Lucas 3. Thank you!

LMPC to finalize draft ordinance on solar energy projects at January 22 meeting

| Joanne Cole, NGX |

Insightful suggestions and thoughtful deliberation at its December meeting meant the Land Management Planning Committee was unable to wrap up its draft solar energy ordinance by year’s end, as members had hoped.  No one is complaining, though, as the December conversation refined LMPC’s thinking about siting and scale of projects, what project proposals must include and who should review them, decommissioning and removal of arrays, and more. 

LMPC and town planner Scott Hastings now expect to consider a final final draft on January 22.  This timetable would permit a joint meeting and review with the Select Board and Planning Board in February, a public hearing in March, formal adoption on the town meeting warrant in April, and consideration by voters at town meeting in May.

Recurring questions for LMPC have included whether to allow solar arrays in any zoning district and whether to impose a cap limiting the maximum size of arrays. December’s conversation resolved that the draft ordinance will permit solar arrays in every zone, including the historic district, and will not limit their maximum size, except in the resource protection zone. There, ground-mounted arrays must be less than 1500 s.f. to minimize impact on groundwater or other resources. 

Member Don Libby was vocal in opposing an overall cap on the maximum size of arrays, framing it as a matter of principle and policy. “How serious are you for reducing the carbon footprint?” he asked rhetorically. “Are you serious or not serious?” Alluding to climate activist Greta Thunberg, Libby answered his own question, saying “How dare we not try to do something?”  

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Parks & Recreation January newsletter

NG Parks and Recreation offers lots of activities for residents of all ages. Sign up for the newsletterfor January updates and to learn about openings in the after school program, Mad Science, family cooking, adult rec volleyball, family craft night, group fitness and toddler gymnastics.

Important information on imminent Property Tax Relief payments

|Office of the State Treasurer|

The Office of the State Treasurer would like to thank you for your continuing support of “An Act to Return Funds to Maine Property Tax Payers”. Checks will begin to process January 8th and continue until all 310,000 checks have been issued.

Timing of check payments
Due to the large volume of payments, we will process 20,000 per day for 4 days each week. A full list of payment batches and what municipality will be impacted can be found on the State Treasurer’s website. Additionally, we will update the public daily through social media; our Facebook page

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Bid accepted for culvert, dam work

|Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal|

Selectmen on Monday evening accepted a bid of $715,555 from Shaw Brothers of Gorham to repair the culvert and dam on Stevens Brook.

The decision is contingent on funding approval from voters at the annual Town Meeting in May and approval of permits. Keep reading

Patti’s Jan. 3 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Penny and David Hilton practice their cribbage game in preparation for the debut of Cribbage Night on Jan. 9 at the New Gloucester Public Library. Penny is the event organizer. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Cribbage night

Penny Hilton’s dad taught her how to play cribbage years ago and now she and her husband David play the game frequently. Hilton said that cribbage is a New England thing. It was invented in England by Sir John Suckling, and the British brought the game to this country when they settled in America, especially in New England.

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