Category Archives: News

What does that tax rate include?

|Peter Bragdon, NG Budget Committee Vice-chair/ Acting Chair|
* Editors’ note: We reached out to Peter for a clarification of the increase in the tax rate for this year. Here’s his response.

As most of you are aware, last year was a challenging year for the town budget process and the tax rate went up.  Was it 6.9% or 20+%?

Without having the exact number in front of me, I am confident in stating the town’s portion of the tax bill went up a little over 20%.  Your tax bill as a whole saw an increase of 6.9% Why the difference?  The majority of your tax bill goes to the school system, over 70% in fact. A little over 20% goes to the town and small portion goes to the county, around 4%.  When you average the increases of the school department, the town and the county together, that is where the 6.9% increase came from.  Still, a 20% increase on the town portion was significant.  Apply a 20% increase to your household budget all at once; it’s not something that is recommended.  It is certainly not something that can happen again this year, or at least in my opinion it shouldn’t. 

For every $1,000 value of your house you pay $16.90 in taxes.  An average $250,000 house will pay $4,225 this year as opposed to $3,950 last year and $3,365 5 years ago, yielding an increase on that same house of $860 since tax year 2013.

Save the Opportunity Farm View group has set up GoFundMe page

|Hannah Beem Blackburn|
If you live in or around New Gloucester, chances are you have come over the top of Gloucester Hill on your way to the Lower Village, and slowed to a stop as the view over the pasture there took your breath away.
Now that land is up for sale with a proposed house to be built on it, that has already been approved by the planning board.  
A dedicated group of local citizens are working hard to raise funds and awareness, to purchase this spectacular piece of land, put it into a trust, preserve it’s history as a pasture, and to make sure this remains a special landmark, catching the breath of generations to come.

If you are able to help, we would appreciate any amount you can manage. Continue reading

Wind and rain bring down trees and wires

The storm brought trees and wires down across southern Maine, including here on Bald Hill Road this morning. Photo: Kevyn Fowler

The Purple House is tiny, its owner talented and tireless, and its reputation huge

|Alexandra Hall, Boston Globe Correspondent|
NORTH YARMOUTH, Maine — The road to The Purple House is an eclectic and curious one. After driving past the town’s gold- and green-flecked cow pastures, a retired train car selling handmade ice cream, a gigantic Trump lawn sign, a road called Fairy Tale Lane, and an elite equestrian school, you finally spot a cabin the color of raspberry sherbet so small, it looks like a Hobbit might live in it. Pull into its dirt driveway and, if the place is open, you notice the cars — lots of them — bearing license plates from all over the country. Or, if you happen to roll up in the early fall when the restaurant hasn’t opened yet for the fall season, odds are good you’ll run into Krista Kern Desjarlais, the Jacques Torres- and Guy Savoy-trained chef-owner. She’s usually there by herself in the weeks before reopening, pulling up weeds in the garden, and otherwise getting the place ready. Continue reading

Tax relief to towns and taxpayers: An explanation

| State Representative Amy Arata |
I am in the unique position of having worked on budgets at three different levels of government. I’ve served on the New Gloucester budget committee, the MSAD 15 budget committee, and now on the Maine State Legislature’s Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs.  My experience has been that it’s best to keep the money as close to those who earned it as possible.  I trust you, the taxpayer, as the most qualified to decide how your money should be spent.  I’m happy to tell you that I’ve worked hard with my colleagues in the Legislature to give you back more of your hard-earned money.  We made three changes to Governor Mills’ proposed budget to give you property tax relief.

Continue reading

Indigenous Peoples Day

|Debra Smith|
Last April, Governor Mills signed into law a bill changing the name of the holiday known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, in recognition of the native people who resided in Maine and across the continent before Europeans’ arrival. Maine joins many other states in making this change. Read about the enactment of this law here.

As a New Gloucester resident for nearly 40 years, and a descendent of one of the families who lived in the Blockhouse, I believe this change is important. The Gloucester (MA) residents who laid claim to New Gloucester under a grant from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1700’s saw the Abnaki people who dwelled here as “savages.” In their view, the native people impeded their goal to establish farms, a church and community to support their families as available land further south in Massachusetts coastal communities became scarce. This was happening in the towns around us as well: Gray was New Boston, Raymond was New Beverly and Windham, New Marblehead. It’s important to recognize that the history of people’s occupation of this beautiful place reaches back more than ten thousand years.

Update on fundraising from “Save the Opportunity Farm View” group

NGX eds: Residents and interested friends have formed a group on Facebook called “Save the Opportunity Farm View” with the goal of purchasing and preserving the fields across from the former Opportunity Farm at the top of Gloucester Hill Road.  Below is an Oct. 11 post from the group’s Facebook page.

| by Cheryl Trafford, Save the Opportunity Farm View |

We are ready to collect donations!

An account has been set up at Cumberland county credit union in Gray, under the name “Save the Opportunity Farm View” anyone can make a deposit. Checks only, can also be sent to 3 Estes Rd, New Gloucester 04260. A go fund me page, and buckets at local businesses are in the works.

Keep Reading

Patti’s Oct. 11 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Shaker Village’s annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, is free fun for all ages. Highlights include barn tours, wagon rides and traditional craft demonstrations. 
Photo by Peg Becksvoort

Shaker Fall Harvest Festival

You’re invited to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village for their end-of-season Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Freshly picked apples from the historic Shaker orchards will be offered for sale along with free cider-pressing of apples purchased there, homemade Shaker apple and pumpkin donuts, plus more.

Chipman’s Farm will have a fresh bounty of seasonal produce for sale, along with preserves and baked goods. Maple syrup and maple candy will be sold by Passamaquoddy Maple from Jackman, Maine. Seasonal mums, other late-season bloomers and houseplants will be available from Donna’s Greenhouse. Also, there will be a book signing by Don Perkins, author of “Barns of Maine.”

Free activities will include wagon rides throughout the day, visits to the Shaker Herb Garden, tours of the Shakers’ barn given periodically by Brother Arnold Hadd, face painting for kids and gourd decorating. Free, traditional craft demonstrations will consist of wool fiber spinning, rug hooking and supplies by Parris House Wool Works; blacksmithing by Tim Greene; wood-turning by Peter Asselyn; and woodcarving by the Poland Woodcarvers. Chris Becksvoort will be on hand for a book signing and dovetail demonstration. There also will be tintype photography presentations and portraits by Cole Caswell, broom making demonstrations by Kent Russwick, a knife making demonstration and booth by Zay’s Knives, along with a beekeeping display and honey tasting.

Bluegrass songs will be performed by Albert Price and the Pseudonyms. Barbecue lunch plates will be available for sale, while supplies last. The Shaker Museum will be open for tours, along with the Shaker Store and Museum Gift Shop.

The festival will be held rain or shine; many activities will take place in the Shakers’ historic 1830s barns. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is located at 707 Shaker Road, off Route 26. For more information, contact the organizers at 926-4597 or

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

Town’s Fall-Winter newsletter is out

Updates and information from town staff, upcoming events, photos of the public works project, and more can be found in the Fall 2019-Winter 2020 edition of New Gloucester Town NewsRead the full newsletter here.

You can sign up to receive town newsletters by email. Just send an email to with “Subscribe me” in the subject line.

NG Parks & Recreation Fall programs, news and more

New Gloucester Parks & Rec E-Newsletter October 2019

Well, that happened quickly, fall has arrived! We had some wonderful days of late summer this past month, but now October is here and people are apple picking, painting pumpkins, and we can all see the leaves starting to change as foliage season has begun.

All of these things equate to one thing: the seasons are changing and it is time to start looking toward our fall and winter programs. We hope that you continue to be involved with all of our wonderful programming and activities even in the colder months ahead.

To read details on upcoming fall programs–adult volleyball, zumba, and walkers; youth soccer and cheering; a Thanksgiving road race, indoor cornhole, and more–check the Parks & Recreation website.

Become Involved. The Parks & Recreation Committee still has an open seat available for an interested individual. The committee meets on the 1st Monday of each month at 5:30pm. If you are interested in being a part of this fun and dynamic committee, please reach out to the department and we will get you an application.

Programming Opportunities. Do you have something you would like to share or maybe something you would like to see offered in our community? We are currently working on our winter programming schedule and would love to offer some new and different programming opportunities for the community. Please feel free to contact us with ideas to discuss adding to the schedule for this winter.

Keep current on all the great news from the New Gloucester Parks & Recreation Department:

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