Edgecomb selectors have agreed to mow and clear the Highland Cemetery on Dodge Road in 2023. On September 19, elected officials voted unanimously to serve as an interim measure for the defunct Highland Cemetery Association. “They need a better plan than to see the city take over the association. In the meantime, I am ready to do this for a year, so that they can reestablish their association,” coach Mike Smith said.
The Highland Cemetery dates back to the late 1800s, according to former association board member Jean Giles. She asked the city for help after the association’s finances fell below planned mowing and cleanup costs for 2023. She estimated next year’s costs at $2,500. Giles reported that the association only had a few hundred dollars in its checking accounts and certificates of deposit.
Giles reported that a sharp reduction in burials in recent years had had a huge impact on the association’s income. She said the association had only sold one lot for $400 in the past few years. “Nobody’s dying to get in there,” Giles said.
The selectors plan to use $1,300 from the Hammond Fund to maintain the cemetery for one year. The fund was established in 1999 following a bequest from Maro Hammond to benefit city beautification projects. Giles also pledged $2,000 for future upkeep of the cemetery and announced that his brother had also pledged $1,000.
Separately, council chair Dawn Murray is promoting a road safety campaign in 2023. Selectmen stepped up lobbying efforts to slow traffic in August after a resident approached them about road safety issues. Route 27 safety. Mark Warren has lived on Route 27 for 21 years. He expressed concerns to selectors on August 8 about motorists driving well beyond posted limits of 40 and 45 mph. Warren lives near the intersection of McKay Road and described the situation as “an imminent accident”.
Since then, elected officials have asked for state and county help. The sheriff’s department lent a large electronic sign for two weeks with a message urging motorists on Route 27 to slow down. For Murray, the next step is a campaign of highly visible signs urging motorists to slow down across the city. Besides Route 27, selectors identified McKay, Cross Point and Eddy roads as busy roads with motorists driving at high speeds. Selectmen discussed using American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase lawn signs urging motorists to slow down. “I would like to see a joint effort with MDOT (Maine Department of Transportation) for a traffic safety campaign in 2023,” Murray said. “We could buy 150 panels for $8.95 each and fundraise for more. We could use $1,300 in ARPA funds and put them on busy roads.
Smith updated selectors on the town hall committee’s progress. The committee has met four times this year to discuss the future of the building. Smith along with George Chase, Bisi Cameron Yee and Dan Patrick are members of the committee. Last month they met with consultant Lauren Stockwell to assess the property’s potential. “Our goal is to make the property our center of government for the next 50 years. We want long-term goals in promoting this great venue,” Smith said. “The plan is to leave the same floor upstairs and make some changes to the ground floor.”
Smith said the committee could meet one more time this year to seek the advice of an architect, before seeking a request for proposals in 2024. Selectmen also approved Amanda Russell as the Schmid’s new recording secretary. Advisory Board. The selectors then meet at 6 p.m. on October 3 at the town hall.