STOCKTON SPRINGS – The select committee considered a request from the Staples family to take over the care and ownership of Mount Prospect Cemetery on April 21. City Manager Mac Smith noted that he had worked with Andrea Staples, a family representative, over the past year. to determine the best way to proceed.
The cemetery is now owned by the Mount Prospect Cemetery Association and has been cared for by the family of Basil Staples for many years. Smith said he searched the Waldo County Deeds Registry and found no ownership claims.
Staples was at the meeting and told the board that the cemetery association had $67,000 in its checking account and had contracted someone to mow it this year for $500 per mow. The association has its own mowers and trimmers. Board member Darren Shute estimated mowing would cost $6,000 to $7,000 a year.
Staples said a number of Civil War veterans are buried at Mount Prospect. She added: “What will happen after us (the Staples family members who now look after the cemetery) I don’t know.”
Council members said they wanted to take the request to voters at this year’s town hall meeting. To that end, Smith has asked Staples to provide a letter of offer to the city on May 18 stating that the council will vote on May 19 so it can participate in the city assembly term. After the meeting, Smith told the Republican Journal that if the cemetery section passes, it would likely go into effect July 1.
Linda Salley, who lives next to a house on McKenney Road that is vacant and now owned by an out-of-state bank, also appeared before the board, according to Smith. Salley had sought help from From Above, a Belfast-based non-profit group that helps clean up awful properties. She said she found syringes on the property, along with large amounts of human feces.
She thinks there might be a meth lab in the basement, she said, because the basement windows were covered and the upstairs windows opened during the winter. While From Above was there, volunteers helped put up the windows and doors and Salley herself put a chain across the driveway to block it. She said when she called the bank that owned the property, she was told she was looking for an heir of the original owner, who died two years ago.
Worried about what she believes is going on in the house, Salley enlisted the help of the board to urge the bank to act to secure the property. Smith said he would send the minutes of the meeting to the bank to ensure they were aware of the condition of the property.
Another request made to the council was for Lewis Cohn, a disabled veteran living in town. Before paying excise tax on his vehicle last September, he called the municipal office to say he had heard that totally disabled veterans were eligible for excise tax exemption on a vehicle. . City hall staff told him that was not the case and took his payment.
Later, Cohn learned he was right, but the exemption didn’t go into effect until last October. Cohn was asking the city to refund the approximately $750 in excise tax he had paid. Because he had called the city office and received inaccurate information, the council voted to refund the money.
In other cases, the council allowed Stockton Springs Ambulance to resupply the city’s second ambulance using up to $3,000 from the ambulance reserve account. He also renewed Just Barb’s liquor license, including her seasonal tent in the parking lot, and appointed Glenn Meadows to the harbor committee.
The next meeting will be Thursday, May 5 at 8 a.m. at City Hall.
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