Town Council Meeting Cancelled
The Town Council meeting regularly scheduled to occur on Tuesday, July 14th has been cancelled due to the election that will be occurring on the same day. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Town Council is Tuesday, July 28th, 2020. Please contact the town office at 223-5055 if you have any questions regarding the cancelled meeting.
COVID-19 Update June 15, 2020
REOPENING SCHEDULE TOWN OFFICE
The Winterport Town Office has partially reopened to the public as of June 15th, 2020. The Town Office has also resumed regular business hours as of June 15th, 2020. The Town Office Hours are as follows:
Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Wednesday 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
TOWN OFFICE LIMITED ENTRY
Entry into the lobby will be limited to no more than two people at a time. If possible, customers with additional individuals in their party should designate one person to come inside the Town Office at a time to conduct town business in order to allow an additional customer to be served at the same time. Customers will have to wait either outside or in their cars until someone leaves the office once two customers have entered the lobby. Customers entering the lobby will be expected to wear a mask/face covering inside the town office unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask/face covering. We encourage residents that would like to meet with members of the Town's staff, such as the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer, to call in advance to try to schedule an appointment in advance.
The transfer station is open for regular business hours for the disposal of recycling, household residential trash, demolition debris, metals, Freon, and electronic wastes. The Second Time Around Building is closed until further notice.
VICTORIA GRANT CIVIC CENTER-
The Victoria Grant Civic Center (VGCC) is currently closed to the public. The Town is in the process of developing a reopening plan for the VGCC consistent with CDC guidelines. Please continue to monitor the website for future announcements about when and how the Victoria Grant Civic Center will reopen.
VEHICLE AND TRAILER REGISTRATIONS – The Town Council approved passage of an Excise Tax Due Date Deadline at the Town Council meeting held on June 2, 2020. The Excise Tax Due Date Deadline requires that all Motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, watercrafts, snowmobiles, and trailers required to be registered in the State that expired during the period of the State of Emergency declared by the Governor in accordance with Title 37-B, section 742 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 up to and including June 30th, 2020 must be registered and excise tax paid along with all other registration fees no later than June 30th, 2020.
ONLINE REGISTRATION – Residents of the State of Maine can renew the registration of a motor vehicle, trailer, all-terrain vehicle or watercraft online. Hunting and Fishing licenses can also be obtained on-line as well as Vital records such as birth, death, and marriage certificates. The following links are being provided for your convenience.
Motor Vehicle and Trailer Renewals:
Hunting, Fishing, ATV and Boat Renewals
Vital Records, Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates
RECREATION FIELDS & PROGRAMS-
Recreation fields and playground are currently closed to the public. The Town is in the process of developing plans to reopen facilities in accordance with the CDC guidelines. Please keep checking the Town of Winterport's website for future updates on when and how such town facilities will reopen.
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
The Town of Winterport's Annual Town Meeting has been scheduled. The referendum (election) portion of the Annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 14th, 2020. Election of the Moderator for the Town Meeting will occur at 8:00 am in the gymnasium of the Wagner Middle School. Polls will be open from 8:00 am-8 pm at the Samuel L. Wagner Middle School Gymnasium to allow voters an opportunity to elect by secret ballot, two (2) Town Councilors for a term of three (3) years, one (1) Regional School Union No. 22 Director for a term of three (3) years, and one (1) Assessor for a term of three (3) years. Voters will also be asked to vote on offices and bond questions as part of the State of Maine's Primary/Referendum Election. The Open Town Meeting portion of the Annual Town Meeting will commence at 7:30 PM on Thursday, July 16th at the Samuel L. Wagner Middle School Gymnasium. Voters will be asked to act upon Articles 3 through all at that time. Please do not hesitate to contact the town office at 223-5055, if you have any questions regarding the Annual Town Meeting. Detailed copies of the proposed budget may be viewed at the Winterport Post Office and Town Office. Copies of the proposed budget detail may be obtained at the Town Office during regular business hours.
INTENT TO BUILD APPLICATION FORM NOW AVAILABLE
The Winterport Town Council approved the use of a new application form to be filled out by anyone who is looking to build a new structure or dwelling over 100 square feet or that will increase the footprint or add an additional 100 square feet of gross living space to an existing dwelling or structure. Applications can be obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer or on the Town's website in the Codes & Permits folder under the Government Tab.
ASSESSOR'S NOTE TO THE COMMUNITY
State of Maine property tax law requires all property which is subject to property taxation be assessed in accordance with the status of that property on April 1st each year. Property tax is to be assessed by the municipality where that property is located, according to its value and to whoever owns it, all as of April 1 each year. To that end, each year all Tax Assessors and/or their agents generally hit the road around April 1st trying to determine what has changed from the prior year. In towns like ours that do not have any building permit or intent-to-improve system, that work has to be done by observation and visitation. This means driving the roads and looking for new buildings and additions to buildings including garages, barns and the like. In order for property taxes to be assessed fairly, all property must be taxed at or about the same level of market value.
In light of our concerns regarding COVID-19 and how it is impacting our citizens, the Winterport Board of Assessors has asked our new Assessors’ Agent to temporarily hold back from making her annual property visits. At a time when social distancing is being encouraged for all, we do not want out citizens to feel put upon with a visit from our Agent. However, we would ask that property owners who have made substantial improvements to their property to be forthcoming regarding any new construction and when it has occurred. We ask that you contact the town office to let us know what construction and improvements you have made over this past year. When the authorities tell us it is safe to resume work as normal, the Agent will be back out on the road to continue her work by visiting and documenting new properties.
As of today, we have made the decision to hold off on any direct property visits for at least two weeks. Our previous Agent, who retired last fall, had been with us for 20 years and had a pretty good grasp of the town and what was on the ground. Our new Agent will still be driving our roads, trying to get familiar with our town and making notes as to where she must visit in the future when things return to normal.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and if you have been made uncomfortable in any way by her visit, we apologize. If you have any questions, please contact the Town Office and they will take your phone number and either myself or the new Assessors’ Agent will call you back.
Tom Skratt, Chair Winterport Board of Assessors