News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 11, 2019
Maine 200 celebration prompts planning in Castine

by Monique Labbe

Maine’s 200th anniversary is in 2020, and to celebrate, the town of Castine is looking to bring tall ships into the harbor, similar to when the Hermione made a voyage to town in 2015.

Because the ships’ visit will require funding, the Castine Board of Selectmen has scheduled a special town meeting for 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 15. On the warrant is approval for $10,000 from the Town Surplus account for the planning and organizing of Castine’s Maine 200th celebration. Another article to ask whether the town will allow the selectmen to accept and disperse the necessary funds, should the town not be able to find a nonprofit organization to help coordinate.

The special town meeting warrant was approved at the October 7 meeting of the board. At that meeting, Town Manager Shawn Blodgett updated the selectmen on several ongoing projects. Among them was an update on 563 Castine Road, which has been a topic of discussion for several months as the selectmen and Blodgett have been working with the property owners to clean up the property and make the existing house structure livable. To date, Blodgett said that the owners have been receptive to requests, and that the project is “about 66 percent complete, maybe more.”

Blodgett also reported that “due to tariff issues and trade troubles,” the cost for the town’s annual fireworks display will go up for the 2020 celebration. The town’s supplier, Pyro City Maine Fireworks in Ellsworth, asked the town to lock in to a three-year contract, which Blodgett said could not happen without a vote from the town. Pyro City agreed to wait until after town meeting in the spring, and that the town could do a contract on a year-to-year basis.

In other town news, floats at the waterfront are scheduled to come out October 25, weather permitting. Blodgett also reported that replacement of the street lights to LED lights will begin this week, and should take “about seven days.”

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for 4 p.m. October 21.