Events bring many visitors to Dexter

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DEXTER — A busy summer for the town of Dexter will continue into the fall, councilors learned from Town Manager Tramps King during an Aug. 8 meeting.

“I would like to thank everyone for the great welcome we gave the Workcamp,” King said.

Last month 400 volunteers from around the country spent nearly a week in town working to fix 60 homes at no cost for residents who otherwise could not afford to have the needed repairs taken care of. The improvements were made through the Fort Collins, Colorado-based Group Workcamps Foundation’s Group Mission Trips organization, a non-profit, interdenominational Christian volunteer home-repair group.

The First Baptist Church of Dexter and the town sponsored the event, with assistance from a number of business and organization sponsors, after multiple years of planning. Volunteers, many were high school and college students, from 13 states stayed at the Ridge View Community School.

“It was engaging, exciting and it gave an energy to the town of Dexter we haven’t had in quite a while,” King said.

“The big impression was the kids liked it here and they said they would like to come back,” he said. “That same energy continued next week with the fly-in and cruise in.”

On Aug. 3 pilots flew into Dexter by Lake Wassookeag for the 2019 “Wings for Wishes on the Waterfront” event to benefit Make-A-Wish Maine. “We had 16 planes come in,” King said, saying later in the day the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis hosted its annual cruise in at the Ridge View Community School.

“For me I can say for the last few weeks I’ve been very, very proud of our town,” he said.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
HOME IMPROVEMENT — Grace Crawford, on the step ladder, of upstate New York and Devin Parris of Maryland paint the garage of a Spring Street home in Dexter as part of a Group Workcamps Foundation’s Group Mission Trip. Four hundred volunteers from around the county spent nearly a week in Dexter from July 22-26 working to fix up 60 homes at no cost for eligible residents who otherwise could not afford to have the needed repairs taken care of.

The town manager said two days after the meeting thousands more people would be coming to Dexter for the fourth annual Maine Red Hot Dog Festival.

King said the Abbott Memorial Library is planning an open house for Saturday, Sept. 7 for building renovations.

On Sept. 24-25 the Maine Army National Guard will be at Ellms Field for a student career day, and King said this would be open to the public. He said the Maine Army National Guard would be setting up on Sept. 23 and departing Sept. 26. Exhibits will show various positions, such as diesel repair with an accompanying large vehicle on site, and a Black Hawk helicopter may be arriving at Ellms Field.

In other business, the council authorized the finance director to transfer nearly $5,400 between departments to balance the 2018-19 budget.

“This takes care of last year,” Council Chair Peter Haskell said, with there being a $0 net change for the previous fiscal year’s spending plan.

King said Millinocket now has an ordinance specifying that lawn grass cannot be more than 10 inches high and giving residents 30 days to comply. He is considering bringing something similar forward in Dexter to help improve the look of town to go along with the road work.

The town manager said he is not sure what a Dexter ordinance would look like, but he said he would talk with Millinocket officials and possibly have something to present at a future public hearing.

Haskell said a similar ordinance has been discussed in the past and one unresolved question was who would be liable if the property owner got hurt while mowing after being issued a summons from the town. King said he would check with the Maine Municipal Association on this and get back to the council.

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