Northfield Selectmen Report 2020-2021
Dear Northfield Citizens:
2020/2021 were challenging years for our small town of Northfield. COVID-19 really challenged the town during the 2020 Elections and then dealing with the passing of our Town Clerk, Michael Frye. The Selectmen worked with the town of Wesley to use Dana Porter as our Town Clerk, as she worked tirelessly to help us setup for the Elections and our Town Hall Meeting. Our Town Staff jumped into action to get setup for the 2020 Election. It was certainly a team effort and hasn't gone unnoticed. We certainly can't forget our volunteers that helped with the election as well, as they were the glue that held everything together.
2020/2021 we saw a big boom in the sale of Northfield Properties. Numerous properties changed hands, with sales in excess of $10 million dollars. Additionally, we have several new builds that have taken place within our small town as well. The town is growing!
Recently we had a change of Code Enforcement Officers (CEO). Betsy Fitzgerald retired on 1 May 2021 and James Bradley will assume duties as Northfield's primary CEO and Plumbing Inspector. Betsy will stay on as an alternate CEO if needed in the future. Thank you Betsy for helping to serve the Town of Northfield, you will be sorely missed. We also want to welcome James Bradley to the staff!
We worked with our Northfield Representative Mickey Carmichael to create a “2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution”, ensuring that all of our Town Residents 2nd Amendment rights continue to be protected and not infringed upon. This resolution shall serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist any and all activities, acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms in violation of the 2nd and 10th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and article 1 Section 16 of the Constitution of Maine; and, it be further resolved that the Northfield Board of Selectmen urges the members of Maine Legislature who represent Northfield, to support LR 1973 (An Act to Prohibit Enforcement of Federal Laws Regarding Firearms that are in Violation of the United States Constitution); and it be further resolved, that a copy of this resolution has been transmitted to the members of the Maine Legislature who represent Northfield, and each member of this State's Congressional delegation. Given under our hands this 12 day of April, 2021.
The Selectmen are currently working with a Wireless Realty Advisors (WRA), to discuss putting a Cell Tower within Northfield Town Limits. We have had weak cell coverage in our town for years and years and hope that this new tower would improve our cell coverage. This will be an Article that will be voted on at our 30 Jun 2021 Town Hall Meeting. The property that is being considered is a Northfield Town owned Property.
Our Northfield Town Website (northfieldme.com) has been up and running since early 2020. A lot of new information and links have been added in 2021. Thank you to Cindy Rossignol for helping us create, develop and maintain our town website. We all put our heads together on what should be on the web page and hope we have included everything a resident needs to get started in Northfield and, we are open to feedback on our website, ensuring we are covering what the residents want.
The Selectmen recently moved the Josephine Cox Scholarship from Machias back to Northfield. Thank you Tom Manship for your tireless work. A big thank you goes out to Christina Therrien former Machias Town Manager for helping make this happen.
We were able to have Eastern Ridge repaved this year for the estimate we had last year, $145K. With the price of fuel and materials skyrocketing in 2021, we saved thousands. Thank you Shawn Hartford from County Concrete. Additionally, we spent road improvement funds on the dirt portion of the Eastern Ridge, helping with drainage and erosion.
Last year we worked diligently to maintain the current mil rate for the citizens of Northfield. With less monies being filtered down from the state, increases in education expenses, we have been able to hold the line close to what we had last year. Our mil rate for 2019 was $10.20 and for 2020 it will be $10.40 per thousand for fiscal Year July 1st thru June 30th.
With the town growing, there has been some discussion on adding space to our current town office. Selectmen will recommend to the town that we start appropriating $5,000.00 a year towards this effort. We are in need of bathroom facilities and additional space to the current town office for Town Hall Meetings and other functions within the town. Estimated cost is $150K. Additionally, we are currently working with our Maine representatives to apply for grants to assist in our improvements. More to follow.
Gregory C. Morgan, Chairman
Tom Manship, Selectman
Ann Grange, Select woman