Town News

Laurie Pike

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It might be a brown Christmas given the recent warm temperatures, but hopefully that hasn’t dampened your excitement and ability to get into the Christmas spirit. We only have about three weeks to go so it is now crunch time for the Grinch and all other procrastinators.  Many preparations are being made throughout our communities for special holiday events and religious services of celebration.  

The Meddybemps Christian Church is holding a Candlelight Services on Sunday, December 20th at 5:00 pm with refreshments and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause to follow.  All children are invited to attend and take a picture with Santa.  Please call Jeremy Towne at 733-2066 or Liz Trouant at 454-2253 for more information.  The Church of the Open Bible on Route 9 in Alexander wishes to welcome everyone to a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Thursday, December 24th at 6:00 pm.   

The Cooper Community Center Friends group has an exciting afternoon planned for Saturday, December 19th from 1:00-4:00 pm to make Christmas decorations at the Cooper Community Center.  Another fun activity will be creating yummy hanging fruit treats using cranberries, oranges, and apples to entice the wild birds to our outdoor Christmas tree.  Mr. John Viselli is providing live Christmas music during this event so some impromptu caroling may erupt.  The CCCF will provide cookies and hot drinks including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and apple cider.  The lighting of our community Christmas tree is planned for 4:00 pm.  For more information email; or visit the CCCF on Facebook page: “Cathance Cooper Friend.”

At the select board meeting held on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 8:00 am, the select board provided an updated regarding prior winter maintenance questions.  Due to inquiries about winter maintenance road closure procedures, the select board had contacted the legal department of the Maine Municipal Association to inquire about the town’s legal responsibilities.  Under Maine law, public or town ways must be maintained by the municipality during summer and winter months.  The only exception to this obligation is if the way has been closed to winter maintenance because no one lives on the road or uses it during the winter.  Under these circumstances, closing the road to winter maintenance requires a vote at the town meeting with 10 year maximum time period.  Another question was raised about the legality of a gate on a discontinued portion of a town way with a retained public easement.  The abutters, with select board permission, gated the discontinued portion of a town way. State of Maine law expressly authorizes the municipal officers/selectmen to permit gates on public roads if the circumstances warrant and any removal of a permitted gate is unlawful.  

The select board meeting scheduled for Saturday, December 19th at 8:00 am is cancelled due to the proximately to the Christmas holiday.  The next select board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 2nd at 8:00 am.  Town office hours will be held on Thursday, December 17th as usual from 4:30-6:30 pm for Laurie Pike, Tax Collector and from 6:00-7:00 pm for Sandie Lyon, Clerk.  There will be no office hours on December 31st in observance of New Year’s Eve.


In the Cooper Veterans’ Corner, the featured veteran of the week is Justin Day.  Justin was in the United States Army in the transportation corps from 1958 to 1960.  He hauled the M60 US Army tanks and in the summer of 1960 he was part of a convoy of 200 US Army trucks traveling from Fort Eustis, Virginia through New York City to West Point, New York to support training of the cadets.  Around 1960, he was on alert for a whole year at Fort Knox, Kentucky due to the Berlin Crisis, but did not get called up at that time.  When the Vietnam War began heating up, he was called up and returned to active duty from 1961 to 1963.  Justin held the rank of SP4, which is an Enlisted E4 rank that the Army replaced with the SPC rank in the 1980s.  Following military service, Justin became well known for being a Maine wild blueberry farmer, for surveying properties, and for a lifetime of service to the Town of Cooper.  If you see Justin Day this week, please join me in thanking him for his service.