Town News

Laurie Pike


Office hours in the Town of Cooper are held the first and third Thursday of each month.  The next office hours will be held on Thursday, January 19th from 4:30-6:30 pm.  Residents who own dogs need to remember to license your pet prior to the end of the month to avoid late fees.  The next select board meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.  The time of the select board meetings has changed due to the winter weather and difficulty getting out early to get to meetings with snow conditions.  The hours will fall back an hour again once winter has passed and we have warm weather and longer hours of daylight.

Last month foreclosure notices for the 2014 liens were sent out to notify residents with a 2014 lien to pay prior to January 27th to avoid loss of property to the Town of Cooper due to unpaid taxes.  Real Estate taxes for the 2016 tax year were due on December 1, 2016.  If you have not already paid your taxes for 2016 in full to date, please contact me at 207-214-7335 to get exact amounts due for taxes payments including interest prior to sending so correct amounts are received.  If you have a tractor your tractor excise was due with your property tax bills by December 1, 2016.  The Select Board has resolved the question regarding excise taxes for tractors.  Tractor excise will be $50.00 for tractors that are 1-5 years old; $25.00 for tractors that are 5-10 years old; and $15.00 for tractors that are over 10 years old.  You can pay tractor excise during regular office hours or by mail by sending to Laurie Pike, Tax Collector at 152 N. Union Road, Cooper, Maine, 04657.

It is that time of year again when people are getting involved with winter activities such as ice fishing, ice skating, and snowmobile riding.  I have noticed on the television many accidents and some deaths as a result of thin ice accidents.  This is a terrible tragedy.  I want to remind everyone that the ice may not be safe and to check ice depths prior to enjoying your winter recreation activities.  The ice thickness for safe ice fishing and ice skating is four inches and safe ice depth for snowmobiling is six inches.  Even if ice depth is appropriate in some areas there may still be areas of open water or thin ice.  I have done some research about how to respond if you fall through the ice and I hope some of you may find this information helpful.  The best plan is to stay off unsafe ice until sure that the ice depths are definitely the appropriate thickness so you don’t break through the ice.  If the ice breaks and you enter the frigid water, the breath will be knocked out of your lungs.  Try to cover your nose and mouth and avoid breathing in the frigid water.  Falling through the ice brings on almost instant hypothermia as your body temperature drops going into shock and your heart rate accelerates as you gasp for air or hyperventilate.  Stay calm, control your breathing, and do not thrash around.  Don’t remove clothing because your cloths can create pockets of air.  Turn around and try to come out of the water in the same direction that you came from because the way you came is likely the strongest ice.  Place your hands on solid ice and try to pull yourself onto the ice by kicking your legs to get horizontal while pulling with your hands.  Use sharp objects to pull yourself out if you have any.  Once you have pulled up onto the ice and onto your elbows, allow water to drain from your cloths to decrease weight.  Slide yourself horizontal onto the ice and lie flat to distribute your weight over a large surface area making the ice less likely to break.  Roll away from the hole.  Once you are clear of the ice, get to a warm dry area immediately to heat yourself up.  Once you are in nearly frozen water, you have only ten minutes before your muscles become too cold to function and one hour before you lose consciousness.  If you can’t pull yourself completely out of the water at least remain half out of the water so that your coat will freeze to the surface keeping you above water if you lose consciousness.  The best plan is to stay off thin ice!

If someone else falls through the ice, call 911 for help and resist the urge to run to the edge of the hole.  If possible use acronym “Preach, Reach, Throw, Row, and Go” to help them.  Preach by shouting encouragement to the victim to fight to survive and reassure them that help is coming.  Reach means to extend an object such as a rope or ladder from shore.  Throw a rope or something that will float to the victim and have them tie the rope around themselves before they become too weak to grasp it.  Row means to find a light boat if one is available to push across the ice ahead of you to the edge of the hole then get in and pull the victim over the bow.  It is a good idea to have a piece of rope attached to the boat so others can pull you and the victim to safety.  Go means that non-professionals shouldn’t go out on the ice to perform a rescue unless all other basic rescue techniques have been ruled out.  Heroics by untrained rescuers can result in more tragedy and multiple deaths despite good intentions.  Please enjoy winter recreation activities safely.