The Wells Connector
Connecting local government to the people we serve!
Electric Car Show
Sponsored by Wells Energy Advisory Committee
The Town of Wells Energy Advisory Committee is proud to announce that it will be holding a free electric car show at the Wells Public Library on Sunday, September 12, from 1-4 PM, rain or shine.

Many Southern Maine car dealers will be providing an EV for public inspection including the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro, Ford Mustang, Chevy Bolt, ID.4 from Volkswagen, and a Tesla.
Come test-drive a Tesla!

Local EV owners will also be on hand to show their own vehicles and discuss the pros and cons of going electric. Included in the “pros” will be the extended range of new models, their low maintenance, their remarkable acceleration, and the federal tax credits still available on particular models.

Efficiency Maine will be present to provide any interested buyer with the details about cash rebates on both new and used EVs, as well as rebates on a whole range of products from heat pumps to washing machines.

Because they run on electricity (approximately 80% from renewable sources in Maine) rather than gasoline, EVs are the cars of the future. They are economical, “green,” and more available now than ever before. “Come and take a look,” says Beth Widmayer, chair of the energy committee, “it may change everything you think about cars.”
Finance/Tax Collector Update
Jodie Sanborn, Finance Director
Despite Labor Day weekend approaching and kids heading back to school the department continues to stay busy. Through the month of August the department continued to see steady tax collection and motor vehicle transactions.

On the 13th of the month staff mailed out 598 30-Day Notices for 2021 taxes informing property owners that if taxes remain unpaid a lien will be placed on their property after September 13th. It is important to note that these notices by law are sent to the property owner of record as of April 1, 2020. We recommend if you have sold your property and still received a notice that you contact the closing attorney that helped with your closing to ensure proper payment was made. You should also contact the Assessing Office to see if they have received notice of your sale.

Lastly, as fall approaches and campgrounds start to close it is important to note that if a camper was on site as of April 1, 2021, a tax bill will be going out to you in October. If you will be removing your camper this fall please call the Assessing office to find out the amount of taxes you need to pay before removing your unit.
Assessing Department Update
Keeley Lambert, Assessor
In the Assessing Office we are in the process of working towards commitment - setting a tax rate - by making changes to our assessments and updating the mailing addresses on file. There are still a few accounts in Personal Property we are waiting to hear back from. Our current use programs will be updated in the next few weeks with the values inputted from the State.

Every year we have a representative from the State come down and copy all the Bills of Sale that happen between residents regarding all the units in campgrounds. They will be in next week to make copies and contact all the new buyers that didn’t get a chance to pay the State sales tax on those transactions. If you are one of the new owners of these units, please contact our office for the IUSE Form that needs to be filled out.
We are shooting for a late September commitment time frame which would put bills going out to the public in early October.  
Police Department Update
Jo-Ann Putnam, Chief of Police
Congratulations to Sergeant Adam Shaw and K-9 Bacchus for passing their yearly USPCA (United States Police Canine Association) certification test in tracking last week. Bacchus and Sgt. Shaw are now certified in both tracking and narcotics.
For the first time ever in Maine the seatbelt compliance rate is over 90% according to the recent observation study conducted by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. The Maine driver and passenger compliance is at 91.8% seatbelt usage.

Thank you to all who “Buckle Up For Safety”!
“SCHOOL IS OPEN”

Please drive safely and watch for those flashing school bus lights!
Just the Facts
Jodine Adams, Director of Code Enforcement
Many stories arise from the building activity that has been going on the in the Town of Wells. These are “just the facts” for the past 20 months.

From January 1, 2020 to August 25, 2021 (past 20 months) the Code Office has issued 1399 building permits that WERE NOT associated with a New Single-Family Dwelling, Replacement of a New-Single Family Dwelling, Plumbing Permit or Sub-Surface Permit. Building permits are required for building additions and alteration projects.

The following are example of when a building permit is required: replacement/new windows, interior renovations, removing or adding walls in a building, finishing a basement, changing the use, erecting or finishing the space in a garage.  Decks, porches, installation of a generator and sheds also require permits. When you see construction going on it can mean a property owner is making home improvements, not just that there is new growth. Please call the Code Office if you are considering a project a wondering if you need a permit for a project that was not listed here.

Here are the facts surrounding ‘New Development”. From January 1, 2020 to August 25, 2021 (past 20 months) the Town has issued the following:
  • New Single-Family Dwellings: 284
  • New Single-Family Replacement Dwellings: 36
  • Accessory Dwelling Units: 3 

The Code Enforcement Office has also issued 496 Internal Plumbing Permits and 230 New/Replacement Septic Systems in the past 20 months.

Keep in mind the statistics are for the past 20 months not 12 months. 

What does all this mean? Historically, from January 1, 2010 to August 25, 2021 the Town of Wells has issued, on average, 118 New Single-Family Dwellings each year and 10 New-Single Family Replacement Dwellings. The growth ordinance adopted in 2003 that expired in 2008 allowed 132 New Single-Family Dwellings each year. 

I hope the facts can add interest to the conversation! 

Call For Committee Members
Have you been looking for a way to get involved in your local government? Are you looking to meet a broad section of people in your community? Joining a board, committee, or commission is great way to learn about the town, meet people, and have a real impact you can see. There are currently openings on the following committees:

  • Board of Assessment Review - (1) alternate member
  • Dog Park Development Committee
  • Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Energy Advisory Committee - (2) members
  • Harbor Advisory Committee (1) regular member
  • Recreation Commission - (2) alternate members
  • Shellfish Conservation Committee - (1) regular member
  • Waste Management Advisory Committee
  • Zoning Board of Appeals - (1) associate member
You can download an application on our website and we will contact you for an informal interview with the Select Board at an upcoming meeting.
Fun Facts from our Community Partners
Wells is an amazing place; not only are we fortunate to have beautiful beaches and terrific trails, but we have a host of organizations that serve our people in many ways. Here are a few fun facts from some of these community partners:

  • Wells Sanitary District turned 50 this year and can treat up to 2 million gallons of wastewater a day
  • The first stand-alone high school building was built in 1901 at a taxpayer cost of $3,650. That is equivalent to $113,741 in today's economy. Two years later the first graduating class was made up of seven young women and two young men.
  • The Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge stretches along 50 miles of southern Maine coastline from Kittery to Cape Elizabeth. The Refuge is made up of 619 individual acquisition parcels and continues to add land from willing donors and sellers.
  • The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves throughout the nation that collectively encompass over 1 million acres of protected land and that conduct important research and deliver education programs for people of all ages. 4,000 children and 3,500 adults participate in the Reserve's educational programs each year.
208 Sanford Road
Wells, ME 04090
207-646-5113