FEBRUARY 1, 2023
There is no denying that Wells is in the heart of Winter, with Mother Nature interrupting an unseasonably warm spell with no less than three winter storms in the span of six days. Wells, still reeling from the effects of last month's "Grinch Storm" and coastal flooding, once again saw itself up against the forces of nature, facing power outages, fallen trees, broken power lines, and hazardous conditions. Our Public Works and Public Safety Departments worked tirelessly, day and night to clear the roads, respond to emergency events, and ensure the Town's safety. While Wells is no stranger to inclement weather, these last few severe storms have shown how valuable our Public Safety, Public Works and Town staff are. Thank you for helping to keep our residents safe and coming together as a team!
Did you know...the Town of Wells Select Board meetings are streamed live for your viewing on Facebook and YouTube? You can watch previously recorded meetings at any time, or tune in live to share a comment or question for the chance to have it shared during the public forum.
Stay up to date and view the meeting minutes at your convenience.
Photo Credit: Steve Wells
Winter storms slam Wells; Public Works swiftly responds
Carol Murry, Public Works Director
The town has experienced a huge reminder that winter is a long way from over yet! The “parade of storms” that finished on Wednesday, January 25th made it very clear that it is not time to put snow shovels away. The drum major of that storm parade blew in on Sunday, January 22nd, ironically one month after the arrival of the “Grinch” Christmas storm.
  • At 3 AM, dispatch called DPW and said the roads were getting slippery. 
  • By 4 AM, all of DPW was deployed, along with the contractors that work with us in the winter, and the seasonal part-time employees that help plow. There was one seasonal employee that slid off the road trying to get into work. Luckily he was not hurt, and still wanted to come in to work. 
  • By 5 AM, the devastation was coming clearly into focus. Plowing was proving to be close to impossible because of the number of trees down across the town’s 130 centerline miles of roads. The plow drivers tried to plow around the trees and branches to at least get one lane open, but several roads were just impassable. 
Dispatch was answering calls as fast as possible, and relaying the information out to the department that was needed for a response. The Fire Department usually could be out cutting trees to keep roads open, but had so many types of calls that it was difficult for them to find any time for that work. The Police Department had public safety calls that they were responding to that stretched their resources to the breaking point.

The plow drivers tried to work in pairs to get trees off the major roads, plus plow where they could. As they plowed up to downed trees, they had to get out and assess whether wires were tangled in the trees. Trees across the road were joined by telephones poles and live wires.
  • By 6 AM, one of the contractors that plows snow was able to bring in some employees that could run chainsaws to help clear downed trees and limbs. 
  • Still, by 7 AM, there were many roads that were impassable and in the daylight, the extent of the storm damage became visible. The sound of falling trees was constant and created an eerie, anxious feeling atmosphere. As trees were cut out of the road, the plows came to push the snow and debris out of the road and put salt down. CMP was working to clear their wires and assess the damage to their facilities and develop a restoration action plan. As they got their wires out of trees, DPW came in back to finish cutting up the trees and get the remnants out of the roads, plow and salt. 
  • At 5 AM, the Town Manager made the decision to close Town Hall because so many of the roads were impassable, or barely passable. The power outages around Wells kept growing as reports came in. 
  • At 5 PM, only 255 CMP customers out of 10,500 Wells CMP customers had power.
The DPW crew, contractors and seasonal employees worked until 1 AM Tuesday morning, four stayed on.  They were back at work at 4 am. Their long, long day finally ended at 3 PM. They were back to work at 7 AM on Wednesday, went home at 3 PM and came back in at 10 PM until 3 AM Thursday, January 26th.
On January 24th and 25th CMP and their subcontractors used the DPW parking lot as a staging area.  By the time the DPW crews came in at 10 PM to go out to plow, the CMP vehicles were gone, so during the night the DPW plows were able to get the town roads open, plowed and salted. On Thursday, January 26th, the DPW crew was back in at 7 AM, with less than 4 hours of sleep and were back out trying to get snow pushed back to make room for the snow that will come with the next storm. 

Winter is not over, but hopefully the storms will take a break for a while so 8 hours of sleep is possible!
Wells to adopt new Transfer Station policies
The Town of Wells will see a change in policy regarding the Transfer Station bag price and resident sticker mandate.

Beginning on March 1, 2023, all residents will be required to display a Wells Transfer Station sticker on their vehicle for any use of the Transfer Station. Stickers will be required for each vehicle that enters the Transfer Station, regardless of household number. The sticker shall be displayed on the lower left-hand corner of the vehicle windshield and must be affixed. The Transfer Station Stickers will cost $5.00 per sticker and will be available for purchase at the Wells Town Hall, located at 208 Sanford Road, Wells, ME 04090, during regular business hours.

The Wells Board of Selectmen will meet to vote on a policy used to issue these stickers, at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023.
Once voted on, the stickers will be sold at the Wells Town Hall, tentatively starting February 8th. Wells residents will be notified when the stickers become available for sale, as well as informed of the policies that will be adhered to for the sale of these stickers.
In the meantime, residents can complete a Transfer Station Sticker by Mail Request Form here. (forms will be processed after the February 7th vote)

The price of the orange Pay-as-You-Throw trash bags will increase to $4.00 a bag, and will be sold only in the 33 gallon bag size. 
The price of demo will also increase from $0.08 per pound to $0.12 per pound.

These changes are not intended to generate additional revenue to the Transfer Station, but rather to ensure no losses are incurred when operating the facility.

All changes will officially take effect on March 1, 2023.  
Wells gives a warm welcome to its newest member of the Assessing Department
Diane Drescher is joining the Town Of Wells as the new Administrative Assistant in the Assessor’s Office. She has just finished her second week of working with the great team of Keeley, Ana, and Kimberly, and is enjoying her new position immensely! Living in Wells full-time for the past 6 years (and part-time since 2011), she spends summers and early fall at SeaVu South, and winters and spring at the Elmwood Resort Hotel, … truly giving her the very best of living in this beautiful, friendly town.
She is eager to assist Keeley and her staff in the re-assessment process, and hopes that her real estate and business consulting experience of over 35 years will prove helpful to her colleagues as well as the citizens of this lovely community. In her spare time, Diane enjoys reading, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, kayaking, gardening, entertaining family and friends, and exploring all that the beautiful state of Maine offers. In addition to her part-time position with the Assessor’s Office, Diane continues to work part-time as the Concierge at the Wentworth by the Sea Resort in Newcastle, New Hampshire, and enjoys telling her guests of the many wonderful areas of Maine that they simply must visit!

We are thrilled to welcome Diane to our team at the Town Hall and the Assessing Department has gained a wonderful employee!
Warm up this winter at Wells Public Library!
Cindy Appleby, Library Director
Hello, February!

Allison Herman and her daughter, Emma, along with Cindy Appleby joined staff members from Town Hall to serve at the January 21st Days of Warming at the Senior Center. Delicious food was served and attendees had a wonderful time!

Come shake off the winter blahs at a fun library program:

  • Fiction Book Club
Tuesday, February 7th , 2:00 pm: Discussing The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
  • Adult Crafternoon
Thursday, February 9th, 2:00 pm: Mosaic Trivets with Leslie Doherty. Registration is required.
  • An Introduction to Community Solar
Thursday, February 16th, 2:00 pm: EnergySage will discuss solar options. This is a hybrid program, in person and via Zoom.
Looking for fun things to do during winter break? Come to the library!
Lunar New Year Kids Scavenger Hunt
Tuesday, February 21st, 2:00 pm: Come find the clues and solve the puzzle!
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2:00 pm: Come learn all about tidal pools and touch some of the creatures that live there.
Family Movie Night
Thursday, February 23rd, 6:00 pm: Bring your blankets and food and enjoy Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (PG). Popcorn will be provided.
Kids Crafternoon
Friday, February 24th, 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Drop by to unleash your creativity with a variety of crafts.

There will be no AARP tax-aide at the library this year due to AARP’s lack of volunteers. Check our tax webpage for other options. 2022 federal tax forms are available in the library.
Tax Foreclosure process begins; Vanity plate statue sees changes
Jodie Sanborn, Finance Director
Winter has arrived in Wells and brings with it the start of the 2021 tax foreclosure process. Tax foreclosure is an automatic event that occurs 18 months from when a tax lien was recorded at the Registry of Deeds. The foreclosure date of the 2021 tax liens is March 16, 2023. Prior to the foreclosure date, delinquent taxpayers and mortgage holders will be notified by the forty-five day notice of foreclosure. This gives the taxpayer notice that payment must be received before the close of business on March 16. If payment is not made to pay the 2021 tax year in full, the property will foreclose.
The property then enters into a sixty day buy-back period. During the next sixty days, the taxpayer would need to purchase the property back from the Town. To do that, the taxpayer would need to pay all outstanding taxes on the property (2021, 2022 and 2023 in full). Taxpayers that currently have a balance on their 2021 taxes are encouraged to pay the balance prior to the sixty day buy-back period.
Taxpayers can call the Finance Department at 207-646-5113, ext 356 to check the status of their tax account.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), Department of Secretary of State updated the vanity plate statute back in September 2022 and now customers can no longer apply for, and receive, a vanity plate at a BMV branch office. A customer interested in a vanity plate will need to apply for the vanity plate on-line here or through the mail. Customers will need to register with a non-vanity plate until the vanity plate can be obtained.

Previously issued vanity plates that no longer comply with the statute will be recalled by the BMV, Department of Secretary of State. The recall process will occur gradually with letters being sent out to customers explaining the reason for the recall and next steps. All customer’s whose plates are recalled will have 30 days from the date of the recall letter to either apply for a new, compliant vanity plate, or be issued a standard number plate. Customers can appeal by contacting the BMV at 207-624-9000 ext 52149 or visit the state website.
Town of Wells property revaluation process underway
Keeley Lambert, Assessor
Vision Government Solutions, in conjunction with the Town of Wells Assessor’s Office, is in the process of conducting a town-wide revaluation. This project will be completed in time for the October tax billing for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. It has been 10 years since the last revaluation.
The people and vehicles working on this project will be seen around town over the next six months. The cars will bear signs that say Assessors Office. Each data collector will be carrying a Vision Government Solutions ID, and will have written documentation from the town stating their affiliation with the project. All Vision representatives and their vehicles are also registered with the Wells Police Department. Property owners are encouraged to ask for this identification. If you have a question as to the identity of a data collector, you should call the police or the Assessor’s Office for further confirmation. Property owners are reminded that specific questions regarding their current assessment should be directed to the Assessor’s Office. Please note that Vision Government Solutions data collectors are not prepared to answer questions concerning current values or Town or State laws.
You can assist in this process by personally checking your property information online on our website. Go to GIS. You will then be connected to the Wells, ME data base. If you require assistance during this process or find inaccurate information in our files, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (207) 646-6081.
Your cooperation will be most appreciated in our endeavor to update our records. Our ultimate goal is equity in taxation. 

 If you have any questions, please contact the Assessor’s office at (207) 646-6081.
Winter activities abound for snow lovers of all ages!
Tina LeBlanc, Parks and Recreation Director
Winter activities are in full swing at the Recreation Department!

Basketball leagues are underway, and preparations are in gear for our Annual 3rd & 4th Grade Girls Basketball Tournament. This tournament has been on hold since COVID, so we are excited to bring it back!

February School Vacation is right around the corner, with a week filled with field trips and activities. New this winter, Old Marsh Country Club is working in partnership with the Recreation Department to offer Indoor Golf Lessons at their Virtual Simulator. Lessons are available for ages 8-17 and adults.
The Winter Rental Shop is open! Mother Nature has thrown quite a bit of the white stuff at us lately, so we might as well get out and play in it!
The Rental Shop has snowshoes, ice skates and cross-country skis available to rent. You can use the equipment here at the Recreation Park or take it off site. The ice rink at the Recreation Park is not open but the trails are open for walking and snowshoeing.
Even in the midst of Winter, the Recreation Department is planning ahead for Spring and Summer! Registration is now open for Lacrosse for grades K-6!
Other spring programs such as Track & Field, Running Club and Archery will be opening for registration soon. Summer Camp planning is also well underway. Soon we will be hiring for Summer Camp and Seasonal Maintenance Staff. 

It’s always “Four Seasons of Fun” at Wells Parks & Recreation! 
Community Solar event to showcase energy efficiency solutions
Every day, millions of Americans shop for renewable energy solutions, such as solar power, but solar is not always an option if you rent or live in a condo community. The process to choose sustainable energy providers can be confusing, expensive, and intimidating. EnergySage is the go-to marketplace for making confident energy decisions and gaining control over the buying process.

EnergySage's online marketplace was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sun-Shot program, to make solar and other renewable energy options affordable and accessible to all Americans. Join the Wells Public Library and EnergySage representatives for an info-session regarding the options for community solar in our community.

This program will be held on Thursday, February 16th at 2 PM at the Wells Public Library. It will be presented as a hybrid session, both in the library and via Zoom.

Please email Stefanie Claydon, for your Zoom invite.
Town staff serve a warm meal and a smile during the Days of Warming
Wells Ogunquit Senior Center
On Saturday, January 21st, the Wells Town Manager, Mike Pardue, and staff came out to the Wells-Ogunquit Senior Center to provide a wonderful meal to the Seniors of Wells during the “Days of Warming.” They dished out warm shepard's pie, provided top notch service to the seniors and everyone came together with smiles, laughter and full bellies. Ray Calabro and Keith Fletcher lent their musical talents to provide live music and entertainment during the event.
On Saturday, January 28th, the Wells Police Department, led by Chief Joanne Putnum and staff, hosted the second "Day of Warming" for the Senior Center, dishing up delicious food and great service. Alan Brock of “A Rose and Two Thorns” provided musical entertainment for the event.
Thank you to those who came out to give their time, share a laugh, and spread the warmth!
Energy Advisory Committee seeks new members
The Energy Advisory Committee is currently looking for members to join its team of dedicated individuals, seeking involvement in bringing more sustainable energy practices to the Town of Wells.
The Energy Committee advises the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen on energy programs, projects and policies which, through conservation and alternative energy use, work to achieve a reduction in Wells’ reliance on fossil fuel. Meetings are held monthly and are project driven.
There are currently two alternate member vacancies, though meeting attendance is encourage to any interested individual.
If you are interested in applying and want to learn more about the committee, email Chair Beth Widmayer.
If you would like to submit a volunteer applications or have questions about volunteering, please email our Volunteer Coordinator, Rebekah Kelley or fill out a Volunteer application today.
If you have submission ideas or requests for The Wells Connector, please contact rkelley@wellstown.org.
208 Sanford Road
Wells, ME 04090