The Wells Connector
Connecting local government to the people we serve!
Parks & Recreation Department
Tina LeBlanc, Director of Parks & Recreation
Winter programs are going fairly well despite the roller coaster of the pandemic guidelines and requirements. We have had many situations where we have had children in the schools test positive resulting in quarantines and missing our programs but overall with the vaccinations being available to the younger folks more children are able to continue to participate despite being considered a close contact. This has been beneficial to help our programs to continue and still able to participate in games and other activities. We did have to cancel our swim classes for the season as there was no way of wearing a mask in the pool. We are hoping to continue the program in the near future if possible.
We are excited for the snow predictions for the weekend as playing in the snow is an all time favorite of most children. Our Skate, Cross Country Ski, and Snowshoe rental shop is open M-F 8:30AM-3:30PM this week and will be closed during the storm on Saturday 1/29 but will be open again on Sunday from 10AM-1PM so come get some winter gear to play in! Packages are $5/day and $12/weekend.
If there is anyone who is interested in volunteering to help with future pond snow removal please contact the Recreation office at 646-5826. 
I realize the snow is finally arriving but we are in the process of planning for our Summer Day Camp program and are looking for Camp Counselors! If you or you know someone who is interested in a summer position please contact the Recreation office! If you have experience working with children, are energetic, and love being outdoors then this may be just the summer job for you!
Stay warm, safe, and have fun!
Public Works Department
Carol Murray, Director of Public Works
Winter brings lots of variable and often unexpected weather to New England. The storm that hit on Martin Luther King Day, was one of those strange ones. In Wells, it was raining as the storm moved in. But the ground temperature was still well below 32 degrees, because of the subzero temperatures in the days before. The rain hit the pavement and immediately froze, creating an icy surface that was extremely slippery. The DPW plow drivers had to report to work, traveling those same icy roads, then went out to try to treat the ice. Almost all the plow drivers had their plow trucks slide on the ice and when those heavy trucks start to slide it is quite a hair-raising experience for the driver! Almost as soon as they put salt down the rain washed it away, before it had a chance to work. This storm was a reminder that the air temperature over 32 degrees does not mean there isn’t ice on the roads. 
Finance Department
Jodie Sanborn, Finance Director
Winter in the Finance Department coincides with the timing of tax lien foreclosure. Many of you might be asking what is tax lien foreclosure? Tax lien foreclosure automatically occurs when a tax lien remains unpaid and has reached the end of its redemption period. The redemption period for a tax lien runs 18 months from the recording of the tax lien certificate at the York County Registry of Deeds. If taxes remain unpaid the Town becomes the owner of the property. 

When a tax lien is initially filed for unpaid taxes, the department works to collect the outstanding taxes. Staff monitors the outstanding tax accounts to ensure any payments for the account are being posted to the oldest outstanding account. Once a tax lien has been paid in full, staff will prepare a discharge to be recorded at the registry to release the tax lien. For accounts that remain unpaid 45-30 days from the conclusion of the 18-month redemption period, staff will send a certified notice to the taxpayer informing the owner of the upcoming automatic foreclosure. To avoid foreclosure and retain ownership of the property the taxpayer must pay the outstanding tax lien balance in full for the year that is in danger of tax foreclosure. This year any unpaid 2020 real estate tax liens will automatically foreclose on March 16, 2022. The department encourages taxpayers that receive the 45-30 day notice to contact the office immediately to determine a course of action to retain their property. This year the notices mailed on Friday, January 28th

The Town of Wells does offer a 60-day buy-back period to help a taxpayer buy their property back once it has automatically foreclosed. However, during this extension the taxpayer must pay all outstanding taxes due on the account. This requires the taxpayer to pay three years of tax payments. The 60-day buyback period will start on March 17th and end on May 16th this year.  

Assessing Department
Keeley Lambert, Assessor
Happy New Year from the Assessing Office. As we come to the end of January our office is busy sending out the Personal Property Declaration forms for the businesses in town. Some have come in already for us to process. If you own a business in town that has not received one yet, please reach out to us at 646-6081 so we can go over things with you and get you the correct form. These forms are due back to us no later than May 1st. It will take a few months to go through all the forms and start to process that portion of our assessment roll. There are options for BETE and BETR exemption programs offered by the State. Please contact us for help with this.

In the same vein of thought we will also be sending out all our notifications to the campground owners in town asking for updated information on any sales of units in their campgrounds that we were not notified of. It is very important we get all the latest information on these transactions because they are mainly done through a bill of sale that is not registered with the county in any way.

We are continuously updating our tax rolls and going out in the field to do our pick ups of new construction and any changes that may be made to homes that have pulled building permits. It is always good to remember April 1st is the assessment date. Please pay special attention to that if you are transferring any property. Our tax bills will go out to the owner of record on that date. The 2021 sales list is updated and online.

Along with the April 1st date all Homestead, Veterans and Blind exemption forms are due in our office by then. Please see our homepage for copies and links to these documents. 

Code Enforcement
Jodine Adams, Director of Code Enforcement

The Town of Wells does not perform Electrical, Propane, Natural Gas or Solid Fuel Permits locally. It is the responsibility of the Electrical Contractor to obtain all the necessary permits and inspections at the State level for Electrical work. Plumbing Permits are obtained in the Wells Code Enforcement Office. Propane, Natural Gas & Solid Fuel work does not require a permit at the Town or State level.

A homeowner can do their own work if it is their primary residence. If the dwelling has any of the following circumstances it must have a STATE OF MAINE LICENSED INDIVIDUAL perform the work for electrical, plumbing, propane, natural gas and solid fuel:
·      If there is more than one dwelling unit to include accessory dwelling units attached or part of the structure
·      If it is attached to other units in separate ownership
·      Attached to a business or commercial activity 

A General Contractor would also need the necessary licenses to work with the electrical, plumbing, heating/HVAC.

Police Department
Jo-Ann Putnam, Chief of Police
We want to remind the public that in trying times there is help. Sometimes it’s just finding the information to connect with the services you need. There are several crisis lines for you to access and we have compiled some of them on a card which we call the “Wells Police Help card”. If you or a loved one are struggling, reach out and remember, it’s ok not be ok. This help card has several crisis hotlines that are all available 24/7 for you. If you don’t find the specific service, you are looking for please call and we will try to assist you. Please contact Captain Kevin Chabot by calling our business line (207)646-9354 if you would like a card for your business or household.
208 Sanford Road
Wells, ME 04090