Wells has rung in the New Year and is welcoming 2024 with open arms. We hope that you and your families had a safe and joy-filled holiday season. We here in the Town of Wells are reflecting on the successes of 2023, while simultaneously looking ahead to 2024 with a hopeful perspective, ideas for change and an ever forward-looking vision for Wells. While you make the most of the season, read on for a glimpse at what's happing in and around our Town offices.

Photo Courtesy of Wells resident, Jen Lippe

Did you know...previous editions of the newsletter are archived on our website. These are great resources for information, updates, and articles that were previously released.

You can access our September Newsletter, October newsletter, December newsletter and more!

Beach areas undergo preparations for upcoming dredge

Dredge is on target to begin January 8th

Michael Yorke, Harbormaster

The Harbor certainly has a different look this winter with all the floats and moorings removed for the upcoming dredge. The cormorants usually balance on the mooring balls to dry their wings and the seals would haul out on the floats to soak up the sun’s warm rays. A few seals have adapted to the conditions and sunbathe on the sand bar at low tide, let’s hope this trend catches on till the floats are back in place.

Michels Construction has been awarded the dredging contract for the Wells Federal Navigation Project and has begun to fence off portions of the Eastern shore and Drake’s Island parking lots. This week, they began to truck in and stage dredge pipes, which will be fused together and used to transport the sand onto Drake’s Island Beach. Michels Construction is currently dredging the harbor in Scarborough and using the sand to replenish the Town’s West beach.


Sometime next week, we will begin to see Michels starting to mobilize some heavy equipment as the Wells dredge is slated to begin on January 8th and be wrapped up by March 15th.


Clamming season started December 2nd and is open every other weekend and holidays until the end of March.

Special Fuel Fund provides relief for Wells residents

The Town of Wells has a charitable fuel program. We call it the “Special Fuel Fund” and individuals and businesses have generously donated to it for many years now. Its purpose is to assist eligible residents who have applied for LIHEAP and are waiting for acceptance or who have expended all their LIHEAP award and have no other options to obtain fuel. It should not be considered as an emergency program. We do try to respond quickly but cannot guarantee same day delivery. This fund is available to Wells Residents ONLY.


It is administered by the General Assistance Office at the Wells Town Hall. We use the Federal Hypothermia guidelines for eligibility: A Resident Household containing a household member over the age of 62 or under the age of 2 and/or a member that is disabled.


Please call when your tank reads at or below a ¼ full (#2 fuel oil or K-1) (Propane at 20lbs of pressure or less). Your tank must be able to accommodate the full 100 gallon delivery (propane for the gauge to read at 100 psi) as our provider will not make multiple deliveries to reach a total of 100 gal.



The Special Fuel Fund provides 100 gallons of fuel (oil, K-1 or Propane) one time per calendar year. Each household is encouraged to apply for the federally Funded LIHEAP Program through York County Community Action Center.

Should you wish to donate, you can mail or drop off a check payable to: Town of Wells Special Fuel Fund (Tax Deductible).

 

As always, if your household is experiencing financial distress please contact General Assistance at (207) 361-8866 to determine eligibility for assistance and/or referrals to appropriate resources.

Who is liable for plow-damaged mailboxes? Property lines explained

The Planning Office and Public Works Department have received many questions over the years about property lines along roads. This article is to shed some light on the subject.


It is a common misconception that lot owners believe their property ownership extends to the edge of the pavement or gravel of a road. This is seldom the case. Roads are located within a street right of way. These right of ways are typically 50 feet in width but will vary depending on how the street was created. Old streets were created by Towns and Counties in the 1700 and 1800’s and were usually 3 rods in width. A rod is equal to 16.5 feet, so many streets are 49.5 feet in width. More travelled county roads/streets were 4 rods or 66 feet in width. Even in colonial times, it was known the roads need to be cleared of trees wider than the travel way/road surface and ditches and swales are required to handle drainage. Newer streets that are part of residential subdivisions are mostly 50 feet in width although some are only 40 feet.


If a property owner reads their deed or knows where their lot corners are marked, the markers will usually be approximately 10 feet from the edge of pavement or gravel. Property corner markers can be stone or concrete bounds, iron pipes, iron pins or can be an old stone wall or barbed wire fence. The distance from the pavement will vary based on the right of way width and whether the paved surface is located in the center of the right of way.

Many fences, lawns, stone walls and other landscaping items extend into the Town or private street right of ways. These types of items can be subject to damage or removal during construction of utilities or road upgrades or reconstruction. These items are at risk because they are not on the lot owner’s property.


Coming into winter, this is important to realize due to almost all mailboxes being located within the street right of way. If a Town plow destroys a mailbox, the Town is not liable for that damage. The mailbox is an encroachment into a Town street. There is also a State statute that clearly absolves the Town from such damage claims.

New Code and Planning Office Fee Schedules

The Code Office and Planning Office have adopted new fee schedules, effective as of January 1, 2024. 


  • The Planning Office fee schedule can be found here. Please call the Planning Office at 207-646-5187 with any questions. 
  • The Code Office fee schedule can be found here. Please call the Code Office at 207-646-5187 with any questions.

Staff Spotlight:

Nick Slater


Name: Nick Slater


Department: Wells Police Department


Position: Patrol Officer


Year Started: 2023


Favorite thing about your position:


So far, one of the best parts of my experience has been getting the chance to interact with the public and truly take the concept of community policing to heart. This summer, I enjoyed having the opportunity to drive on beach roads with the windows down, talk with people, and act as a positive presence in the community. I try and go to Congdon's After Dark once a week to say hi to folks there and help people see our department in a positive way.


What do you like to do in your spare time:



Baseball has always been a passion of mine and I would like to try and coach baseball in the future. I also enjoy wrestling.

Clam Licenses now available at the Town Hall

Clam licenses are now available at the Wells Town Hall. These day licenses are first come, first serve and must be purchased in person. They can be purchased in advance, for the price of $20 per day. All licenses are non-refundable.



There are five available Resident Licenses and five available Non-Resident Licenses. Please contact the Town Clerk's office, at (207) 646-2882 with any questions.

Please note that no commercial digging is permitted.

Wells Library welcomes 2024 with new programs and activities

Cindy Appleby, Library Director

Welcome 2024!!

Did you make a New Year’s resolutions to meet new people? To learn a new craft or improve that high school French? We’ve got activities for you!


French Club

Thursdays at 4:00 pm

Join us for an informal approach to practicing or re-learning French. Anyone with a French Language interest is welcome to participate. Venez parler français avec nous!


Fiber Arts

Fridays at 10:30 am

Join us on Fridays to show off your latest knitting creation, get tips on your crochet technique, and just chat with old friends and make some new ones. All kinds of needlework and all levels of ability welcome!

 

Friends of the Library

Second Wednesday at 10:15 am

Come to the monthly Friends of the Library meeting, meet some new people, and learn how the Friends support the library. If you have more available time, they can use your help sorting donated books and stocking the shelves of the ongoing book sale on Monday mornings at 10:00 am.

 

Or just come work on the puzzle on the puzzle table, read the newspaper, and hang out. We’d love to see you at the library in 2024!

 

And check out our new story walk on the pier Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer.

Did you know?


Did you know the Library has added WIFI hotspots to their collection? Wells cardholders ages 18 and older can check out a hotspot for one week at a time, with no renewals. The hotspot uses T-Mobile 5G signal, and up to 10 devices can connect to the signal.


Please ask at the circulation desk or call 207-646-8181 to check availability.

Wells Public Library

Police Department reminds dogs owners to renew their licenses

Jo-Ann Putnam, Chief of Police

REMINDER! Dog Licenses expired on December 31, 2023!


To renew your license or license a new dog in Wells, please visit the Town Clerks Office located in the Town Hall. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm. The licenses are $6.00 for spayed/neutered dogs and $11.00 for unaltered dogs.


Please remember to bring a current RABIES CERTIFICATE with you even if it is the same one from previous years. We are working with a new system and want to ensure that we have all the correct information.


The state uses dog licenses to keep track of Rabies vaccines within each town. We have seen an increase in dog bite cases this year, making it even more important to vaccinate and license your dogs. It is helpful to have all the information on hand when handling a dog bite case, whether the victim be another dog or a human. It gives us the ability to put minds at ease and keep track of quarantine lengths and processes.


The last day to license your dog is January 31, 2024, after that a late fee of $25.00 will be applied beginning February 1st, so make sure that you license your dog(s) prior to January 31st. If there are any concerns that you will be unable to license your dog before the due date for any reason, please contact ACO Johnston at 207-646-9354 (x129).


Please call the Town Clerks Office (207-361-8891) or Animal Control Officer Ashley Johnston (207-646-9354) with any general questions. 

Ordinance change approved by voters to create College Zone

Mike Livingston, Town Planner & Engineer

Ordinance Change: At the November Special Town Meeting, the voters approved creating a College Zone on the York County Community College property. This will allow the college to evaluate and pursue the addition of student housing to the existing campus property.

Future ordinance changes possibly for the June 2024 Town Meeting could include the following: Short Term Rental regulations and licensing; Workforce housing ordinance; Updates to Lodging facility requirements; Updates to Accessory dwelling unit requirements, affordable housing and multi-family developments.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is anticipated to publish the final version of the revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps in January. This will result in the Town submitting a request for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) which is based on more detailed analysis and modelling of storm impacts and the characteristics of the Wells coastline. The revised maps and associated floodplain management ordinance will need to be revised to coincide with the map changes and FEMA requirements.

Wells Town Hall to close on Monday, January 15th

Please plan ahead, the Wells Town Hall Offices will be closed on Monday, January 15th 2024 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


The Town Hall Offices will reopen with normal business hours again on Tuesday, January 16th.


Thank you for your understanding.

Fire Department hosts the Town's inaugural Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Mark Dupuis, Fire Chief

A seasonably warm and sunny December 16th day was the perfect setting for the Town of Wells inaugural Wreaths Across America Ceremony. In what will now be an annual ceremony, this inaugural event was kickstarted by Fire Chief Dupuis- the Fire Department liaison for the 2023 Wreaths Across America. 


There were a total of 20 wreaths from Wreaths Across America. The 8 ceremonial wreaths were presented by active service members, veterans, and town officials. These wreaths were presented for each branch of the military, and subsequently placed on the memorials of our veterans. The ceremony was officiated by Assistant Chief Jonathan Gay, with Reverend David Hughes providing an opening and closing prayer. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the children of local active Coast Guard members, and we were honored to have the Charles S. Patch American Legion Post #79 of Berwick conduct Taps and the firing salute. Upon completion of the ceremony, the 12 wreaths were laid down at various veteran’s graves who lay in eternal rest at our Ocean View Cemetery. The event was attended by approximately 40 people including active and retired military, Wells Fire Department members, Wells EMS members, and Town Officials. 

The Wells Fire Department would like to thank all those who attended and made this event possible. This ceremony was the foundation for us to build upon as a community for the years to come. 


In addition, the Fire Chief would like to publicly thank those members of the Wells Fire Department that stepped up during this time to put together such a fitting and worthwhile tribute in record time. This ceremony was put together in less than two weeks from the time of the registration of the cemetery in Wells and December 16th when the ceremony was held.  

Coles Hill Road to close on Wednesday, January 3rd

Please be aware, Coles Hill Road will be closed on Wednesday, January 3rd starting at 7:00 AM. The culvert adjacent to the Merriland Farms Golf Course will be replaced, and the work will take one day to complete.


This date has been moved to January 3rd, due to the rainfall throughout the last week of December.


Please plan accordingly. Thank you for your understanding.

Wells plays key role in 2023 Wreaths Across America convoy to Arlington

In late November, we announced that the Town of Wells had been selected to participate in Wreaths Across America this December, an esteemed annual tradition of placing wreaths at each gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery. We take great pride in sharing the details of this journey, and the gratitude we feel for being afforded such an honor.

 

Wells Fire Chief Dupuis was invited this year to act as Fire Department liaison to escort Gold Star Mother President, Pam Stemple, for the entirety of the journey, from Columbia Falls, Maine, to Arlington, Virginia. Sgt. Chris Baez, from Wells Police, has been participating in the Maine portion of the escort for the better part of a decade. He acted as an escort as well, providing safe passage for the Gold & Blue Star families, veterans and tractor-trailers filled with wreaths as they travel through Maine on their journey to Arlington National Cemetery.


The 8 day convoy started on December 8th and finished at Arlington on December 16th, which is National Wreaths Across America Day. It stopped at schools, veteran’s centers, memorials and other public places for memorial services along the way.

The Journey Begins


The convoy began its journey with a sunrise trip to Quoddy Headlight, which is at the Easternmost point of the United States. This lighthouse and location was chosen as the official spot for the first wreath laid to start the journey to Arlington. The convoy then made its way to the Canadian border where the city of Calais, Maine and St. Michael’s, Canada meet on the bridge. Canadian and US officials organized on the bridge to exchange wreaths and share support for both countries’ loss of military personnel over the years.


The convoy then participated in a ceremony at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine. Speakers that evening included Scarborough Chief of Police, Mark Holmquist. The convoy continued on, stopping for a ceremony at York High School, and then traveled South, ending in Groton, Connecticut. Fire Chief Dupuis and Sergeant Baez started their journey together in Columbia Falls, Maine. Sergeant Baez said goodbye after the Maine leg of the journey, and Chief Dupuis continued on to Virginia, providing safe escort to Pam. Communications Coordinator, Rebekah Kelley, joined the convoy in Portland, Maine and traveled the entirety of the journey to Arlington, documenting the experience for all those unable to participate first-hand.


Thank you to all those who came out on December 11th to cheer on the convoy as it passed through Wells on its honorable journey to Arlington National Cemetery. Wells showed an outpouring of support as the vehicles made their way from Portland to York that rainy morning. Despite the inclement weather, the support was evident, as the Wells area displayed the single largest crowd of cheering spectators than anywhere else in the journey thus far.

The Journey Continues


The Wreaths Across America convoy traveled through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, and Maryland, on its way to its final destination in Virginia. The convoy was enthusiastically greeted by large crowds of people lining the streets, cheering school children waving flags, saluting firefighters lined up on the overpasses, first responders and veterans, which made this an incredibly moving and emotional experience.


We had the privilege of stopping in Southbury, Connecticut for a morning flag raising ceremony, and connected with the Southbury Volunteer Fire Department, who welcomed us with open arms as we exchanged patches and created friendships.


One of the most impactful ceremonies we participated in was at Lorewood Grove Elementary School in Delaware, where students individually honored the fallen sons and daughters of the Gold Star parents we traveled with. Many were moved to tears during this ceremony.


We were also honored to personally hang wreaths at the Pentagon in D.C. and view the 9/11 Memorial there. From there, we visited the WWII Memorial to lay wreaths, alongside all those who have travelled with us, many of whom became close friends.

Pam Stemple: American Gold Star Mother President

We were honored to transport Gold Star Mother President, Pam Stemple, who became an inspiration to us as she shared the story of her beloved son, Thomas, and his sacrifice. Pam lost Thomas in 2019 due to injuries that he sustained in Afghanistan. Pam became a fast friend to us, as well as to Wells.


Pam participated in many of the ceremonies at stops along the way and shared the powerful story of her son’s life and patriotism. We were in awe of her strength and her ability to openly share her story.

National Wreaths Across America Day: Meeting Tabitha Farmer

On the final day, December 16th, as we prepared for the wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery, we were introduced to an additional Gold Star Family, Tabitha Farmer and her four young children. Jonathan Farmer, who lost his life on January 16th, 2019, left behind his entire family while he was in Manbij, Syria on patrol. He was killed when an IED detonated under his feet.


Tabitha carries her love for him everywhere and she and the family visit his grave often. Their story was an inspiration to us and how she manages her family and their loss. She continues to support other families who have lost loved ones and carries their torch along with her husbands to ensure they are never forgotten.

Wreath Laying at Arlington National Cemetery

We, alongside Tabitha, her family, the other drivers and volunteers who were a part of the long and emotional journey, and thousands of other participants, spent the morning laying wreaths at every single graveside in Arlington National Cemetery. Over 230,000 wreaths were placed on graves there this year. We all held the single mission of supporting those who have lost their life in protecting our freedoms. The experience was a memorable and difficult one for us, as we became familiar with the sacrifices that were made on our behalf. Those we travelled with have endured such sorrow and loss, but showed incredible resilience and strength beyond anything we could ever imagine.


We also had the unbelievable honor of participating in the wreath laying ceremonies at various gravesites in Arlington, including President Taft, Robert Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy, U.S.S. Maine mast and the Tomb of the Unknown solider. It was chilling and moving to be a part of something so huge.


Our journey with Wreaths Across America was more meaningful than we ever could have imagined and we were not only grateful to have the opportunity, but were honored to be able to keep you apprised of our journey. Thank you for allowing us to share this powerful and emotional experience with you. If you would like to know more about Wreaths Across America, you can visit their website here.

2024 Transfer Station Stickers required starting January 16th

A reminder that 2024 Transfer Station stickers will be required to access the Wells Transfer Station facilities. The deadline for entrance into the Transfer Station without a 2024 sticker is January 16th, 2024.



Stickers can be purchased at the Wells Finance Department, at the Town Hall, located at 208 Sanford Road, during regular business hours.

Current Board and Committee vacancies available

Apply today!

  • Board of Assessment Review - 1 member vacancies; 2 alternate member vacancies
  • Budget Committee -1 alternate member vacancy
  • Comprehensive Plan Update Committee- 1 member vacancy
  • Energy Advisory Committee - 2 alternate member vacancies
  • Planning Board - 1 alternate member vacancy
  • Recreation Commission - 1 member vacancy, 1 alternate vacancy
  • WEMS Board - 2 member vacancies
  • Zoning Board of Appeals - 1 associate vacancy
Apply Now

Select Board presents donation to local non-profit organization supporting mental health

At the December 19th Select Board meeting, Chairman John MacLeod presented Stay; For Life a donation on behalf of the Select Board and the Town of Wells. Stay; For Life is an organization founded by Angela Stevens, a Wells resident who lost her son, Trent, to suicide in 2022. This non-profit organization’s mission is to save lives by advocating for men's mental health and suicide prevention.



The Town of Wells and the Board of Selectmen are proud to present this donation in support of mental health awareness and in memory of Trent.


If you, or someone you know is struggling, Stay; For Life offers a variety of resources, including suicide resources, mental health resources, grief resources, Veteran's resources, and LGBTQ resources, which can be found here.

Stay For Life

Wells Police Department congratulates graduates

On December 15th, three members of the Wells Police Department graduated from the 44th Basic Law Enforcement Training Program (BLETP). Please join us in congratulating Officer Nicholas Slater, Officer Christopher Caldeira, and Officer Avery Hubbard.


We are proud of the hard work they have shown throughout the training program and are confident that their skills will prove to be an asset to their department. We look forward to having you join our team!

Help our Public Works crew this winter by being prepared

Though we have yet to experience anything more than a dusting this year, winter weather is imminent and we ask that you are prepared when the inevitable storm does hit Wells.


Here are some ways that you can help to make a winter storm event easier on both you and on the Public Works crew:


  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving conditions (snow or all-season tires, good wiper blades, a good battery, added weight in the truck, etc)
  • Allow yourself additional driving time to arrive at your destination.
  • Reduce speed (even 4x4's have difficulty stopping on the ice)
  • Watch for black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses. Always take caution when traveling in these areas.
  • Do not shovel, blow or plow snow from driveways into or across the road. This practice is prohibited and can cause a serious traffic hazard. If possible, it is best to place snow on the side of the driveway opposite the direction from which the plow is coming. That way, the plow will carry snow away from the driveway rather than back into it.
  • Leave adequate distance, at least 200 feet whenever following a piece of snow removal equipment.
  • Finally, please be patient. The Town of Wells has 140.56 miles of centerline roads, which totals approximately 280 miles of roads that need to be addressed. Snow removal is a difficult and time-consuming job; we strive to accomplish this task in a safe and timely manner.

Subscribe to E-Notify to stay informed


Stay informed of the most important notifications from the Town of Wells by subscribing to the Notify Me feature of the Town website. You can choose to receive custom email or text alerts for a variety of different updates, including emergency alerts, voting results, road closures, Town Hall closures, posted agendas, bid postings, calendar updates and town employment alerts.


This feature is free and available to any member of the public. You are able to unsubscribe at any time.

Notify Me

Apply today to join our team!

The Town of Wells has several open employment opportunities.


We encourage you to take a look at the job opportunities currently available with the Town of Wells on our Employment Opportunities page. There is so much important work that goes in to keeping the town running, often behind the scenes.


If nothing is a great fit for you, consider passing the listings along to friends and family who might be looking for a satisfying and important career.

Employment Opportunities

Stay informed with the RAVE Alert System

Sign up for the RAVE Alert System for York County to ensure you receive emergency alerts.


​The RAVE Alert System is a reverse 911 application that allows citizens to sign up for emergency alerts. The program allows users to create a profile to alert first responders to their specific needs as well. For example, if there was an evacuation, the program would let first responders know if a user needed evacuation assistance through their profile. The profiles allow users to mark if they need specialized assistance, are dependent on electric supply, or even if they have pets or livestock.

​​

Examples of alerts include: winter storm notices, evacuation notices, flood alerts, bio-terrorism alerts, and boil water notices.

​​

Click here to Sign Up for RAVE Alerts.

Town of Wells January Meeting Calendar

January 2, 2024, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM; Wells Town Hall

January 3, 2024, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

January 8, 2024, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM; Town Hall

  • Wells Conservation Commission Meeting

January 11, 2024, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

January 16, 2024, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM; Wells Town Hall

January 17, 2024, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

January 17, 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

January 22, 2024, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM; Town Hall

January 29, 2024, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Agendas and Minutes

Beaches

Calendar

Employment Opportunities

Town Code & Charter

We are always looking for ways to improve communication with our community members.

As always, if there is anything we can do to better communicate information, please let us know by emailing rkelley@wellstown.org


Be sure to check out our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages using the buttons below. You can also see news and updates on the Town of Wells website at www.wellstown.org.

Town of Wells

208 Sanford Road

Wells, ME 04090

207-646-5113

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