Limestone begins search for new banking branch

By Joshua Archer
Special to the Aroostook Republican
     The topic that kicked off last week’s Limestone selectperson’s meeting was the closure of the Katahdin Trust branch on Main Street.

     “It’s a hardship for retired citizens and those who do not have a computer and don’t do online banking,” Fred Pelletier, selectperson chair, said at the Nov. 2 meeting.

     The board of selectpeople have directed town manager Fred Ventresco to work with Limestone’s community developer to entice a new financial institution to move into Limestone.

     In other business, plans to purchase a new fire truck have been put on hold. According to Fire Chief Jon Poitras, the fire truck they were looking at came from FEMA and according to procedure those fire trucks are never to see action again.

     The Blake Road bridge is in need of repairs and according to the town manager the responsibility is on the town to do any fixing. Ventresco said last week that the state changed legislation back in 2000 and the mandate fell back on towns and today the only way the state will step in to help is if the town decides to remove the bridge.

     It was suggested at last week’s meeting that sealed bids be opened during regular selectpeople meetings. Currently the town manager announces when sealed bids will be opened at town hall ahead of time. The board decided to continue with how the town manager handles the opening of sealed bids, but to now include at least one member of the board of selectpeople at the time of opening.

     Chief Poitras closed public comment with a little show and tell. A FEMA grant the town received back in May helped the volunteer fire department purchase new turn-out equipment. Poitras showed off the department’s new self-contained breathing apparatus along with their new state-of-the-art masks. The department was awarded $120,000 and along with their own $6,000 there was enough money left over to purchase new firefighter boots for the department.