HOWLAND, Maine — After 37 years of faithful and diligent service, Town Manager Glenna Armour is retiring, town officials said Friday.
Armour, who will retire for health reasons, will continue to work for the town a few hours a day for several months, said Frank Kirsch, a member of the Board of Selectmen. She will help town workers with day-to-day affairs, including the town’s 2009-10 fiscal budget and the transition from her tenure to the next manager’s.
“I imagine it will be June or July before she fully retires,” Kirsch said Friday. “After 37 years, it will be a big loss. She has meant so much to the town for so many years.”
Armour’s current projects include the revitalization of the former Howland Tannery building site by 2012. She is working with town and Penobscot River Restoration Trust officials on a proposed fish bypass that would be alongside the Howland dam.
The trust’s plans include building the bypass, greening some tannery land, razing three crumbling buildings, and digging a channel and building a bridge over it for the on-site power station.
The project is part of the restoration trust’s plans to buy three dams and open up nearly 1,000 miles of habitat to Atlantic salmon, alewives and other sea-run fish now blocked from migrating upstream. The elimination of the tannery building also would help revitalize the town’s economy, as it’s among the largest industrial sites in town.
Armour also was heavily involved in the town’s comprehensive development plan, which was completed a few years ago, said John A. Neel, who has worked extensively with Armour as a member of the SAD 31 board of directors and the planning board, among other things.
Neel described Armour as a hardworking, incisive and thoroughly down-to-earth manager, who, though diplomatic, would not hesitate to say where she stood on an issue.
“She is very knowledgeable,” Neel said. “She cuts right to the point.”
Armour could not be reached for comment Friday.