NEWPORT, Maine — The Board of Selectmen, along with Town Manager Jim Ricker, have made it a priority to keep the town’s cemeteries spruced up, and that was one of many topics that were discussed at Wednesday’s selectmen’s meeting at the town office.
“This board has taken particular interest in redoing all our cemeteries, making sure every one of them is under our control, and all of them are kept up to a standard the same as Riverside,” said Ricker.
Riverside Cemetery is the town’s lone active cemetery, Ricker said.
The town has been focused on sprucing up historic Hall Cemetery, which has graves dating to the 1700s.
“It has old fencing, just rotting old boards that kind of fell into the woods,” said Ricker. “We went down and cleaned all that up. We’ve been mowing it and taking good care of it. But the fencing, I didn’t like, and the board wanted it cleaned up.”
The board may look to some volunteers from the Mountain View Correctional Center in Charleston to pitch in.
Ricker said the center has a restoration team.
“The earliest we can get them is probably in September, which is a couple months away now,” he said.
Selectmen also gave unanimous approval of a special town meeting slated for July 20 at the recreation building and agreed that a new police officer will be hired at the next selectmen’s meeting later this month, Ricker said.
The board also discussed giving Newport Beach, located on Water Street, a bit of a cleanup.
“Right now it’s about 30 feet wide; it used to be 100 feet wide,” Ricker said. “The grasses have overgrown over the years [and] it was never kept up. So we want to work on the beach.”
Ricker added that the beach is open to the public and swimming lessons are conducted there during the summer.
Paving will start on a few town roads later on in the month, including Kitchen Hill Road, Camp Benson Road and atop Libby Hill.
The board also agreed that the town office will be closed on Friday as the funeral of former longtime selectman John Buckland, who died recently, is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Corinna.
An earlier version of this story misstated the name of a former longtime selectman for whose funeral the town office would be closed on Friday. He was John Buckland, not John Hoffman.