Brewer City Council supports keeping Dorothea Dix open

Posted Jan. 11, 2012, at 1:16 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — City councilors on Tuesday night voted to support local efforts to keep open the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor, which Maine legislators are considering closing for budgetary reasons.

“Dorothea Dix, formerly the Bangor Mental Health Institute, has served this region for many, many years [and] the population of people needing services is increasing,” Councilor Arthur “Archie” Verow said just before the City Council voted unanimously to endorse a resolve in support of keeping the facility open.

The resolve is similar to a Bangor measure passed last month to fight the proposed closing. A 13-member ad hoc committee has been formed and is scheduled to hold its first meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 19, at the City Council chambers in Bangor City Hall.

“It’s not just a city of Bangor facility,” Verow said. “It’s a regional facility.”

He said he hopes other communities will lend their support to keeping Dorothea Dix open.

During the meeting, the council also:

• Recognized Eagle Scout Ryan Ward for his Eagle Scout project at the Sherwood Forest Park that involved building a walking bridge, and the Brewer Land Trust for its work to line the park’s trail with wood chips.

• Thanked U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for her “tireless efforts” over the last 15 years to increase heavy truck weight limits on the federal highway system in Maine.

• Heard a presentation by Finance Director Karen Fussell and Casey Leonard from the South Portland accounting firm Runyon, Kersteen and Ouellette about the 2011 city audit. The audit shows that the city’s general fund has again decreased slightly in the last year, but the city is still in a good financial position.

• Appointed Robert Zani to the Brewer Housing Authority board of commissioners to fill a vacancy.

• Reappointed Timothy Briggs of Dexter as the local sealer of weights and measures.

• Authorized the purchase $12,817 worth of new equipment for the Hardy Street pump station.

• Accepted $820 in funds from a recent successful court case that involved the Brewer Police Department.

• Hired attorney William Dale to represent the city in two pending appeals before the Maine state board of property tax review.

• Accepted donations from Charles “Dusty” and Eleanor Fisher for youth programs at the Brewer Public Library and fire education materials and supplies for the fire department.

• Received notice from the local district attorney’s office that the public library would be getting $900 in restitution from Angelia Jenkins to replace books stolen in August.

• Changed the May meeting date from May 9 to May 1.

• Supported a resolve to support continued operations of the United States Postal Services processing and distribution facility in Hampden.

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