Return to Town info


Great Cranberry Library has completed 26 years of providing books, audio books, videos, computer access to the Internet, copy machine and FAX service to the island community.  It continues to be a vital service to the community and also serves as a congenial meeting place for patrons.  We miss our elementary school population, but are encouraged by the many children using the library in the summer and now by the visits of our three pre-school girls who live here year round.

Our inventory includes 7,450 juvenile and adult books - both fiction and non-fiction, 68 audio books and 250 videos.  We also have access to inter-library loan for publications we do not own.  Our last annual report indicated we had circulated 1,909 books, audio books and videos.

Support for our services comes from our Town of Cranberry Isles grant, other grants and private donations in addition to two summer fund raising events.  Thank you to the Town of Cranberry Isles and to all other who support and use our library.

Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Ruth W. Westphal, Director

The Islesford Library became a year round manned library in 1984.  We cleaned out an assortment of books from the library's 1913 inception.  At that time we started with 2,000 books.  We now have 7,047 books.  We were listed along with the Great Cranberry Library in the top ten libraries in the state for collection per capita.  We also have a small video and audio tape collection.  Thanks to MBNA we have added CD's and DVD's to our collection.

We are open year round Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM  Our summer Librarians Shirley Thormann and Jeanne Smith open Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Joy Sprague opens Wednesday evenings 7:30 to 9:00PM.  This past summer Bill McGinnis showed movies in the Islesford Neighborhood House for us.

We also have internet access free to the public.

Last year the Islesford library was listed first in the state for circulation per capita.  Please come check us out and help boost our circulation.

Sincerely,   /s/ Cynthia A. Thomas, Librarian

The center continues to modernize it operation, particularly the kitchen area as evidenced by our ability at last years Town Meeting to cook 80 Cornish hens simultaneously, plus all of the "fixings" for the noon lunch.  This year we have installed a propane heating system which has facilitated more island meetings and quilting parties without the necessity of lighting and maintaining the wood stoves.  Throughout the past year 74 different meetings or groups used the center, in addition to the Annual Fair production.  The Center appreciates the support provided by the citizens of the Cranberry Isles through its annual stipend and shall continue to endeavor to make this facility a focal point of community neighborliness.  Our efforts this year will concentrate in restoring the floors and obtaining a new industrial refrigerator.  Thank you for your support.

/s/ Kelly Sanborn, President
Ladies Aid Society

The building of the Islesford Neighborhood House was begun in December of 1913, the land having been purchased from Lucinda Fernald in 1912 by the newly incorporated Association's trustees, Mabel Tuttle of New York City and Walter Hadlock of Islesford.  Built by Alonzo J. Bryant and Jim Sprague, the front portion of the building which includes the Ladies Parlor and kitchen downstairs with a Grange Hall upstairs, was enlarged with the Great Hall and stage in 1921.  It was electrified in 1928, and the Grange helped pay for a drilled well in 1950.  The Library, which has been staffed several hours a week year round since 1984, got its own addition in 1989 and was expanded, including a room for the Historical Society's collection in 1998.  At that time Islanders got together to build the lovely memorial "Julie's Garden" on the north side of the building.  The kitchen was renovated in 1997, thanks to a grant honoring the life of Roger Baldwin.  Currently a small addition is being built to store the chairs, tables and stage equipment safely.  Through the years the Neighborhood House has been the site of community dances, plays, civic meetings, wedding and funeral receptions, parties, school graduations and physical education classes, basketball games, pot luck suppers, exercise, art, crafts and dance classes, concerts, movies, and public health clinics.

The upkeep of the Neighborhood House, which is an IRS 501(C)3 not for profit entity, is overseen by a Board of Trustees which is elected at the annual meeting of the INH Association, and is funded primarily by individuals' donations and fund raising events.  These days the annual Fourth of July Picnic, Wits and Nitwits variety show, and Harvest Supper are the main "money makers", but traditional favorites include the Masque Ball and the Holiday Program in December.  In the summers of 1922 and 1927, the Neighborhood House theatrical productions went "on the road" (at least to Southwest Harbor) and made money that was then donated to the Church Club and Professor Sawtelle's historical collection!

The Islesford Neighborhood House is often referred to as a cornerstone of our community, and the support of the Town, summer and year round residents and loyal seasonal renters is greatly appreciated.  To reserve the use of the Islesford Neighborhood House please contact: Bill McGuiness, Keeper of the Calendar at [207] 244-0460.

/s/ Gail Grandgent, Trustee
Islesford Neighborhood House

In recent years many home owners have become aware of the increasing costs of their home owners' insurance due to the relatively primitive nature of our fire department.  Insurance companies rate fire departments using a national standard on ten different ratings.  Currently, Islesford's unorganized fire club is rated as "Class 10," the lowest possible rating. By raising our level to a "Class 9," homeowners could see a decrease in their insurance rates by 40%.

To that end, this fire club has been working with state advisors, local fire chiefs, and other officials on improving our status to "Class 9."  Equipment improvement and regularly scheduled training for volunteers are clear cut steps that we need to take and have taken to achieve our goal.  Specifically, we've met with Frank Hammond and Jack Martel, both from Maine Fire Training & Education.  Jack, our state appointed fire trainer, is currently working on a training program for us that will commence in January.  Neil Courtney, who also works with MFT&E, is preparing a "blueprint" to help us realize our goals.  Among them, they represent fifty years of knowledge and experience in this area.  As well, we're working on conforming to state labor laws.

However, all of the various authorities we have spoken to indicate that in order to meet state standards and laws more efficiently, the fire clubs should operate under the aegis of a municipality.  In other words, the town would assume responsibility for the fiscal operation of the department and other state administrative requirements.  Furthermore, by placing the department under municipal law, we greatly decrease its liability.  This would ensure that volunteers during training or in the face of a fire could perform their duties knowing that if injured, they are covered by the town's workmen's compensation insurance.  As well, personal property would be covered under the town's liability insurance for any accidents that might occur during the fighting of a fire.

The fire department would retain its current non-profit status, making it eligible for donations, and would continue to operate on a volunteer basis.  We are pursuing grant monies to help defray costs to the town and would continue to perform regular fund raising efforts as well.  We are also prepared to donate its equipment to the town once the town agreed to make it a municipal department.

While all of us would appreciate lower home owners' insurance rates, the more obvious benefit of achieving this "Class 9" status is the creation of a better equipped, better trained volunteer department.  Such an advantage could make a world of difference in the face of a fire.  We have an enormous task in front of us, but with guidance and your support we hope to continue providing service for a healthy, growing community.

/s/ David A. Thomas, Secretary
Islesford Fire Club

Incorporated 7 December 1948
Revised By-Laws 7 January 2002
38 members on roll call.

In 2003 we had our July and August dinners and dance; they were a huge success and we thank everyone for turning out to help us celebrate.  We were able to raise about $4000.00 with these events.  Our thanks go out to everyone who supported the cause.  There is still some minor work to be completed in the garage, and plans to complete these projects are underway.  We would like to thank Mark Alley and Blair Colby for all their hard work and dedication to the Fire Club.

With the election of a new training officer, Phil Whitney, the fire club will be holding additional training during grass burning season, as well as in-house training with other professional departments.  We have planned CPR classes on Great Cranberry in the spring and summer.  These classes will be of one day duration and conducted by a professional trainer.  Anyone interested should contact Kelly Sanborn at 244-3624 in order to establish a date and time.  Cost will be minimal based on training books.  This past year we also had medical response training using "Life Flight" personnel and their helicopter which uses the ball field across from the Fire House as a Helo landing zone.  We believe it essential for everyone to be familiar with our ambulance and its capabilities, and how to respond to a medical emergency as it is to respond to a fire emergency.  Our special thanks to Lorraine Bracy and Edward Horvath for their EMT service to Great Cranberry.

Steps are being taken to incorporate the club under the municipality in 2004.  There are many reasons why this move is necessary.  At present, we have a very low insurance rating, Class 10.  We need to move to a Class 9 rating so insurance companies will recognize us and insurance costs will stabilize and be obtainable.  Along with this new rating, there will be new costs.  While in the past we were able to support ourselves with fundraising dinners; this is no longer the case.  We have been very fortunate in the past three years.  Through the generosity of so many, we have raised $73,000.00.  This was very instrumental in our new building and fire truck acquisition.  Now we need to maintain the upkeep of the building and truck, as well as providing training to use the equipment.  The only solution to this funds dilemma is to unite with the Town and operate as part of a coordinated municipal fire department.

Once again, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to all, who in any way support the fire club, whether it is through financial contributions or volunteer time.  We would like to also thank all the committee members for all of their dedicated work.  The Fire Club continues every year to strive to make the club a viable part of this community in which to better protect and serve its town.

David Bunker, President
Norman C. Sanborn, II., Chief
Mark Alley, Assistant Chief
Michael Westphal, Treasurer
Edward Horvath, Secretary
Blair E. Colby, Engineer
Phil Whitney, Training Officer

During the past year we have continued to warn off potential commercial clam diggers from the local clam flats, while less than 20 residents harvested an occasional peck or two of this delicious resource.  In accordance with public law, our committee has reviewed and revised slightly the Shellfish Conservation Ordinance the Town approved in March 2001.  This revision was approved by the Department of Marine Resources on 1 December 2003, so that it could be reauthorized at our March 2004 Town Meeting for the next five years.  As the Selectmen discussed in their letter at the beginning of this 2003 Town Report, enforcement actions by Wardens Kelly Sanborn and Robert Phillips have been most effective in stopping all commercial digging of clams but we are unable to determine the health and productiveness of the Town's clam flats without a biological survey.  Your Shellfish Conservation Committee has asked the Selectmen to address this requirement in formulation of the Town's 2004 Operations Budget for your consideration and in the interim we are working to develop a biological survey plan for this summer.  We appreciate your support and I assure you that we will continue to work for the productiveness of this major resource.  What's a lobster feed without a nice mess of steamers first?

/s/ Richard A. Alley, Jr.

The Planning Board has continued its policy of posting the proposed schedule of monthly meeting dates for the coming year which you will find on an adjoining page.  This procedure is designed to better assist property owners and contractors with their planning for moving their proposed projects forward, and to permit interested citizens to remain better informed of Planning Board activities.  When no projects are scheduled, no monthly meeting is held.

The Planning Board follows an established set of written by-laws to govern the conduct of meetings, and to define the process for bringing project proposals before the Board.

Edward Horvath has continued as Chairman, and Phil Whitney has continued as Recording Secretary during 2003.  Other Planning Board members during 2003 were: Bill Dowling (Cranberry), Steve Philbrook (Islesford) and Josh Hardy (Islesford).  One vacancy occurred during 2003 when Josh Hardy moved off island.

2003 was a very quiet year for the Planning Board.  Only one meeting was held this year in June.  This meeting was held at Islesford and involved Islesford and Sutton Island projects.

Projects approved were:
(1)   Moveable Steel Ramp Project at the Finlay Matheson Boathouse on Islesford.
(2)   Construction of a Dock & Float by John Ingle on Sutton Island

Projects pending are:
(1)   Proposal to Construct a Boat Workshop and Small Dock by Algernon P. Reese on Great Cranberry Island


The Planning Board of the Town of Cranberry Isles has established a regular monthly meeting schedule.  Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 PM at either Great Cranberry Community Center or Islesford Neighborhood House.  Location TBD depending on location of project proposals on the agenda.  A second Planning Board Meeting may also be scheduled on the opposite island during the same month, as necessary, if urgent project proposals located on that island require attention.  Agendas for each meeting will be posted no later than one week in advance, with the meeting location listed.  Should no project proposals be scheduled with the Planning Board at least one week in advance of the monthly meeting date, then no meeting agenda will be posted, and no regular monthly meeting will be held.

Individuals with projects (including permit applications and notifications) should first contact Code Enforcement Officer Kimberly Keene in Hulls Cove at 288-4024 to determine whether a Planning Board Meeting is required.  If so required, individuals should then contact Planning Board Chairman Edward Horvath at 244-0240 to be included on the meeting agenda.  This policy is designed to better assist property owners and contractors with moving their projects forward in a timely manner, and to insure that interested members of the public are kept fully informed of meeting dates.

All meetings are schedules for Wednesday, commencing at 1:00 PM:

Planning Board Meetings, 2004
7 January 7 April 7 July 6 October
4 February 5 May 4 August 3 November
3 March 2 June 1 September 1 December


Number of Marriages Recorded 1
Number of Deaths Recorded 2
Number of Shellfish Licenses Issued 29
Number of Dog Licenses Issued 25

Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Frances J. Bartlett
Town Clerk


2003 Tax commitment $997,923.48
  Abatements -11,815.96
  Cash discounts (Early payment -2%) -11,524.15
  Cash collections -923,714.62
2003 Taxes receivable $50,868.75
[For details of 2003 taxes receivable,
i.e. 33 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]

2002 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $18,593.00
Cash Collections -14,005.80
2002 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $4,587.20
[For details of 2002 taxes receivable,
i.e. 5 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]

2001 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $2,427.98
Cash Collections -1,122.01
2001 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $1,305.97
[For details of 2001 taxes receivable,
i.e. 2 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]

2000 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $948.17
Cash Collections           0
2000 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $948.17
[For details of 2000 taxes receivable,
i.e. 2 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual own Report. -- BK]

1999 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $948.17
Cash Collections           0
1999 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $948.17
[For details of 1999 taxes receivable,
i.e. 2 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]

1998 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $907.44
Cash Collections           0
1998 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $907.44
[For details of 1998 taxes receivable,
i.e. 2 taxpayers and amounts owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]

1997 Taxes Receivable January 1, 2003 $305.86
Cash Collections           0
1997 Taxes Receivable December 31, 2003  $305.86
[For details of 1997 taxes receivable,
i.e. 1 taxpayer and amount owed by them,
see actual Town Report. -- BK]


Cash balance January 1, 2003 $4,704.74
Donations 78,879.50
Parking Fees 26,150.00
Rent (Combined) 48,225.24
Maine Bond Loan 1,777,776.00
Reimbursement decals 210.00
Interest earned               418.02
Total cash available: $1,936,363.50

Selectmen's Warrants Drawn -1,713,334.23
Cash available December 31, 2003 $223,029.27

Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Frances J. Bartlett, Treasurer


Cash balance January 1, 2003 $283,213.31
Property taxes 2001 1,122.01
Property taxes 2002 14,005.80
Property taxes 2003 923,714.62
In lieu of taxes from U.S. Treasury 390.00
Veteran's exemption refund from State 88.00
Homestead exemption refund from State 1,849.00
Interest on taxes 237.27
Automobile excise taxes 20,056.30
Removal of junked cars 120.00
Boat excise taxes 4,562.32
Administration 106.59
Planning Board 24.00
Hadlock / Stanley Cemetery 500.00
Fees 134.00
Interest on checking account 3,255.90
Local road assistance from State 16,128.75
Clam licenses 271.00
Dog licenses 106.50
Credit: Worker's Compensation Insurance 936.99
Plumbing permits 948.00
Return: Land acquisition 62,144.01
Return: Land fees 846.91
Schools 47,159.00
Solid Waste 25.70
State Revenue Sharing 3,181.46
Salt & Sand Shed credit 60.00
Wharf credit (Sale of building Gt. Cran)            400.00
Total cash available: $1,385,587.44

Selectmen's Warrants drawn    -993,217.14
Cash balance December 31, 2003 $392,370.30

Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Frances J. Bartlett, Treasurer


Assessed Values:
  Land & Buildings $160,772,100
  Personal Property           63,500
Total assessed valuation:  $160,835,600
Exemptions:        -420,000
Total valuation base: $161,255,600

  Town appropriations: $722,700.00
  School appropriations: 183,020.00
  Hancock County Tax 80,643.94
  Overlay      18,859.78
Total appropriations: $1,005,223.70

  Total appropriations: $1,005,223.70
  State Municipal Revenue Sharing (5,439.00)
  Homestead reimbursement:    (2,604.00)
Net to be raised: $997,180.70

Computation of taxes:
$160,835,600 total valuation base  X  0.0062 rate = $997,180.72

Any qualified resident veteran or widow and/or minor children of a veteran who has not already filed his/her veteran exemption application MUST do so prior to April 1, 2004.  Significant additions, improvements, deletions, and/or damage to taxable real estate and/or personal property should be brought to the Assessor's attention prior to April 1, 2004.  Copies of survey plans of land within the Town would be greatly appreciated, for they are useful in land use planning and accuracy of the Town's maps.

The Town Assessor is Roger W. Peppard, CMA of RJD Appraisal Company, P.O. Box 99, Pittsfield, Maine 04967.  Mr. Peppard may be reached at [207] 487-5005 or FAX [207] 487-3273, or he will be at the Town Office on Great Cranberry every second Tuesday of each month, 08:30 AM to 03:30 PM.  The Great Cranberry office number for phone & FAX is: [207] 244-7755.

Notice to Taxpayers
Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 36, 706


Before making an assessment, the Assessor shall give reasonable notice in writing to all persons liable to taxation in the municipality to furnish to the assessors true and perfect lists of their estates, not by law exempt from taxation, of which they were possessed on the first day of April of the same year.

The notice to owners may be by mail directed to the last known address of the taxpayer or by any other method that provides reasonable notice to the taxpayer.

If notice is given by mail and the taxpayer does not furnish such list, he or she is thereby barred of his right to make application to the assessors for any abatement of his taxes, unless he furnishes such list with his application and satisfies them that he was unable to furnish it at the time appointed.

The assessors may require the person furnishing the list to make oath to its truth, which oath any of them may administer, and may require him to answer in writing all proper inquiries as to the nature, situation and value of this property liable to be taxed in the State; and a refusal or neglect to answer such inquiries and subscribe the same bars an appeal but such list and answers shall not be conclusive upon the assessors.

Return to Town info