WINSLOW — The Town Council this week gave initial approval for the town manager to disburse about $97,000 in federal pandemic relief aid. The council will render a final vote on the spending plan at its next meeting.

Town Manager Erica LaCroix will use $61,570 to cover the installation of heat pumps and a digital sign at the town office, and $35,250 for stipends to town employees for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

LaCroix said the money has already been distributed for those purposes and the council simply needed to approve the movement of the funds.

“No one’s waiting for their money. We’ve already paid,” LaCroix said.

After the statewide vaccination mandate for emergency medical workers was instituted last August, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, representing the Winslow Fire Department, requested compensation for firefighters who were required to be vaccinated even when they didn’t want to be, LaCroix said by email Tuesday.

LaCroix decided to offer stipends, covered by American Rescue Plan Act funds, to all town employees for getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


Employees who were vaccinated before July 31 got $1,000, those who were vaccinated between Aug. 1 and Sept. 17 received $750, and those who got their shots between Sept. 18 and Oct. 29, which was the state’s deadline for the vaccine mandate, received $500. This resulted in 76% of town employees getting vaccinated, LaCroix said.

Meanwhile, the other money, the $61,570, will cover the cost for the installation last year of the digital sign and the heat pumps at the town office, LaCroix said.

The town received $400,000 so far, the first half of its federal ARPA funds allotment. Officials are still discussing how to use the approximately $300,000 remaining. Winslow anticipates receiving the second $400,000 later this year.

Also on Monday, the council discussed the possibility of a new ordinance for property maintenance as well as an ordinance change to prohibit living in a camper or travel trailer.

The discussion of using campers as a residence in town stemmed from a complaint that someone living in a camper runs a generator for power.

Code Enforcement Officer Amos Michaud said the camper question can be considered as part of a property maintenance ordinance that he will work with the council to draft.


Councilor Raymond Caron said he started researching the property maintenance issue after hearing complaints about properties with tall grass or with junk and garbage piling up. He said residents say their property becomes devalued when other parcels are cluttered and not kept up.

Such an ordinance could help the town with its economic development plan and attract more young families and businesses by improving the scenery along some of the town’s most heavily traveled roads, LaCroix said.

Council Chairman Dale Macklin said he wants the council to work on drafting an ordinance to address people living in campers and others who are not maintaining their property.

LaCroix said she will gather similar ordinances from surrounding towns like Waterville to give the council a starting point.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.