Showing posts with label projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label projects. Show all posts

Friday, April 5, 2024

PowerServe volunteers gearing up for 2024 Windham projects

By Ed Pierce and Masha Yurkevich

Author Mitch Albom once wrote that love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone. In the case of Windham High School student Shane Donnelly, his death has led to an outpouring of community service projects accomplished in his memory through an organization called PowerServe.

Shane Donnelly was 16 and a 
sophomore at Windham High School
when he tragically died in 2015. To
honor his memory, the organization
PowerServe was created to assist
people in need in Windham with
home repairs and other community
projects. This year's PowerServe
event will be April 27 and 
volunteers are needed to lend a hand.
Shane Donnelly was just 16 and a sophomore at WHS when he passed away unexpectedly in May 2015. He cared deeply about his community and to show their love for him, his family joined Young Life students and Kristine Delano in organizing the first PowerServe in 2016, a one-day event where volunteers serve Windham area organizations and individuals who need assistance by performing various tasks from painting, yard work, and repairs. The first PowerServe event was only supposed to be a one-time occurrence but following an enormous volunteer response, it became an annual event growing to include hundreds of volunteers and dozens of projects each year.

“The purpose of the event is to come together and support and serve others. We had our largest turnout last year with over 300 hundred volunteers that supported 17 projects throughout the community,” said Bob Donnelly, Shane’s father. “The event this year will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27 at the Windham Historical Society.”

He said the Power Serve team is always looking for more volunteers but more importantly, needs projects that they can work on for others in need.

“If you know of a person or group that is in need of help with a project, we clean trails, plant memorials, paint sheds, pick up trash, clean gutters, rake leaves, remove old structures, and repair decks,” Donnelly said. “We want to provide joy and bring smiles to those in need in our community. We want to help people from all walks of life and hope to make a difference so join us for this great event and nominate a project that we can help someone in the Windham area. Thank you so much for your support in growing this event.”

Kim Donnelly is Shane’s mother and serves as Volunteer Coordinator and Co-Director of the PowerServe event.

“My son Shane Donnelly was a student, athlete, kind young man and loving son. When he passed away unexpectedly at the age of 16, it was not only a shock to our family, but to the community and students at school,” she said. “Nothing can fill the void from Shane’s passing. However, being able to materially see the impact that this event has had on the students, individuals and our larger community does help to feel that he left his mark on this world. Having past classmates of Shane’s and current students come back to Windham to support one another and our neighbors is so heartwarming.”

She said PowerServe is such a gift and tribute to Shane’s memory.

“Shane loved the peace and beauty of the outdoors,” his mother said. “The projects that we do mean that our volunteers are working outside together to do good. It’s wonderful to see these students volunteer alongside local business teams, church members, teachers, friends, and families. It truly shows that Windham residences support one another.”

This year’s event will start at the Windham Historical Society gardens in Windham Center. Each volunteer will receive a PowerServe t-shirt and by 1 p.m. the projects wrap up and all volunteers are treated to a barbecue lunch at the Windham Historical Society.

“This is an opportunity to talk about the wonderful people you have supported as most love to come out and talk with the volunteers,” Kim Donnely said. “It gives you an amazing feeling of giving back to the community and those around us. You will also meet some wonderful people in your community who are volunteering alongside you.”

PowereServe Committee Member Anne Daigle said that she’s known the Donnelly Family for over 30 years and personally knew Shane.

“I felt compelled to do this in hopes that it would help to heal the family as well as the community,” Daigle said.

Past projects accomplished by volunteers involved cleaning up storm damage at Dundee Park, spring cleanups, painting softball dugouts, performing repairs on decks and steps and stacking firewood.

“Giving back and helping others is the heart of any community and having the students and other members of the community work together I believe gives us all a little hope that this coming generation is amazing,” Daigle said. “We help continually, and we are happy to help anyone in need.”

To sign up to volunteer for this year’s PowerServe event or to nominate a project to be worked on, visit or send an email to <

Friday, March 17, 2023

Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing gears up for spring and summer housing repairs

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing is getting ready for spring. With its mission to repair homes for older adults and veterans in the Sebago Lakes region who want to age safely in-place, fundraising efforts are in full swing to make those efforts happen successfully. The National Fuller Center refers to this time of year as March Madness.

Sebago Lakes region Fuller Center for Housing volunteers
Ron Koster, left, and Allen Sample work on a project for
a senior citizen in Windham last year. The organization
is seeking volunteers and monetary donations for
upcoming projects in the community this spring.
“Last year, we helped over 18 families with projects ranging from repairing steps and ramps, replacing flooring and sills,” Fuller Center President, Diane Dunton Bruni said. “Our largest project was building a farmer’s porch for Linda and John Gregoire of Windham.”

John was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) 15 years ago and he is confined to a mobile chair and makes his living room his year-round living space with no safe exit out of their home in case of an emergency.

“We built a farmer’s porch with the help of local volunteers and cyclists who came to our community in July,” Bruni said. “John and Linda can enjoy more space and see the beautiful outdoors.”

As a recipient of the Fuller Housing projects Linda Gregoire expressed her gratitude for the work completed at her and her husband’s property.

“I don’t just speak for John and myself, but I hope I speak for everyone you helped,” she said. “I want to start with a quote that epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism by a woman who dedicated her life to helping the unseen. In the words of Mother Teresa, ‘You have not truly lived until you have done something for someone who can do nothing to repay you.’”

Gregoire said that serving the unseen, the elderly, the disabled, and veterans (who are often both), is a worthy calling.

“We should remember the unseen weren’t always unseen,” she said. “They were productive members of our community. So, to have a group of caring people come into your life to fix or build and repair something you used to be able to do but can no longer do is an unbelievable experience and blessing.”

This year, the local Fuller Center has many more projects coming up.

“We need continued funds to ensure we can continue our efforts,” Bruni said. “Labor is free unless we need specialized services and materials are bought at the lowest cost possible.”

One of the ways the organization does fundraising is by cycling. William Turner, a local cyclist, and Bruni are raising money through their cycling efforts. You can find them at Fuller Center Bike Adventure at

“We certainly could not fulfill our mission of providing adequate shelter and a safe living space for our older adults, like the Gregoires, without the help of area volunteers and businesses,” Bruni said. “Your donations help us help others. Won’t you consider donating to make others stay safely at home?”

To donate go to, the Fuller Center Bike Adventure or contact them at<

Friday, August 19, 2022

State public administrators honor Tibbetts with 2022 Leadership Award

Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts, left, accepts the
Maine Town, City and County Management Association's
2022 Leadership Award from MTCMA President Jey Feyler
during the association's convention Aug. 10 at Sugarloaf.
By Ed Pierce 

Windham’s Town Manager Barry Tibbetts was honored with the Maine Town, City and County Management Association’s 2022 Leadership Award during the association’s convention Aug. 10 at Sugarloaf.

The annual award is presented to recognize a Public Administrator in the state for a particularly bold and innovative project or for solving an unusually difficult problem. The recipient must have played a key role in developing the project as well as in implementing it. Over the past year, Tibbetts has played a substantial and pivotal role in Windham’s wastewater treatment solution for North Windham, development of a connector road system to alleviate traffic congestion in the Route 302 corridor and Windham’s approval of the East Windham Conservation Project where hundreds of acres were conserved by the town for recreational use.

In nominating Tibbetts for the prestigious award, Windham Town Council members and Bob Burns, Windham assistant town manager, representing Windham town staff, wrote that Tibbetts stepped up and led the way for Windham in getting these major projects off the ground in the last year.

“These achievements that needed Barry’s motivation, tutelage and leadership are wins for him and major wins for the Town of Windham and its residents,” Burns said. 

Jarrod Maxfield, Windham Town Council chair, agrees with that assessment.

“For too long Windham has been stagnant in terms of progress and development for success. We would often remark we are the ‘Town of Studies because we would study projects for years and then shelve them or not get the project over the finish line for one reason or another,” Maxfield said. “This pattern over the decades was not a positive thing for Windham and held us back from moving forward and creating opportunities. The day Barry showed up, that attitude and pattern ended, and we have not looked back as we move forward.”

Maxfield said Tibbetts’ wisdom and experience is exceptional in his role as Windham Town Manager.

“It is hard to think of how one man can move a boulder that has sat for so long but in Barry’s case it comes down to leadership, energy, out of the box thinking and a positivity that gets things done, not just talking about getting things done, but actually getting them done,” he said. “He helped foster a better environment for Windham employees after some years of turmoil and empowered them to finally get those things done. He gave them the foundation to know that if a roadblock occurred, as it will, they had his support, and he would help find a solution. He is a kind, positive and energetic person who makes those around him better and creates success by being there.”

In June, Windham voters attending the Annual Town Meeting approved a proposal for the town join a partnership with Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to purchase and conserve 661 acres near Little Duck Pond in East Windham in a project called the East Windham Conservation Project. It will acquire forested acreage for recreational opportunities in Windham while also adding 1,545 feet of undeveloped water frontage on Little Duck Pond, the 150-acre Deer Wintering Area for hunting, and the 580-foot Atherton Hill, the tallest hill in Windham. As part of the project, Lands for Maine’s Future awarded Windham $998,000 to help fund the initiative and voters approved a bond to match the LMF award with town open space impact fees so there will be no impact upon the mil rate for local homeowners.

Also in June, a town referendum for a proposed $40.4 million sewer and wastewater treatment project for North Windham was approved by 71 percent of voters after a different sewer proposal was rejected by Windham voters 10 years ago. The project will not raise taxes and all but $500,000 is covered to pay for the initiative through a combination of grant funding, a $38.9 million award by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and North Windham TIF funding supported by North Windham businesses. Under the project, a new wastewater treatment facility on the grounds of Manchester School will be built and addresses pressing environmental issues by removing thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus being dumped by septic systems into the aquifer and watershed. It also is intended to stimulate significant economic growth and development in the North Windham area from industry and businesses not willing to locate there previously because of septic system issues and associated costs.

As town manager, Tibbetts also is leading an effort to alleviate persistent traffic congestion in North Windham along Route 302 through creation of a system of new access roads and sophisticated high-tech traffic signals. In January the Windham Town Council adopted a study that puts forward a phased plan to build connector roads in the next few years. For years, heavy traffic during peak travel times remains a problem along Route 302 from the intersection of Route 115 to Franklin Road and causes congestion, motorist delays and a high accident rate for motorists in the town. The issue has been studied repeatedly for years, but now a potential solution is at hand.

Tibbetts has served as Windham’s Town Manager since November 2019, first on an interim basis and then was made the permanent town manager since March 2020. He has extensive municipal experience and experience in local government, administrative operations, budgeting, regulatory functions, and community relations and served as the Kennebunk Town Manager through 2017.

Upon his retirement with Kennebunk and coming to Windham, Tibbetts worked with a small energy start-up business and developed a consulting business in energy and governmental services. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Maine, and he also earned an MBA degree during his career in government. He also holds credentialed certifications from both the ICMA and MCTMA.

In learning he had won the award, Tibbetts said he was humbled and caught off guard.

“I was totally surprised by the Windham team, they did a great job in keeping it undercover until it was announced,” Tibbetts said. “It was an honor to receive this statewide award from the MTCMA with the recognition of the Windham Town Council and town staff. Since beginning in Windham two years ago, the council and staff as a team has been working toward addressing critical infrastructure needs which have been accumulating over the past. The timing is right, and Windham has great staff and council to get the work done. It been a pleasure to serve the council, staff and residents. <

Friday, February 5, 2021

Diamond announces MDOT work plan for state projects in district

In the newly released MDOT Three-Year Plan, 
light capital paving for Falmouth Road will run from 
0.03 of a mile south of Stevens Road and extend south
0.79 of a mile to Route 202 in Windham. FILE PHOTO
AUGUSTA – Sen. Bill Diamond, a Democrat from Windham, has shared the details of Maine’s three-year transportation infrastructure work plan, and what it means for Baldwin, Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, Standish and Windham.

The plan is released annually with an outline of the Maine Department of Transportation’s strategy for road, bridge and other transportation upgrades and maintenance projects.

“Safe and easy-to-use roads, bridges, rail and ferries are essential to daily life for the people who live here and for the millions of people who visit Maine every year,” said Diamond. “As senate chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, I know there is always more work to be done in improving our infrastructure. I’m thankful to the MDOT for all the work that they have done in creating this three-year plan.”

According to the MDOT, the work plan covers about $2.71 billion worth of construction and maintenance, which includes 2,180 work items. The three-year plan estimates MDOT will invest in 100 miles of highway construction and rehabilitation; 893 miles of pavement preservation; 2,175 miles of light capital paving for roads and highways; 222 safety and spot improvements; and 166 bridge projects.

The following breakdown is the planned capital and maintenance work for the communities in Senate District 26 in 2021:

Bridge Work:
In Windham, replacing joints, applying sealer to wearing surface, and repairing abutment on Narrows Bridge over Ditch Brook located 260 feet west of Running Brook Road.

Drainage Maintenance:
In Buxton and Standish, drainage improvements along Route 35 beginning at Long Plains Road in Buxton and extending east 3.19 miles to Standish compact line, located 0.24 of a mile west of Apple Lane in Standish.
In Casco, improvement of the large culvert on Route 302 located 0.1 of a mile north of the Bramble Hill Road.

Highway Paving:
In Gorham and Windham, 1 ¼-inch overlay of Route 202 beginning at Route 25 and extending north 3.76 miles, not including Deguio Mill Bridge.
In Gray and Raymond, light capital paving of Egypt Road beginning at North Raymond Road and extending west 4.00 miles to Route 85.
In Raymond, light capital paving of Route 121 beginning at Route 35 and extending north 2.07 miles.
In Raymond, light capital paving of Route 85 beginning at Route 302 and extending northeast 3.78 miles to Raymond Hill Road.
In Standish, light capital paving of Saco Road beginning 0.17 of a mile north of Cape Road and extending north 1.79 miles.
In Windham, light capital paving on Falmouth Road beginning 0.03 of a mile south of Stevens Road and extending south 0.79 of a mile to Route 202.

Highway Safety and Spot Improvements:
In Windham, installation of adaptive traffic signaling systems at various intersections along Route 302, beginning at Route 115 and extending northwest 1.14 miles to Trails End Road. Municipal Partnership Initiative Program.

Policy, Planning and Research:

In Windham, feasibility study of Route 302 beginning at Route 202 and extending north 6.32 miles. Planning Partnership Initiative Program.
In Windham, planning for Varney's Bridge over Pleasant River. Located 0.44 of a mile northwest of Route 4.

Ferry Service
Capital improvements to the Frye Island Ferry Service between Raymond and Frye Island.

The entire MDOT three-year work plan can be viewed here. <

Friday, September 18, 2020

Windham Pack 805 ready to welcome new Cub Scouts

By Ed Pierce

Windham Cub Scouts Pack 805 gather following
a pack building exercise this summer in which
eight wooden benches were made by scouts that
will be donated to various locations around town. 

For boys in kindergarten through fifth grade, joining the Cub Scouts will open a world of adventure, make new friends, gain a sense of confidence and is an opportunity to learn new skills in an environment designed to help them succeed.

In Windham, Cub Scout Pack 805 is always welcoming new scouts and new parents that hopefully turn into new pack volunteers. On Monday, Sept. 21, Pack 805 will conduct a registration night at Donnabeth Lippman Park at 6:30 p.m. and pack leaders are hoping for a great turnout of boys looking to take the first step to become Cub Scouts. 

“Scouting teaches kids positive character traits, helps foster relationships, and to be part of the community,” said Pack 805 Den Leader Casey Melanson. “It helps them take their best self, work on self-growth, and try new things. The scout motto is ‘Do Your Best’ and that’s what the kids learn.”

Melanson said that Cub Scout Pack 805 dens meet one night a week for about an hour. The whole pack gets together once a month, usually for a special meeting, like Trunk or Treat, a holiday party, or for the Blue and Gold Banquet or other special events.

According to Melanson, Pack 805 currently has about 36 Cub Scouts who work on several community projects each year. 

“We have assisted in celebrating the grand opening of a retirement home, picking up trash after Summerfest, and we will usually host a toy drive for a family for Christmas,” Melanson said. “We also participate in Scouting for Food each November to collect needed goods for the Windham Food Pantry.”

Pack 805’s dues are $100 per scout for the year, half of which is due at sign up and the other in December.  Of that $100, most of it covers national registrations, insurance, and
other expenses.  The rest stays with the pack to help toward achievements by local members.

“During the year, the pack does fundraisers to help with the cost of awards and to pay for some of our activities, like camping and overnights at EVO,” Melanson said. “We do pizza sales, popcorn sales, and bottle drives.  Our last bottle drive raised over $1.200/”

According to Melanson, Cub Scout uniforms consist of a shirt, a rank neckerchief, and a rank slide. Pants and rank hats are optional. Scouts are encouraged to have a belt (not necessarily a scout belt) to be able to display their beltloop achievements. 

“There is also a handbook for each rank that the scout will need to be able to learn, perform, and complete each achievement,” Melanson said.  “Prices for these items start at around $6 and go up from there. There is a Scout Shop right in South Portland by the Jetport that carries everything that a budding scout would need.” 

She said that Cub Scout activities emphasize having fun and learning useful life skills.      

“Cub Scouts can do anything they put their minds to. We have gone winter camping, hiking, ice fishing, and built lean-tos in the winter woods,” Melanson said. “We also have our annual Pinewood Derby where the boys design and build their own cars and then compete against one another.  As a pack we have had beach outings, cookouts, movie nights, and EVO Rock Gym overnights.”

Serving as Pack 805’s Den Leader, Melanson said that she became involved with the Cub Scouts when her son joined as a Tiger in first grade. He’s now in fifth grade and part of the Arrow of Light Den, which is second-year Weblos, the highest rank of Cub Scouts. He will be crossing over to Boy Scouts at the end of this year, she said.

“I was just a scout mom, but soon became part of and then Chair for the Fundraising Committee.  I am also now the Den leader for this year’s second-graders, the Wolves,” Melanson said.

Joining the Cub Scouts is almost a rite of passage for boys in Windham.

“Our pack is a great group of scouts and parents.  We care about each other, push each other, and just all around have fun,” she said. “We want our scouts to learn what is means to be part of something important, what is means to help their community, make new friends, build relationships, and most importantly grow as a young man.” 

Over the summer, members of Cub Scout Pack 805 worked on completing their achievements so that the scouts could move up in rank. 

These included First Aid, safety, teamwork, nutrition, and other topics, Melanson said. 

“We did have a few Zoom meetings when possible just to stay in touch with our scouts,” she said. “And the scouts worked on completing a different outdoor activity each month in order to earn their National Summertime Pack Awards.”

For Pack 805’s registration night on Monday evening, the registration table will be staffed through 7:30 p.m. 

“We have asked that only one parent comes to complete paperwork, to make sure that we can social distance appropriately,” Melanson said. “If someone has a new potential scout who is interested, they may come with the parent. We are asking that masks be worn also. If someone is interested in joining but is unable to make the registration event, they can reach out to us through Facebook or email.

For more information about Cub Scout Pack 805, visit their “Pack 805 Windham Maine” Facebook page or send an email to <

Friday, August 7, 2020

Windham’s accomplishments a reflection of council’s priorities, town manager says

Members of Windham's Public Works Department
work on a drainage culvert on Cottage Road near
Highland Lake on Tuesday. The project is about
75 percent complete and is intended to improve the
drainage runoff in the area, boosting water quality
By Ed Pierce
When Windham’s town manager reviews what has been accomplished by the town council in the past year, he sees a lot for residents to be proud of.
Barry Tibbetts assumed duties as Windham Town manager last fall and says he’s been amazed at how prioritized the council has been in getting things done.
“A lot of things have been looked at and worked on,” Tibbetts said. “We’re at a point to make changes for the betterment of the community.”
Led by council chair Jarrod Maxwell, Windham town councilors are focused on resolving longstanding issues despite varying viewpoints and differences, Tibbetts said.
Some of what has been achieved in the past year includes establishing and clarifying town policies dealing with growth, marijuana and the use of town facilities. that end, Tibbetts said councilors have explored problems associated with growth in Windham by revising town permit fees and subdivision ordinance, addressing illegal subdivisions, implementing a growth ordinance along with new impact fees along with new impact fees and specific design standards.
“Growth affects everything we do in our community,” Tibbetts said. “It affects everything from traffic and water quality to the size of our schools and the council wants to ensure we grow in the right way. We can now do that with these new policies and ordinance in place.”
He also said councilors resolved questions about the town’s marijuana ordinance by examining revisions to existing state law, comparing Windham’s rules with other Maine municipalities and then revising its ordinance accordingly. As such, the town is now entering the application phase for adult-use marijuana businesses and that process will be completed by early fall.“This is a huge accomplishment for the council,” Tibbetts said. “This has been a point of contention for some time and it’s great to see the council reach a consensus regarding this ordinance.”
The other major policy issued that councilors have addressed is about the utilization of operational space by the town following studies conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2019 for several buildings. It resulted in space better used by Windham Police and Fire Departments, Tibbetts said, and a recommended expansion of operational space for the town hall.
“As far as the police station goes, previous engineering studies showed a building built for 22 in 1989 now houses more than 45 people,” he said. “Through efforts of the council, bonding for renovation of the police facility was approved by voters at the annual town meeting. The design and construction phase for that work is now starting. The same approach took place for the Fire Central Station with the renovation for that facility built to the latest standards and providing growth space for the department in the future.”  
Tibbetts said that councilors also are examining how to resolve traffic issues through the town, including North Windham.
According to Tibbetts, funding has been obtained for smart traffic lights to interconnect on Route 302 to assist traffic in flowing better in Windham and the town has also entered into a study with the Maine Department of Transportation regarding access roads to keep traffic moving smoothly on Route 302.“The council is also engaged with the Portland Water District to find a sewer solution for the North Windham area. This project has been stalled for many years,” Tibbetts said. “We now have an agreement with the Portland Water District to determine the feasibility of using new sewer technology and determining, as cost will allow us to make a better-informed decision. Prior to this approach we were held captive to a $55 million expense to Westbrook now due to inflation closer to $75 million, but this new approach with advanced technology will yield a much lower long-term cost. No waste will be pumped to Westbrook.”
Other projects that have been accomplished over the past year in Windham include funding of sidewalks on Route 35 at Route 302; the installation of LED streetlights that will save Windham roughly $65,000 a year in operational costs; creating a new turn lane from Route 302 and paving of Brand Road; creating additional parking and improvements at Lippman Park; separating the TIF budget from the municipal budget; a thorough review of all town fees to reflect a more accurate reflection of service costs; moving Public Works into its new facility; implementing a Code of Ethics for town councilors and adopting a town social media policy.
Ongoing projects that should be completed soon include reworking the drainage system along the east side of Highland Lake to adhere to storm water compliance; entering Phase 2 of improvements to the Windham Skate Park; and issuing a Request for Proposals to developers for their best approach to creatively reusing the Southwest Fire Station.
“Windham has been looking at all of these issues for some time but hasn’t been able to get them over the finish line,” Tibbetts said. “This council has done a commendable job in working together to get these completed for the town and we all can take great pride in what has been accomplished this past year.” <