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Tips for Newcomers

Automobile Registration/Licenses
Mailing address: Secretary of State, Motor Vehicle Division, State House Station 29, Augusta, Maine 04333-0029. Phone: (207) 624-9000. Location: 19 Anthony Avenue, Augusta, Maine.

Child Care
Many excellent child-care services are available in the Capital Area. Day care centers, private homes, nursery school programs and after school child care programs are available. Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation in Farmingdale is a source of information for parents, employers and providers seeking child-care information. Phone: 1-800-525-2229.

Climate
The weather of the area is in four distinct seasons, but without the severe snowfalls and cold of the northern regions. Since Augusta is at the head of tide in the Kennebec River, it is considered coastal, but it lacks the heavy fogs of the seashore towns. The summer heat is comfortably tempered, but a few days occur with maximums reaching as high as 90 degrees. Mid-summer afternoon temperatures are in the ideal range from 75 to 80 degrees on an average day, with the nighttime minimum average in the upper 50’s. Uncomfortably hot and humid nights are relatively few. Winters are moderately cold, with a mean temperature of 23 degrees for the three months of December, January and February. Readings of zero or lower are recorded on an average of 13 days per winter.

Clubs/Organizations
Getting together with people who share your interests is an important part of life in the Capital Area. Most national service and social organizations can be found here. For a complete list of clubs and organizations please contact the Chamber.

Education
In 2006, the Capital City opened a new $30 million Cony High School. Several other area communities are upgrading schools to assure the best educational opportunities for our children.

School systems within the Capital Area are strongly committed to the educational, social and personal development of our children. Our schools are noted for fine academic programs, which have prepared students for the best colleges in the country. To meet the needs of a diverse student population, schools offer special needs and honors programs, as well as alternative programs for students interested in exploring non-traditional environments. For more information, contact the Superintendent’s Office of the City or Town of interest. The University of Maine at Augusta is the state’s third-largest, post-secondary education school, serving students on campus, through ITV and its web-based programs. Other area colleges include Kaplan University (Augusta) and Thomas College and Colby College (Waterville). The Kennebec Valley Community College (Fairfield) also serves area students.

Public School Superintendent’s Offices:
Augusta — (207) 626-2468

Chelsea /Whitefield/Windsor/Wiscasset
(207) 549-3261

Dresden/Farmingdale/Hallowell/ Monmouth/Richmond
(207) 622-6351

Gardiner/Pittston/Randolph/West Gardiner
(207) 582-5346

Litchfield/Sabattus/Wales
(207) 375-4273

Manchester/Mount Vernon/Maranacook/ Readfield/Wayne
(207) 685-3336

Winthrop/Fayette
(207) 377-2296

Private and Parochial Schools: Dirigere Christian Academy (1-12)
(207) 622-1721

Kents Hill (High School)
(207) 685-4914

St. Michael’s School (K-8)
(207) 623-3491

Stepping Stones Montessori School (Pre K-8)
(207) 626-5550

Colleges/Universities: Kaplan University
(207) 213-2500

University of Maine at Augusta
(207) 621-3000

Colby College*
(207) 872-3000

Kennebec Valley Community College*
(207) 453-5000

Thomas College*
(207) 859-1101

* These schools are in the Waterville area

Vocational Schools: Capital Area Technical Center
(207) 626-2475

Hospitals:
Alzheimer’s Care Center — (207) 626-1770
152 Dresden Ave., Gardiner, Maine

Riverview Psychiatric Center — (207) 624-3900
Hospital St., Augusta, Maine

MaineGeneral Medical Center, Alfond Center for Health*
(207) 626-1000
35 Medical Center Parkway, Augusta, Maine

Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care
(207) 621-6100
361 Old Belgrade Rd., Augusta, Maine

VA Maine Healthcare System — (207) 623-8411
Togus, Maine

* The region’s largest private employer, MaineGeneral operates major hospital campuses in Augusta and Waterville and community health centers in a number of area towns.

Housing in the Capital Area

Housing
Housing in the Capital Area is available to suit every taste and need. Median sales price of single-family homes in Kennebec County in 2013 was $133,125 although the range of homes can extend to luxury homes on beautiful lakeside settings. Homes for the most part are located on heavily vegetated lots whether in the urban areas or in nearby country settings. Apartments are available in the area at reasonable prices and a number of seniors and assisted-living homes are available. Please see our membership directory for a full listing of “Real Estate Development Rentals” professionals or write or call the Chamber for an area Real Estate Guide.

Libraries:
Augusta: Lithgow Public Library — (207) 626-2415

Maine State Library: Located in the Maine State Cultural Building in the State Capitol Complex, The Maine State Library houses an extensive collection of material on Maine history and genealogy. Library — (207) 287-5600 Archives — (207) 287-5790

University of Maine at Augusta Katz Library
(207) 621-3356

Gardiner: Gardiner Public Library
(207) 582-3312

Hallowell: Hubbard Free Library
(207) 622-6582

Richmond: Richmond Public Library
(207) 737-2770

Wayne: Cary Memorial Library
(207) 685-3612

Winthrop: Charles M. Bailey Library
(207) 377-8673

Newspaper/Radio/Television
The Kennebec Journal serves the region as the primary daily newspaper. Several local radio stations are operated by Blueberry Broadcasting, Townsquare Media and Mountain Wireless. Time Warner Cable provides cable television, phone and internet services to the Capital Area. Network service is available via stations WCSH-TV, WGME-TV, WMTW-TV, and WABI-TV located in Bangor, Lewiston/Auburn and Portland, Maine.

Recreation
The Capital Area offers a variety of year-round recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. Surrounded by more than 30 lakes, ponds, and the Kennebec River, the Capital Area is well suited for activities such as canoeing/ kayaking, boating, swimming, water skiing, sailing, jet skiing, ice skating and fishing. Visitors may rent or buy canoes and kayaks from Belgrade Canoe & Kayak. Boat sales, rentals and marine services are provided by area marinas including Clark Marine in Manchester and Lakeside Motel and Marina in East Winthrop. Public boat landings located on the Kennebec River can be found in Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, and Richmond as well as on larger lakes in the region. White water rafting along the upper Kennebec and other rivers is organized by rafting companies within the area such as North Country Rivers.

The Capital Area Recreation Association complex between Hospital Street and the Cony Road (beside the Viles Arboretum) offers venues for soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, horseshoes, and walking / hiking / jogging.

The City of Augusta maintains popular Bicentennial Park, a recreation and swimming area on a city pond for Augusta residents.

Outdoor swimming pools are located at two area playgrounds and at area hotels/motels including Fairway Motor Lodge, Best Western Plus Civic Center Inn and Quality Inn & Suites Maine Evergreen Hotel. Indoor swimming pools are located at Senator Inn & Spa, Comfort Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Hampton Inn and Kennebec Valley YMCA. The Kennebec Valley YMCA, with its two facilities (Augusta and Manchester) offers two pools, fitness centers/indoor tracks, group exercise studios, racquetball, open gym, child watch services and a variety of programs that serve all ages, infants to seniors. Other health clubs include UMA and Flight II Fitness. Other indoor sports offered within the Capital Area include ice skating at the new Bank of Maine Ice Vault (formerly Kennebec Ice Arena), candlepin bowling at 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center, and ten pin bowling at Sparetime Recreation.

The Capital Area also hosts seven outdoor tennis courts, six public golf courses, one private golf course, Augusta Country Club, and numerous parks, playgrounds and athletic fields. Miniature golf is offered within the area at T’s Golf. Capital Area residents and visitors also frequent our 10 theater cinema, and nightly Beano played at various halls and churches throughout our communities.

New Nordic Center: Augusta has developed a new Nordic ski complex with separate trails for other recreation activities on a large 160-acre forested tract in the center of the Capital.

In 2014, the Kennebec Valley Tennis Association opened a new four-court indoor tennis facility.

Utilities

Cultural Arts
Abound Cultural opportunities within the Capital Area include Shakespearean plays performed at the Theater at Monmouth throughout the summer and concerts performed by the Kennebec Performing Arts and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra plus year-round performances at the Waterville Opera House. Other venues for performing arts include Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Gaslight Theater in Hallowell, The University of Maine at Augusta and new state-of-the-art facilities at Cony High School and Winthrop High School.

Senior Citizen Assistance
General information is available from the Bureau of Elder & Adult Services, State House Station 11, Augusta, Maine 04333 Phone: (207) 287-9200 or 1 800-262-2232 or call Spectrum Generations, One Weston Court, Augusta, Maine 04330, Phone: (207) 622-9212 or 1-800-639-1553.

Shopping
Each community in the Capital Area offers its own unique downtown shopping experience. Visit the varied selection of large stores or a growing number of small to mid-size specialty shops. Your shopping experience will include visiting several shopping centers, mini-malls and traditional Main Street settings of the downtown business districts.

The 1.3-million-square-foot Marketplace at Augusta features 40 nationally known retailers (includes Walmart, Sam’s, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Home Depot, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc). Augusta Crossing shopping center opened in late 2007 with Lowe’s, Target, Best Buy, Staples, etc. Other larger shopping centers include the Turnpike Mall, Augusta Plaza and Shaw’s Plaza. Several new stores are opening in 2014 in the new Journal Square shopping center. Whatever your shopping pleasure, you are sure to discover it in the Capital Area.

Taxation
The tax structure of Maine is comprised of state and local taxes. The state collects retail sales and use taxes, income taxes and business related taxes. At the local level, real estate, personal property and excise taxes are collected. Additional detailed information may be obtained from municipal offices or from the Bureau of Taxation, State House Station 24, Augusta, Maine 04333-0024. Phone: (207) 287-2076

Transportation
Interstate 95, the backbone of highway transportation in Maine, serves the Capital area. In addition, many other major highways converge in the Capital helping to make it a true center of commerce and travel.

Portland and Bangor are about an hour’s drive away and Boston is less than a three-hour drive.

Cape Air provides scheduled flight service to Boston and beyond from the Augusta State Airport. Charter air service and flight instruction courses are available from Maine Instrument Flight. Augusta has a variety of trucking firms, which offer freight service to the area. Greyhound buses serve Augusta; Kennebec Explorer provides local public bus transportation and rental cars are available at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Concord Coach Lines bus company operates a major transportation hub in Augusta providing direct transport to Boston.

Augusta’s Cushnoc Crossing Bridge over the Kennebec River provides convenience for the city’s 25,000 daily commuters as well as for the millions of trips annually to and from our nearby coastal regions.

Utilities
In 2013, two natural gas companies installed pipelines and began delivering natural gas to industrial, commercial, and residential customers. Summit Natural Gas of Maine is installing a $350 million pipeline infrastructure along the river corridor from Dresden to Madison. Maine Natural Gas has installed a $25 million pipeline project to serve customers in the Capitol City. Central Maine Power provides the area with electric service. FairPoint Communications is the primary provider of landline telephone service, although several local independent companies also serve the area. Cell phone companies include U. S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. Time Warner Cable provides the region with cable television, high speed internet and digital phone service. The Capital Area is served by a number of gas and oil dealers. The availability of municipal water and sewer systems varies from community to community.

Welcoming/Greeting Service
If you are new to the Capital Area and would like an information package from Newcomer Relocation Services, please call Ramona Venskus at (207) 622-4312.

Worship
The Capital Area offers many places of worship for nearly every faith. With so many religious denominations represented you are sure to find a very warm welcome in the house of worship of your choice.

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