Island Briefs

Council meetings to remain virtual 

BAR HARBOR—The Bar Harbor Town Council members voted unanimously to continue online meetings using the Zoom conferencing platform through their Jan. 5, 2021, meeting. Members expressed the desire to remain as safe as possible and will revisit the topic at their first meeting in January. Members of the public have had continued access to meetings throughout the pandemic. Citizens can join the Zoom meeting, as well as watch it on Cable Access Channel 3 or, with Spectrum Cable, on channel 1303. Meetings also stream live and are recorded for later viewing at 



2021 dog licenses are available now

MOUNT DESERT Current year dog licenses are now available. All dogs that are 6 months and older must be licensed. To obtain a license or renewal of a dog license, a certified rabies certificate from a Maine veterinarian must accompany the request. 

License renewals maybe done through the mail or online at All licenses are required to be obtained on or by Jan. 1. A late fee on unregistered dogs will be imposed on Feb. 1. The fee for neutered/spayed dog is $6 and $11 for non-neutered/non-spayed dogs.  

For more information on how to register your dog, contact the town clerk at (207) 276-5531. 


Town’s shorter office hours permanent 

MOUNT DESERT— Prior to the closure of the Town Hall offices to the public in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office hours were 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

When the offices reopened to the public in June with safety precautions in place, the opening hour was moved to 9 a.m. on a trial basis to allow time for staff training, the filing of reports and various organizational activities. 

The Board of Selectmen on Monday approved Town Manager Durlin Lunt’s request to make the half-hour-shorter office hours permanent. He told the selectmen in a memo that the extra half-hour before the doors open to the public has been well used to “correct glitches in areas such as software,” to discuss ways to enhance customer service and to set up for the business day. 

He said the time between 8:30 and 9 a.m. is not typically a busy customer service period, and he has received no complaints about the slightly shorter business hours. 


Insurance firms merge, leave MDI 

TRENTON — Two of Mount Desert Island’s long-established insurance agencies – Swan Agency in Bar Harbor and Merchant Needham & Associates in Northeast Harbor – have merged and moved to Trenton. 

The new, combined office opened Sept. 14 in the building on Bar Harbor Road that, for several years, housed the offices of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.  

Cross Insurance, based in Bangor, purchased the formerly independent Swan Agency in 2013 and Merchant Needham the following year. Although the newly combined agency is not located on Mount Desert Island, its name is Cross Insurance – MDI. 

A Cross Insurance executive in Bangor did not return calls for comment on the reason for the merger and the move. 

“Our employees look forward to continuing to provide you the best in personalized and professional service for all your insurance needs,” agency officials said in a letter to their customers. 

The forerunner of Merchant Needham was founded in 1897. The Swan Agency was established by Cary and June Swan in 1975.  

Cross Insurance has offices throughout New England. 



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