Town Procedures and Ordinances

If you come into the Town office to have something NOTARIZED, you must sign the paper in front of the Notary Public.  DO NOT sign a paper before you get to the Town office and are standing in front of the notary. 

The Selectmen's meetings are the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7pm  at the Sorrento Town Hall.  If you would like to discuss a specific subject with them, please call the Town Clerk at 422-6889, so that you can be placed on the agenda.  We thank you. 

Sorrento residents have to go to the Sorrento Town Office FIRST and pay the excise tax on the vehicle you are registering.  Motor vehicle in Augusta says towns are not supposed to accept excise from other towns. IF YOU COME TO SULLIVAN BEFORE PAYING YOUR EXCISE TAX IN SORRENTO, YOU WILL BE SENT BACK TO SORRENTO.

(To reserve the Sorrento Community Building or the Village Green, call the Town Office at 422-6889.)
The Town's insurance carrier states that the Town must receive from anyone using the Community Building or the Village Green, a Certificate of General Liability (as well as Certificate of Liquor Liability, if applicable).  This Certificate of General Liability MUST LIST THE TOWN OF SORRENTO AS ADDITIONAL INSURED and must be provided by any one or any group using either the Community Building or the Village Green. 

Harris Disposal - 584-3030.  Have your trash out early on Thursday mornings.  Trash stickers must be on each trash bag.  Bags without stickers will not be picked up.  Put the bags in trash cans with a sticker on each bag.  Per contract agreement, bags are not to be more than 40 lbs.  If your trash has been put out correctly as per our ordinance and on time and Harris misses picking it up, please call them at their number.

If a Thursday is a holiday, pick up will be the next day --Friday.  The following items are NOT to be disposed of in our weekly solid waste pick up.

  1. Demolition or construction debris from building and roadway projects or locations.
  2. Liquid wastes or sludges.
  3. Hazardous waste.
  4. Dead animals or portions thereof or other pathological waste.
  5. Water treatment residues.
  6. Tree stumps.
  7. Tannery sludge.
  8. Waste oil.
  9. Discarded "white goods" such a freezers, washing machines, refrigerators, etc. and other appliances and mechanical or electrical devices or items.
  10. Waste which could cause jam-ups, slowdowns, stoppages, failures or damage to the PERC facility (propane tanks, box springs, mattresses, fish nets, wire fencing,etc.).
  11. Waste which does not originate, or is not generated, within the bounds of Sorrento.
  12. Truck tires and tires with rims.  Old medications are not to be thrown out in the weekly trash.  Completely dried out paint cans may be put in the weekly trash.
Tatum McLean of Gouldsboro -  266-7908.  Have your recycling out by 7am on the 4th Thursday of the month October through June. The months of July through September have pickups the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of those months.  Curbside recycling pick up is according to Coastal Recycling guidelines.  Coastal Recycling guidelines are available in the lobby of the Town Hall. If not separated correctly, they may not be picked up.  If it is raining, put the recyclables in plastic bags.  Wet cardboard or paper will not be picked up.

Recyclables must:
  • Be clean and dry
  • Separated into containers by category as shown in the Coastal Recycling handouts in the Town Hall lobby (come in and pick up a handout)
  • Be left out by 7am
Set it apart from your trash pick up so there is no mix-up.
Make sure it can be seen.
If you use plastic bags, it is a good idea to use a different color than you use for your trash bags.  Clear bags are good.
Roadside recycling does NOT require stickers. 

Dates for the next two months are December 5 and 26 and January 23
There is a business right here in Sorrento who will pick up any metals for FREE.  Just call them:
      Guyette's, Inc. - 422-3908
Removal of any metals, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, autos, etc.

The Town of Sorrento participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) allowing residents to purchase flood insurance.  If you have flood insurance you also have a FEMA elevation certificate.  Please send a copy of this certificate (or bring it in so we can copy it) to the Town Office to file with your property records.  Thank you, Rob Wilpan, Selectman

Call 211 - a 24/7 call center program providing information about programs and services available to Maine people.

LIHEAP (Low Income Home energy Assistance Program)  Fuel assistance with oil, kerosene, wood, pellets, propane or electricity.

Home Weatherization & Energy Related Repairs  - Programs to fund improvements to make a home more energy efficient and comfortable.  These could include home insulation, caulking, weather stripping and furnace repair or replacement.

Eligibility Screening for Other Assistance Programs.   Approved LIHEAP applications opens opportunities for other available programs. 

Energy Crisis Intervention program (T.H.A.W. Fund) - is a one time, emergency assistance benefit for 1/4 tanks or less or disconnection.  This is a low income, first come, first served basis program funded by donations to WHCA for fuel assistance. 

Call WHCA for more info at 546-7544 or the Ellsworth office at 664-2424.

Call the Senior Help Line at 1-877-ELDERS1 (1-877-353-3771 toll free) or go to for more info.
(SNAP) The Maine Food Supplement Program is a USDA nutrition program that provides Mainers with extra money for food.  A senior with a monthly gross income less than $1,723 or $2333 for 2 people, is likely to be eligible.  It is worth it to find out.

Mountain View School is collecting box tops and labels for education.  There is a box for these boxtops and labels on the counter here at the town office.  Check your cans and boxes and bring in these tops and labels if you have any.   These are used to earn various items that the students can use at school.  

Three choices for brush disposal: 
  1. Compost on your property.
  2. Obtain a fire permit to burn on your property.
  3. Hire a contractor to chip it on your property or haul it out of town.
From the Sorrento Fire Department:
If you would like the Fire Department to check on you during severe storms or power outages, please call the Town Office and leave your name and telephone number. 

Commercial burn permits are available October 15 and  expire on April 15.

You are required by Maine law to have a permit to burn, even for a small pile of grass clippings or leaves.  A Forestry Warden will be called if you burn without a permit, possibly resulting in you being summonsed to court and fined.  The person who signs the fire permit is responsible for the fire. Do not leave any fire unattended. 

To obtain a burn permit contact:
Fire Chief Joey Clark                       422-6570 or 812-2208 (cell)
Dep. Fire Chief Dwayne Clement     422-6889 (work)  422-3622 (home) or 479-6049 (cell)
Asst. Fire Chief  Mike Parker           422-6755 (home)
Asst. Fire Chief Brian Clement          422-3503 (home)
Chief Engineer Craig Clement            460-8851

Brush disposal --
Three choices for brush disposal --
1.  Compost on your property.
2.  Obtain a fire permit to burn on your property.
3.  Hire a contractor to chip it on your property or haul it out of town.

Required for burning:
  • at least 2 adults to attend the burn.
  • some form of water supply and hand tools must be on hand.
  • and it is recommended you have a cellular phone or other communication device to call for assistance should the fire escape.
YOU are responsible to see that the fire is out before leaving. 


The Fire Department will be toned out by Hancock county Dispatch.  There is no number to contact the Fire Department directly -- you need to call 9-1-1.

If you plan to fish in the saltwater you must register at National Saltwater angler Registry at 1-888-6747 4am to 12midnight (EST) 7 days a week. 

Anyone 16 years of age or older who wishes to fish recreationally in saltwater needs to register in Maine.  Customers will be able to register for free at the same time that they purchase their freshwater fishing license.
You should have your freshwater fishing license with you when fishing in saltwater to prove you have registered in Maine.
A person who wishes to fish in saltwater who does not wish to purchase a fresh water fishing license must register on the Saltwater Registry.  This is done on the regular license form.  The state fee is $0 and the agent/town fee is $2.  A person who wishes to purchase the Salt Water Registry item is required to provide a phone number.
If you are purchasing any other item on the license form, the fee for the salt water registry is $0 for the state and $0 for the agent/town.

To check for shellfish harvesting area openings or closings:
Dept. of Marine Resources Sanitation Hotline: 1-800-232-4733
DMR Bacteriological Closure website:
DMR Red Tide Shellfish Closure website: 

SHELLFISH ORDINANCE  Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Conservation Ordinance
If you would like to harvest shellfish in Sorrento, a commercial or recreational shellfish license is required.  The licenses run from July 1 to June 30.  "Peck" or recreational licenses may be purchased at the Sorrento Town Hall.  A resident recreational license is $6.00; a non-resident recreational license is $11.00; 16 years and under and 65 years and older is only the $1.00 agent fee.  Resident commercial licenses must be purchased at the Ellsworth City Hall.  Non-resident commercial licenses are awarded annually by lottery.  A copy of the ordinance may be obtained in the lobby of the Sorrento Town Hall or at Ellsworth City Hall. Shellfish Warden Mike Hall is routinely patrolling the shoreline.Violators will be prosecuted for noncompliance.  Local harvesters will work with DMR and other parties to work on conservation measures.  When used in the context of this new ordinance, the words "shellfish," "clams" and "intertidal shellfish resources" mean soft shell clams (Mya arenaria), quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria), razor clams (Ensis directus), hen clams (Spisula solidissima), eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and European Oysters (Ostrea edulis). 

Don't forget Sorrento's Land Use/Building Ordinance.  This ordinance is for property that would fall outside of the Shoreland Zoning area and therefore the Shoreland zoning Ordinance.  A copy of this new ordinance can be picked up in the lobby of the Town Office.  If you are unsure if you need to apply for a permit, call John Fuhrman, Sorrento's Code Enforcement Officer, 963-2363.  Failure to get a permit if needed can result in penalties and other costs.

Received from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection - Maine Shoreland Zoning, A Handbook for Shoreland Owners.  Any Sorrento property owners who own shoreland here in Sorrento may come in to pick up this handbook.  For any differences between this handbook and the Sorrento Shoreland Ordinance, the Sorrento Shoreland Ordinance overrides the handbook.  A copy of the Sorrento Shoreland Ordinance can be purchased for $5 or you can just look at a copy in the office if you do not wish to purchase one. 

Whether you register your boat(s) and get registration stickers, or your boat is documented and you only get excise stickers, these stickers need to be put on the boat, in the correct areas.  THIS IS THE STATE LAW!

If you own a DOCUMENTED BOAT there is no yearly registration fee.  But there is a yearly boat excise fee (for which you are issued a boat excise sticker similar to a boat registration sticker), payable to the Town.  This documented boat excise fee is due within 10 days of operation on State waters, or prior to July 1st of each year. 

When you come in to pay your boat excise tax, please bring your documentation certificate with you.  There will also be a Documented Boat Excise Tax Form for you to fill out.  One can be sent to you if you call and let this office know. 


ALL Sorrento waters come under the Sorrento Harbor Ordinance, so all moorings in all Sorrento Waters will pay a fee.  Change for mooring inspection:  has been changed from every 5 years to EVERY 3 YEARS.

TO NEW LAND OWNERS OR OLD LAND OWNERS - If you have bought or sold a portion of a lot of land, a map of the new division of the properties needs to be sent to the Selectmen/assessors. 

As of February 27, 2008, concealed weapon permit renewals and first-time applications now go through the Maine State Police, not the Town of Sorrento.  If you need a first-time application or a renewal application, please call 624-7210 or go on-line to

As of July 12, 2010 certified records of birth, marriage and death increased from $10 to $15 and marriage licenses increased from $30 to $40.  The State sets these rates.

Animal Control Officers - Marie Zwicker - 460-8920 or 266-5027 (away for the winter); Beverly Merchant Cell 610-0892 (home) 422-9504

2014 Dog Licenses are due January 1, 2014.  
  • Dogs must be licensed January 1 or when they reach 6 months of age.  If you license your dog(s) after January 31 you will pay a $25 late fee per dog along with the license fee. 
  • When licensing your dog, you must bring with you your dog's rabies certificate showing the tag number and date of expiration and your certificate of proof of spay or neuter unless these are already on file at the Town Office.
  • If you lived and paid for your dog's license/tag in another town in Maine and now live in Sorrento, you must come into the Town Office and exchange for a Sorrento license/tag.
  • Any dog living in the Town of Sorrento must have a Sorrento license/tag. 
                          Spayed/neutered dog fee - $6
                          Unaltered dog fee - $11


DOGS:  If you have a complaint about a dog(s) being on your property, running loose, barking, etc., you must sign a complaint form.  This form states that you may be called to court to testify.  Your name can be kept private until court time.  If the person involved contacts you, this is witness tampering and can be addressed.

If you have any pet carriers, small or large, that you would like to get rid of, please call the animal Control Officers.

S.A.F.E. (Sullivan Animal Food Eatery): This is a pet food pantry that is open to residents of Sullivan and surrounding towns, including Sorrento.  If you are having trouble making ends meet and feeding your pets, contact Kristine at the Sullivan Town Hall, 422-6282.  The pet food, both dry and wet, for dogs and cats is available at the Sullivan Town Hall during business hours.   Donations are gratefully accepted. 

Voucher Program for Spay/Neuter:  There is a voucher program available through the Ark Animal Shelter for those people who need to spay/neuter their companion animals but who cannot afford the whole price.  the way the program works is that the Ark pays 1/3 of the cost of surgery, the veterinarian gives up 1/3 and you pay 1/3.  All the local vets are involved in the program.  You call the Ark at 546-3484 first to indicate that you need help through their voucher program, then you set up an appointment with your vet and let them know that you will be getting assistance from the voucher program, then you call the Ark back and give them the appointment date and time, the animal's information and your name and contact information.  The Ark then faxes a voucher certificate to your vet prior to the surgery date.  The SPCA of Hancock County also has a voucher program that works the same way, but you will need to check with them first at 667-8088 to see if funds are available.

There is no registration or license or fee as dogs have.  But if an Animal Control Officer or other law officer asks to see your cat's rabies certificate for any reason, you must show them the rabies certificate.

CATS: If you have been feeding stray cats, it becomes your responsibility to take care of them, not the Town's.

FDA warning to all Dog Owners
This is a list of dog treats and food made in China that have been in question and linked to pet illnesses or deaths.  Waggin Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, Dogswell, Hartz Snausages, Booda Bones, Aspen Pet, Milo's Kitchen, American Kennel Club, Dingo's, Beefeaters, Cadet Sargents, Ever Pet (Dollar General), Home Pet 360 Walgreens Simple (new brand), The Kingdom's Pets Beneful, Beggin' Strips Pepperoni, Canine Carryout.