Fireworks explosive, docks rock the boat at selectmen’s meeting
Lincolnville — Fire and water dominated select board discussions as residents turned out to present concerns about late-night fireworks and the location of the swim float on Norton Pond.
Several people spoke Aug. 12 regarding the issue of fireworks being set off at night, primarily in the areas of Norton Pond and Megunticook Lake. Concerns were expressed about the noise from the fireworks, and how it affects dogs, waterfowl and young children going to sleep. Resident Richard Benner described the fireworks as “incredibly loud,” while Landis Gable said he found the frequency of fireworks “shocking” and that they were set off “night after night.” Most speakers said they hope for some kind of ordinance regarding fireworks.
Resident Adam Chalmers was the lone voice against regulating the use of fireworks in town.
“I’m all for the fireworks,” he said, adding that he thinks state law provides enough regulation.
Donnie Heald expressed sympathy for those disturbed by the noise, but said he felt most of the fireworks are set off by people vacationing from out of the area who would not care about any local regulations. Selectman Jason Trundy agreed the “biggest hurdle” with any regulation “is going to be enforcement.”
After discussion, the board decided to refer the matter to a committee to develop an ordinance to be voted on at a future town meeting. The vote was 3 to 2, with selectmen Rosey Gerry and Julia Libby opposed.
The other contentious issue concerned placement of the swim float and sailboat dock on Norton Pond. Resident Lesley Devoe presented a letter to the board, outlining what she sees as several problems with the current location of the two docks. Moreover, she said, public access to the pond, safety and neighborhood cooperation have all declined in the last two years.
Devoe said her main concern was that the swim float was too far out for young children to swim to without becoming tired. Other issues she raised included the distance between the swim float and the sailboat dock, which she said was too small; the proper removal of weeds from the pond, the location of the boat launch and beach docks and noise from unauthorized night swimmers. She proposed a rearrangement of the swim and sailboat docks, as well as the other docks, that she felt would address most of her concerns.
Heald, who handles the docks for the Recreation Committee, took umbrage at Devoe’s remarks, responding, “as far as the dock being moved, we moved it because you asked us to.” He added safety for swimmers has been improved by the addition of a buoy between the shore and the swim float, so if someone got tired they could rest on it.
After further discussion, Trundy and others expressed frustration with the repeated requests to move the floats that have come to the Board, and he said he didn’t believe it was possible to satisfy all parties. It was agreed that Devoe’s proposal could be tried next spring.
In other business, Town Administrator David Kinney reported the contract completion date for the town office renovation and expansion is near the end of November, but said he expected it to be done, “several weeks in advance of that.” He praised the work of contractor The Penobscot Co., saying, “It’s coming along handsomely.”
Kinney also reported that former Police Chief Ron Young has been hired as police chief in Damariscotta, pending a satisfactory physical. He said Lincolnville’s obligation to Young will end when he starts the new job in early September.
Also, Kinney announced the state Department of Environmental Protection has approved Lincolnville Historical Society’s plans to renovate the old schoolhouse for use as a town library, allowing plans to move forward.
Peter Rollins, president of Lincolnville Volunteer Fire Department Inc. addressed the Board and said the nonprofit has found a suitable site for a new Lincolnville Beach fire station. A letter of intent to purchase property on Beach Road owned by Bob and Joyce Collemer for $45,000 has been drafted, he said. Rollins’ organization will donate the purchase price to the town, so that the town can buy the land and hold it until it is ready to build a new fire station.
The board voted unanimously to instruct Kinney to work with Rollins and the Collemers to create the necessary agreements to facilitate the sale, a condition of which will be that the volunteer fire department has a say in the disposition of timber on the property. Kinney was also instructed to prepare an article for the next town meeting warrant to accept the property.
The board also voted unanimously to ask Kinney to seek bids for the town’s two police cruisers from government law enforcement agencies, following Kinney’s recommendation that the cars be sold equipped, rather than taking the equipment out of the vehicles to be sold separately. He also said he has received inquiries about both cars.
The board discussed the newly established EMS Performance Review Committee set up to oversee the performance of Northeast Mobile Health Services, which took over providing emergency medical services when Camden First Aid Association closed its doors at the end of June. Trundy and Jim Sinclair represented the town on the EMS Review Committee before Northeast was hired as the town’s EMS provider; Trundy suggested asking Sinclair to be on the new committee, and said he would be willing to serve on it as well, to maintain continuity.
Kinney noted Maine State Police have agreed to issue concealed weapons permits for the town. However, he said, applications for permits received between Young’s departure as chief of police and the agreement with the state police require action by the board.
Meeting as the Board of Assessors, they set a mil rate for 2013-14 of $13.60 per $1,000 of valuation, down 1.4 percent from the previous year’s mil rate of $13.80.
After its public business was completed, the board went into executive session to consider hiring decisions. In a telephone message, Kinney said Jeannie Hollingsworth of Lakeside Executive Services was hired as recording secretary for the Planning Board. An animal control officer position — formerly held by Young — has yet to be filled, according to Kinney.
Sarah E. Reynolds is a reporter for the Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, hike and play word games.
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