Public comment to be heard Aug. 25

Selectmen, Harbor Committee wrap up series of meetings

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Aug 25, 2014
Source: File

Lincolnville — The last of three joint meetings between selectmen and the Harbor Committee Thursday, Aug. 21, began with a misunderstanding.

Board of Selectmen Chair Ladleah Dunn suggested that once the last remaining items on the agenda had been discussed, there would be time for public comment, in accordance with what had been said at the previous meeting.

Deputy Harbor Master Kendall Smith said he and other fishermen who wanted to comment had not understood that to be the Board's intention. He said they had thought there would be a separate meeting for comments from the public.

After some further discussion, it was decided that a time for comments about the harbor and issues raised during the three workshops would be provided near the beginning of the regular selectmen's meeting Monday, Aug. 25, at the Town Office. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with an executive session.

Turning to recommendations proposed to the selectmen by the Harbor Committee April 14, Selectman Cathy Hardy said she agreed with the recommendations and praised the committee for its work in developing them. “Good job, Harbor Committee,” she said.

The Board reviewed the recommendations, some of which had been discussed earlier in the series of meetings. One of the recommendations was to include a table of minimum mooring standards in the Harbor Ordinance, and had charged Harbormaster Mike Hutchins to develop standards he thought were appropriate for Lincolnville. In the discussion Thursday, Hutchins said he feared that if a minimum standard were set, boat owners would build their moorings to that minimum, regardless of whether it was right for their boat. In the end, it was decided Hutchins would initial the mooring application form boat owners must return to the Town Office, to certify that he has inspected any new moorings to make sure they are adequate for the boat that will be moored there.

The time limit for guest moorings was discussed again, with Hutchins opposed, as before, to the Harbor Committee's recommendation to change the limit for one or more of the moorings from four to 24 hours. Harbor Committee member Shay Conover, of Islesboro, said the longer time would be helpful to island residents.

The Board directed Town Administrator David Kinney to prepare language to remove the four-hour time limit from the Harbor Ordinance, and instead have the harbormaster recommend each year what the time limit should be for the moorings.

There followed a lengthy discussion of the policy regarding assignment of outer harbor moorings going forward, with selectmen finally deciding to have Kinney create a waiting list for moorings that would be addressed next spring.

As the meeting was wrapping up, two new ideas were brought up. Hutchins suggested creating a new boat launch area at Ducktrap. And Selectman Art Durity proposed installing a wireless camera at the harbor to record incidents when boats get hit to establish liability. Inland Harbormaster Justin Twitchell said he had some information about cameras that would be suitable for this purpose, which he would share with Kinney.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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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, ride her ATV and play word games.

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