Beach parking enforcement called 'discretionary,' 'sporadic'

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Jul 30, 2014
Source: File

Lincolnville — Parking was the most heated issue on a long agenda when the Board of Selectmen met Monday, July 28.

Resident Pat Shannon came before the Board to complain about the “sudden” enforcement of the four-hour time limit in the Beach parking lots.

“I've never known anyone who's ever gotten a ticket,” she said, though she recently received one.

She said she had lately started a part-time job on Islesboro and had no other way to get to work than to drive to Lincolnville Beach and park in order to get the ferry. She described the enforcement as “discretionary and sporadic,” saying that whether one got a ticket depended on who one was or who one knew.

Shannon went on to say she had ridden to and from the island with someone who parked their car next to hers, and when they returned Shannon's vehicle had been ticketed but the one next to her's was not.

“I said, 'What's going on?' and was told, 'You're a sucker, that's what's going on.'”

Shannon described people with permits allowing them to park for free at the harbor sharing those permits with friends, and business owners allowing friends to park in their lots all day at no charge. Since she has already gotten one ticket, which cost $10, and cannot afford a second, which would be $25, Shannon has been parking in the ferry lot for $10 a day. She said she did not want a special arrangement, she wanted a legal way to park at the harbor without paying. “I want a parking permit,” she said.

Town Administrator David Kinney said there were six permitted spaces in the lot next to the ferry ticket office that are required by town ordinance to be allocated to commercial fishermen. In addition, there is room for five or six cars adjacent to the boat launch ramp, with permits to park there on a first-come, first-served basis going to holders of mooring permits.

Board Chairman Ladleah Dunn responded that two volunteer parking attendants were appointed to enforce the parking limit in order to make parking available to more people. The two -- Robert Payne and Donald French -- were appointed June 30. She added that she had heard from other residents the complaint voiced by Shannon about inconsistent enforcement, and was concerned about it.

The selectmen agreed to ask the parking attendants to their next meeting to talk about how enforcement is going.

In other business, Edward Murphy of Belfast applied for a taxi license so he can transport patients for MaineCare. He said he owns property on Belfast Road in Lincolnville where he plans to build a house soon. Murphy said he ran the Waldo County transportation program from 1996 to June 30 of this year, when he retired. The Board granted the license for one year.

Resident Richard Rosenberg came to the Board seeking to buy back a parcel of land the town took from him in lieu of unpaid taxes. As Rosenberg did not offer a specific dollar figure and Kinney did not have the amount owed in taxes, judgments and costs, Selectman Rosey Gerry proposed tabling the item until the figures could be obtained and selectmen could talk with the town attorney. The Board voted to table the item.

Cecil Dennison, chairman of the Cemetery Trustees, reported on an amendment to state law regarding cemeteries. The law, which goes into effect Aug. 1, requires that towns have access to ancient burying grounds – cemeteries founded before 1880 – in order to make sure proper maintenance is being done. If an ancient burying ground is not properly maintained, the town may take over maintenance from a private land owner whose property surrounds the cemetery, or may appoint a caretaker. The law sets out guidelines for maintenance which apply unless the town adopts more stringent standards.

The Board asked Kinney to send out copies of the amended portion of the law to all cemetery associations in town, as well as land owners whose property surrounds a cemetery.

The Board heard from Chris Osgood, chairman of the Route One Advisory Committee, who reported that no progress is being made in talks with the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) about improvements to the stretch of Route 1 that runs through the town. He said the town had honored its part of an agreement made a number of years ago with DOT, but DOT had not kept its part. He asked for the Board's informal approval of a letter to DOT Planning Director Herb Thompson requesting DOT to waive its requirement for a local funds match (a requirement that did not exist when the original agreement was made). If the agency will not waive the requirement, the town will postpone doing any work on Route 1 for now.

The Board reviewed and approved an agreement with residents Alex and Gladys Kuli of Fernald's Neck Road to move part of the road. The work will be contracted by the town and paid for by the Kulis, according to a plan done by Gartley and Dorsky of Camden, which the Kulis also paid for.

Three bids were awarded: for paving to All States Asphalt of Windham; for winter sand to Lucas Construction of Searsmont; and for installation of a culvert on Slab City Road at Spring Brook to Thomas Construction of Lincolnville.

A public hearing was set for winter road closures at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Town Office.

Also, the Board approved a proposal for appraisal of damages on Martin Corner Road in case the town decides to discontinue the road.

In his report, Kinney said one of the three in-street pedestrian crossing signs placed at the Beach had been stolen within 48 hours of being put there.

And he reminded those present that Route 173 north of United Christian Church will be closed for part of August for road work.

July 31, Kinney received word from Farley & Sons, the company contracted for the road work, that it would be postponed until after Labor Day. Once the work starts, he said, the road will be closed in that area for four weeks.

Comments (2)
Posted by: KERYN LAITE | Jul 31, 2014 07:32

Arrive a little earlier and park in the State lot. Look, there is not enough room for all that is going on down there in the first place. Paying for parking, like Joe says, has become a way of life.

Posted by: Joseph Mclaughlin | Jul 30, 2014 09:25

I guess I'm not understanding this, someone wants to take the state ferry to another town to work but expects a free parking spot be provided to her in an area with two extremely busy beaches and multiple small businesses who serve beach patrons? There already isn't enough parking at the beach.

That's what the state parking lot is for. And unfortunately it's just a fact of life that when parking is limited you're going to have to pay for it.

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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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