Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 26


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7/24/2013 2:00:00 PM
Study Recommends Pay-For-Parking In Damariscotta
By J.W. Oliver

A study by a University of Southern Maine professor and her student recommends a $1-per-hour charge for summertime parking in the Damariscotta municipal parking lot.

Residents would be able to purchase season passes for $10. The system, which would require a pair of $12,000 parking kiosks, would generate a $70,000 profit in its first year and more than $115,000 per year thereafter, according to estimates in the study.

The estimates assume 95 percent occupancy of the lot from the weekend of Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The income could fund maintenance of the lot and major capital improvements from paving to public restrooms, according to the study.

The study acknowledges negative perceptions of similar systems among downtown business owners and the public.

Other towns report steady tourism or an uptick in tourism after implementing similar systems, however; and residents tend to accept the system when they understand the fiscal benefits, according to the report.

The town commissioned the study by Tracy S. Michaud Stutzman, who holds a doctorate in archeology and anthropology and lectures on anthropology, hospitality and tourism at USM; and Marjorie Jarry, a hospitality and tourism student.

A $2000 Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission Assistance with Specific Know-how grant paid for the study.

The Damariscotta Board of Selectmen plans to discuss the report at its Wednesday, Aug. 21 meeting. The concept needs more study, Damariscotta Town Manager Matt Lutkus said.

In other parking news, the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing Wed., Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. about a proposal to increase parking fines.

The new fine schedule, which would require a vote of the board, would raise fines for the most common violations, such as parking beyond time limits, from $10 to $25.

The new fine schedule was developed in 2010 but the board never voted on it.

Damariscotta Police Department
Damariscotta Town Manager Matt Lutkus is optimistic the town will find its next police chief soon after re-posting the opening and receiving 10 new applications.

"I think timing is everything," Lutkus told the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen July 17. "Where previously we did not have any higher-level law enforcement professionals from Maine, now we have several in the application pool already."

Lutkus plans to conduct interviews the week of Aug. 5 to 9.

Damariscotta began a police chief search in April and, after receiving and reviewing 24 applications, narrowed the field of candidates to a single finalist. The town resumed the search, however, after the town and the candidate could not agree on terms.

The town is also advertising for a full-time patrol officer to fill a vacancy in the department.

Acting Police Chief Todd Brackett and Lutkus plan to combine the town's recruitment efforts with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, which needs a new deputy.

The joint effort will save the town money as the agencies will split advertising costs and other necessary expenses, Lutkus said.

The deadline for applications for the patrol officer position is Friday, Aug. 9.

Twin Villages meeting
The Damariscotta Board of Selectmen will meet with the Newcastle Board of Selectmen Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Damariscotta town office for the boards' biannual meeting to discuss joint public works operations.

The boards will also discuss what Lutkus said is "possible renewed interest" in "establishing seasonal passenger service" to the railroad station on Academy Hill in Newcastle.

The boards also plan to invite the new Lincoln Academy head of school, David Sturdevant, to attend the meeting.

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