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8/6/2014 2:00:00 PM
Wiscasset Selectmen Restrict Parking on Route 1
Wiscasset Town Planner Misty Parker and Police Chief Troy Cline ask the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen to restrict parking in the commercial district along Route 1 during the board's meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
Wiscasset Town Planner Misty Parker and Police Chief Troy Cline ask the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen to restrict parking in the commercial district along Route 1 during the board's meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
By Charlotte Boynton

The Wiscasset Board of Selectmen approved the recommendation of Wiscasset Town Planner Misty Parker and Police Chief Troy Cline to restrict parking along Route 1 in the commercial district at the board's meeting Aug. 5.

Parker told the board the town had received numerous complaints over the past year regarding tractor-trailer trucks parking along Route 1, restricting access to private driveways.

Cline suggested the town post "emergency stopping only" signs from the Pottle Cove Road to the Woolwich town line.

According to Parker, historically this section of Route 1 was lined with no parking signs. The town never maintained the signs and when they were no longer legible, they were removed.

After a brief discussion, Selectman Tim Merry made a motion to post "emergency stopping only" signs from Huber's Market to the Woolwich town line. The motion passed 4-1, with Selectman William Barnes opposing the motion.

The Maine Department of Transportation will post the first signs. The town will be responsible to maintain them, according to Parker.

Gardiner Pond Project update

Wiscasset Parks and Recreation Director Todd Souza updated the selectmen on the Gardiner Pond project. The town of Wiscasset has been selected to receive $275,325 from the Land for Maine's Future grant program for the project if the town decides to move forward with the purchase of Gardiner Pond.

The project concerns a 360-acre parcel of land, with 162 acres in Wiscasset and 198 acres in Dresden, that is for sale by the Nesbitt family. The purchase of the property would provide public waterfront access to Gardiner Pond and recreational opportunities, as well as possible future revenue for the town.

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is a potential partner for the Dresden portion and will support the project monetarily, according to Souza.

The next step in the project is to have the property appraised, which will cost between $4,000 and $5,000, with the land trust to pay half that amount.

The selectmen voted to pay up to $2,500 toward the appraisal from the town's contingency fund.

Ramp on town property

The selectmen had no objections to a ramp on town right-of-way located at 16 Lee St. staying in place with the approval of the board of appeals.

The ramp was approved by the selectmen and the board of appeals in 2011 for Lois Konvalinka for as long as she used it to access her home. It was to be removed six months after she no longer needed the ramp. Konvalinka passed away in January 2013.

Douglas Henderson, the heir to and current resident of the home, requested that the ramp be allowed to stay, and provided the town with a letter from his doctor stating his need to have the ramp.

Selectman Pam Dunning instructed Henderson to contact the town planner and arrange for a board of appeals hearing asking permission for the ramp to remain in place for as long as he needed it to access his home.

Bid opening policy

Gerrish suggested a change in the town's bid opening policy. The current policy states that all bid opening be done publicly by the board of selectmen. Gerrish suggested changing it to read all bids will be opened by the town manager or the designee at a specified date, place, and time.

The results of the bids and recommendations for awarding will be brought to the board of selectmen for their approval.

Selectmen Ben Rines did not agree with the change. "I believe that all bids should be opened in a public meeting by the selectmen," he said. After a brief discussion, the majority of the selectmen agreed the policy did not need to be changed.

Town issues and items to work on

Gerrish told the selectmen since this was his last meeting, he wanted to suggest six issues the town should work on. Develop a plan to assume sewer billing, fund a review of the transfer station building and layout, meet with the school committee and investment committee to review the town's investment policy, set up a committee to negotiate with unions (all union contracts expire June 30, 2015, update the town website, and provide a recording secretary for the board of appeals.

Dunning thanked Gerrish for all the work he has done and how much he has put into the job.

Rines said, "I am not a supporter of the town manager form of government, but you have done a great job."

Each member of the board expressed their appreciation to Gerrish before the meeting was adjourned.

Gerrish said, "I want to thank the selectmen, the citizens of the town, and the staff for their support during the past seven months. I believe you have hired a good town manager, and I hope I won't have to come back," he said with a smile.

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