Dispatch top warrant
Article 8, a referendum ballot question, asks voters to authorize the selectmen to enter into a contract with the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center to provide the town dispatching services. The Board of Selectmen is unanimously recommending the change, saying it would show a savings to taxpayers of $259,000 in the first three years and an anticipated annual savings after Year 3 of $125,000.
…”while convenient for some, were just too costly to continue offering.”
Rules up for vote on signs, quarries, timber
Bridgton voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to:
• limit the use of temporary business signs,
• enact new language governing rock quarry operations and,
• loosen the rules on timber harvesting in the shoreland district.
The proposed to the SPR Ordinance changes also include new rules for abutter notification of building projects, and housekeeping changes throughout the ordinance to make the language more consistent.
Pegaleg’ challenged for denying service dog
Now they have hired a lawyer to fight her demand for $20,000 in damages she is claiming, following a May 16 ruling in her favor by the Maine Human Rights Commission.
They say the fate of their six-year-old business, Pegaleg Pete’s Leather, hangs in the balance.
“I’ll just completely go out of business. I’ll have to file bankruptcy,” Marston said last week, of what would happen should Laura Creedon prevail in her $20,000 damage claim.
No ID badge was seen on the dog stating he was a service animal nor was the animal wearing a vest, which the state says is not a requirement. The business is up for sale and what this woman was doing in a tattoo parlor with a dog / service animal is beyond me because everything does have to remain sterile at all times.
Battle for BBQ bragging rights
Eric Heath and Nick Klimek, have a friendly wager going with Bob McHatton Jr. and his partner, John Haley, may compete with their cookers in the July 23-24 Western Maine BBQ Festival at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. The losing team will have to wear a T-shirt announcing their loss to the winning team.
They’re especially secretive about their barbequing techniques when long-time patron Bob McHatton Jr. comes into the Black Horse to eat.
LRHS yearbook drawing attention
While the pages of a high school yearbook can spark memories decades after graduation…
Not so for this year's class of graduating seniors at Lake Region High School. Thanks to the skills and imagination of their classmate, Emma Rickert of Bridgton, graduates will have a colorful and artistic yearbook cover protecting their high school memories.
Rickert, has been an artist "forever," …voted most artistic in her class this year…
Lakes Region Weekly
Bridgton Town Election Results
ARTICLE 3. Shall an ordinance entitled “Site Plan Review Ordinance” be amended?
Yes; 391 votes (passed)
No; 218 votes
ARTICLE 4. Shall an ordinance entitled “Shoreland Zoning Ordinance” be amended?
Yes; 359 votes (passed)
No; 254 votes
ARTICLE 5. Shall an ordinance entitled “Sign Ordinance” be amended?
Yes; 356 votes (passed)
No; 261 votes
ARTICLE 6. Shall an ordinance entitled “Special Amusement Ordinance” be amended?
Yes; 359 votes (passed)
No; 236 votes
ARTICLE 7. Shall an ordinance entitled “Ordinance Controlling Nudity in Commercial or Business Activities Not Requiring a Special Amusement Permit” be enacted?
Yes; 383 votes (passed)
No; 251 votes
ARTICLE 8. Shall the voters of the Town of Bridgton authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a Contract with the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center for the provision of dispatching Services for the Town and to complete all other necessary actions related thereto?
Yes; 342 votes (passed)
No; 322 votes
BRIDGTON ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
There were between 150 and 175 people at tonights meeting. It took almost an hour and half to settle the remaining 42 articles tonight. We spent 20 minutes on article 39 having to do with various types of public safety issues…ie…fire hydrant rentals from Harrison Water Department, United Ambulance Service, Street Lights, Civil Emergency, & Health Officer.
We spend another 35 minutes on article 46 which was the capital improvement budget and we managed to cut $129,000 off that. There were some people who wanted to take $331,000 off of it, but they were loudly voted down on that motion.
Then several people tried to vote funds coming into the town as revenue that is spent a certain way because that is what the families wanted. They did not think that was right and still tried to vote it down anyway. They lost. Nobody in their right mind votes down revenue coming into town.
Having a little insanity with your party?
In Bridgton there is a business that has just about anything party related. The thing that might have most business owners curious is this is a relatively new business. Party Insanity has hit the street running from the time it has opened…
The way the owners deals with suppliers is via the Internet be it either custom orders or particular items needed... In turn, any savings… is passed on to the customer in lower prices.
They do have a website of www.partyinsanity.com and they can be found on Facebook. I can honestly say I have used their services on a few occasions for my daughters birthday party last year and right now I am using their services to put together an 80th birthday party for my father-in-law based on the Boston Red Sox, his favorite baseball team…certainly not mine as we all know. I will be wearing my World Series Championship t-shirt and ball cap for the Yankees from 1999. Anyway, it has been great to have a business like this in our small town.
Comprehensive Planning Committee wants to hear from the area citizens
We are inviting the citizens of the town to come out and join us on Saturday June 25th from 10am - 2pm to hear what we have done so far and then you can tell us what you think. We want to hear your thoughts and concerns. We want to know if you think the committee is heading in the right direction. There will be a short walking tour and we will be providing something to eat. We will be starting at Pondicherry Square and ending eventually at Stevens Brook Elementary.
Help design the future of Portland Road
A group of residents are hard at work developing new standards for Portland Road, standards that will somehow allow for change and growth without sacrificing Bridgton’s small-town character.
But before they can go any further, they need the public’s help — and they especially want to hear from seasonal residents.
Manoian said Saturday’s meeting is “a landmark opportunity for seasonal residents to join us as townspeople to design a better Portland Road corridor.”
We want the year round residents to feel encouraged to turn out as well as the seasonal residents. We want to hear from all sides of the community, the year round residents and the seasonal, those that want to preserve the small town feel, those that want to continue to grow, and those that want both the growth and small town feel at the same time.
RSU 61 Budget Meeting
Round two of the RSU 61 2011-12 budget saga unfolds, June 23rd at 6:30 in the Lake Region High School Gym.
After voters rejected the first proposed budget, the RSU School Board cut $172,000 ($148,000 from the general fund and $23,500 from adult education).
Tonight, voters can offer their input as to why they support or not support the $26,666,233 package on the table. Amounts will be set and then sent to voters June 30th.
This taken from the print version of the Bridgton News
I think we need to make further cuts in the budget and I also found that there is some duplication in articles 12, 16, & 17. I will make further comments after tonights meeting. I would like to have seen some warrant articles that makes cuts in the athletic department, it was not cut in the original budget proposal and it was not cut in anything I have seen in tonights articles either or a suggestion of pay to play.
The taxpayers that showed up tonight cut another $90,000 out of from the line of regular instruction. This now brings the proposed budget down to $25,882,500. However when you include the adult education into the budget it brings that total up to $26,576,233.
What I also learned tonight is that our teachers are still working without a contract and that they have been working without one since last Fall. They will not be getting any pay raises until a contract is reached. Those that are working in the Superintendents Office agreed to a contract last Fall that gives them a 2% increase last year and again this year. It is easier to deal with a union who has 20 members verses a union with well over a few hundred. This is what we were told tonight.
Bridgton’s Comprehensive Plan moves forward
Form-based codes make room for all kinds of uses… focusing on the function and feel of the building environment. They spell out in visual detail what we value as it exists, and where we’re willing to allow for change, by color-coding streets as to type, defining build-to lines, building heights, percentage of windows to walls. When residents rejected a ban on big box stores and fast food restaurants, we knew, but didn’t have language for…
Bridgton July 4th Weekend Festivities
July 2 — 18th annual Strawberry Breakfast, 7:30 to 10 a.m. First Congregational Church. For more information: 647-3936.
July 3 — Spaghetti Feast to benefit library, 5 to 7 p.m., Stevens Brook Elementary, concert to follow, and then fireworks at 9:10.
July 4 — 4 on the Fourth Road Race in downtown Bridgton begins at 8 a.m. Monday.
Hot dog stand from 9 a.m. to noon at Oberg’s Insurance;
Fourth of July Parade at noon.
There is also a listing of what is going on in Denmark, Lovell, Fryeburg, Naples, & Waterford if anybody is interested...in this linked story.
I will now perform three acts of contrition, one hail Violette, one praise the snow day, and one bow down to SEIU, for daring to impinge the motives of the dedicated public servants.
PM - good luck with the Comprehensive Plan process. Stay vigilant - in our town, alert residents defeated a zoning change that would have meant a severe loss in market value for some parcels in the rural sections of town.
About five years ago, our town's planning department proposed a change to the buildable lot size on some rural parcels. The changes would have made the size required to build much larger. That would have deprived some landowners of subdivision and sales opportunities, after paying "best and highest use" taxes on that land, some for decades. It would have meant that some property owners who planned to split off lots, either for their children or for sale, would not have been allowed to do so.
We successfully defeated the proposal at a town meeting, but if a few residents weren't paying close attention, a lot of people would have lost a lot of money.
Naturally, the town wasn't proposing to pay back any of the tax dollars those residents had been sending town hall, for all those years.
4 on the Fourth
This is our annual event. It is a four mile road race through Bridgton that starts near Food City and finishes just past the Bridgton Community Center.
The first guy to cross the finish line was Jonny Wilson of Falmouth.
The first woman to cross the finish line was Erica Jesseman of Scarborough.
Bridgton Comprehensive Planning Committee update
I, Carrye Castleman-Ross, have recently joined the CPC led by Bridgton's Economic Development Director Alan Manoian. The CPC is working on creating a "form-based code" guideline for new development in town, specifically designed to promote a traditional New England-style of architecture while laying out simple, consistent building standards. It's a fascinating process, and one that will maintain Bridgton's unique character and help it avoid the bland, faceless monotony of sprawl and clutter afflicting other places.
Lakes Region Weekly
Yes, it seems they have taken on a press secretary by the looks of things and it is not somebody from the Bridgton News. Kind of funny how things work out. I know that this committee is looking for volunteers who would be willing to attend the meetings on a weekly basis and become active participating non-voting members. These citizens would be allowed to have input on what is discussed and which direction we go with form-based-code in the different areas of town.
‘Rails’ need proactive push
Gray, which, along with Bridgton, once had a narrow gauge line, has offered to have museum officials meet with property owners along the former railroad’s right-of-way and begin negotiations. They have made the offer in advance of any decision by museum officials as to which site will be chosen.
Shelley complained that the town of Gray has been actively courting museum officials in the competition to host the museum, while Bridgton has not.
Portland and Bridgton have been playing by the rules that the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum while the Town of Gray has been courting the Museum with multiple e-mails and phone calls. Then the other problem is that the Town of Bridgton is not even in possession of the land as the school district has not turned it over to the town. First they wanted the property, then they chose not to use it, then they said they needed the Brownfield Study done, then they said they did not have it, yet the town has it and we got it from the school district…figure that one out. The Town of Bridgton says the school district is holding up the process and the school district is blaming the town. A lot of this conversation came about with the Former Superintendent. Now that he is gone, we have to start this conversation all over again. We may very well miss out on this opportunity.
I am not sure who is more at fault, the school district or the Town of Gray for not following the rules, or the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum for not enforcing the rules.
My Opinion Of The Bridgton News
I am going to choose my words carefully here. I have some rather strong opinions of our local home town paper. Some parts not bad, some reporters not bad, but since a specific reporter has started covering certain stories or certain activities in town…she has a nasty habit of writing a story without staying for the whole meeting or not showing up for some activities at all and then just getting the synopsis of what took place later on. Or worse, not writing about some events at all, but finding them in other papers that are not even in our town.
I think the hardest thing is that I attend a lot of the meetings in town and a lot of the stories written by this reporter are either inaccurate or so twisted that it is less than ½ correct in facts. The problem with this is that with the number of people who read this paper, it is hard to have them rely on it for facts. There are a number of us who already feel this way and that has nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics because they used to write some pretty neutral stories. Now they are, as I said, twisted and lopsided.
Young Professional Believes In Bridgton
When Justin McIver eyed the old Ward’s Drywall building across the highway to the south from his Main EcoHomes business at 171 Portland Road, he was thinking small.
When he contacted the abutter Herbert Ginn, of Ginn Real Estate in South Portland, Ginn was willing to sell the 135 acres of land. It is the largest piece of undeveloped land north of Sandy Creek. This is the biggest project that McIver has been involved with.
Justin has teamed up with Mark Lopez and formed Vista Investments LLC. They met before the planning board the other night to show their plans that include a subdivision of the property into four pieces and one access road. This is truly a story of local boy going big because Justin was born here and raised here and now is bringing jobs here. He currently has two construction projects underway in town that I am aware of and tenants lined up for all of them already. No vacant space like Lopez has left us in the past. So in a way, it will be interesting to see what this new partnership brings.
Planning Board Favors Shorey Park Rezoning
The rezoning, originally requested by the Community Development Committee, would allow the town to hold small public gatherings and story time events and possibly some landscaping improvements as well as a nature path.
That didn’t sit well with the Shorey Family whose representative, Mary Shorey, met Monday with the CDC to go over her grandfathers intentions when he bought the land and turned it over to the town 60 years ago.
The thing is Highland Lake Park is across the street and holds a lot of the same events and public gatherings and more not to mention it is a lot larger. I think what they are going to find out is that there is an endowment for Shorey Park somewhere as I recall and they can’t make any changes from the way it is currently used. I also think that with the amount of money that the Shorey Family donates to different things in town, whether it be the library, the park, the hospital, the community center, and list goes on…this is not a family you really want to mess with that donates so much money to different organizations in town because that could very easily change in a heartbeat. I think that people need to look at this and say hey now, hold on, wait a minute.
Tri-Athletes prep for Adventure Challenge at Pleasant Mountain at Shawnee Peak
Emily Hursty still remembers the pain she felt trying to climb Pleasant Mountain after paddling a kayak 2.5 miles and riding a bicycle 14 miles during last year’s Great Adventure Challenge.
Emily will kick her workouts into high gear over the next few weeks in anticipation of the 2011 Great Adventure Challenge, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20.
Fee: $60 per person or $150 per team. For more information or to register online go to www.maineadventureracing.com
On recycling: Thanks, no thanks
Tuesday night’s Bridgton Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Steve Collins, president of the Community Center’s Board…, turned down the offer made by the town, on behalf of both the Community Center and the Library.
Stated Collins, “Unfortunately, it appears to us, unless we could become the Recycling Nazis — and Fitzcharles has been beating the (recycling) drum and the recycling rate is at 24%…Thanks, but no thanks — we don’t see a whole lot of upside...”
Urgent Care Clinic coming
A new after-hours and weekend Urgent Care Center will open this fall at Bridgton Hospital, filling a need for summer visitors and residents who either don’t have a primary care doctor or can’t get an daytime appointment.
The center, following a growing urgent care clinic trend, will open on Sept. 7. It will operate on a walk-in basis from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Depot Street Festival this Saturday
For the first time anyone can remember, a carnival is coming to Bridgton, at the Depot Street Festival this Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Stevens Brook Elementary School. Rain date is Sunday, July 31.
A Ferris Wheel, a Scrambler, Big Swing, Spinning Apple and a Driving Hammer, along with a half-dozen intermediate rides and a choo-choo train for the little kids, are being set up this week …
The bicycle race offers three distances, from a 25-miler to the "toughest century in Maine." This 100-mile ride offers a challenging bike trek from Bridgton to Bethel and through Evans Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. If a walk in the woods is more your thing, organizers have added a six-mile "taste trek" across the ridge of Pleasant Mountain with gourmet rest stops along the way.
…taking applications from now until August 1.
Lakes Region Weekly
For more information, contact 647-4352 or www.loonechotrek.com or email@example.com
PUBLIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
This is a responsible and varied position combining secretarial, administrative and legal work in the law enforcement and Fire service fields.
Work involves considerable contact with criminal justice officials including attorneys, courts, other enforcement and fire services agencies and the public. This work requires an understanding of legal terminology associated with the organizational and operational characteristics of a law enforcement agency and the fire services.
Town of Bridgton
Forums on Narrow Gauge Railroad
Bridgton’s Office of Economic and Community Development is hosting two forums intended to gauge the level of interest in bring the narrow gauge railroad back to town.
The first forum… will be held Monday August 8 from 2:30 to 4:00 in the Selectmen’s room… representatives from Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, Return of the Rails, selectmen, members of the local chamber, historical society, Community Development Committee, Economic Development Corporation, and the Comprehensive Plan Committee.
This from the print version of the Bridgton News.
This should be an interesting meeting as they promised to make the decision as to what town would be receiving the railroad and now after more than a year they say they need more time. This again makes another time they have not held up to their end of the deal. The first was that they laid out the ground rules as to how this would work and we have found out that they have been operating outside their own ground rules. If they are acting like this now, what are they going to be like if they were to actually come here?
End of era: Bridgton Dispatch set to close Aug. 22
The end of an era in the town of Bridgton is fast approaching, as the local dispatch center gets ready to turn over its duties to the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center in Windham.
Originally targeted for Aug. 15, the change to the CCRCC has been pushed back a week, and will now take place Aug. 22, Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz announced Monday afternoon.
Project delays force moves
Madura, director of Transportation, Maintenance and Food Service, received permission from the SAD 61 School Board Tuesday night to reopen Bridgton Memorial “for 60 days or more, as needed” to house three Lake Region Vocational Center programs — law enforcement, automotives and house construction.
The contract between the two parties called for the bus garage portion to be completed by June 15, and the educational section by June 24.
I do have to add something that was not mentioned or at least I did not see it. This is going to throw a rock into the gears for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Return of the Rails. This property where the school is, was supposed to be turned over to the town so we could develop it and now that is not going to happen or at least not in the near future.