Barry Hathorne leaving Edgecomb planning board

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 8:45am

    After 23 years, Barry Hathorne is leaving the Edgecomb Planning Board. On March 21, Selectman Mike Smith announced Hathorne decided not to continue on the board. “He informed us he decided to step away,” Smith said. Planning board alternate Phil Haas will replace Hathorne. Selectmen are seeking to fill two alternate seats. 

    Selectmen will honor Hathorne’s service by dedicating the 2022 Town Report to him. “This is a perfect honor. He deserves it. Nobody has more aggressively protected Edgecomb land than Barry,” Smith said. 

    In other action, board secretary Barbara Brennan updated selectmen about Edgecomb’s 250th anniversary committee’s progress. The town’s semiquincentennial is next year. Brennan reported about two dozen volunteers attended a March 18 organizational meeting. “We are planning a yearlong celebration with events every other month. There is a lot of energy with people providing ideas and local artists and musicians stepping up to participate,” she said.

    After a two-year hiatus, the conservation committee is reconvening. The committee met with selectmen to discuss possible projects. Selectmen listed several projects, but one stood out as a priority. Since 2020, Edgecomb officials have searched for a recreational replacement for the municipal tennis court. In 1976, the court was built on town-owned property through a federal Land Water Fund Conservation grant.

    In 2002, the courts were abandoned when the former school site was sold. The state Department of Agriculture is requiring the town to develop an alternative recreational use of equal value. “This is a problem several towns face. I spoke to Matt Lutkus when he was Damariscotta town manager. They found themselves in a similar situation concerning a playground,” Smith said. 

    Selectmen recommended searching for municipal water access as a prime project as a possible alternative recreational use. Conservation Committee Chairman Gary Balducci agreed finding a public water access location was a prime project. “We think water access would make the federal government happier than other suggestions,” he said.  

    The Town Hall Committee is recommending to hire Dan Phelps of Phelps Architects, Inc. to develop a plan for renovating the town hall. The committee sent out eight requests for proposals and received two. “Dan is a former resident so he is familiar with the building. The committee was unanimous in selecting him, and we’re all excited to see what he proposes,” Smith said. 

    Selectmen appointed Rick Nelson as a Schmid Management Committee member. Town Clerk Claudia Coffin reported absentee ballots are available for the April 15 special municipal election to fill two selectmen seats. Frances C. Mague is the only candidate seeking to fill Dawn Murray’s term which expires in May. Craig Urwin and Lyndyn C. Norgang are seeking to fill Ted Hugger’s term expiring in 2025.

    Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 in the conference room.