Boothbay seeking rep for new drinking supply protection group

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 8:15am

Two local agencies are seeking a community-wide coalition to conserve undeveloped properties around Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake. Boothbay Region Water District and Boothbay Region Land Trust have joined forces to create a community coalition to seek ways to better protect the drinking water supply which supplies Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport. The two water bodies have been designated “at-risk” by Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Both are listed on the Maine Stormwater Law as “Most at Risk from New Development.” Two years ago, the water district approached BRLT to “really engage the community” in taking action to better protect the water supply.

The two agencies began formulating a plan for a community-wide public water supply conservation board or committee with the drinking supply’s stakeholders. The creators envisioned a community coalition of Boothbay Region YMCA, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Knickerbocker Lake Association joining BRWD and BRLT as members. The new group would also include representatives from Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport. BRWD and BRLT have already solicited members from Boothbay Harbor and Southport select boards. On June 24, the two requested a Boothbay representative during the bi-monthly selectmen’s meeting.

Selectmen discussed appointing a select board member, either Mike Tomacelli who previously served on the planning board or Dale Harmon who works for the water district. Selectmen also considered appointing Code Enforcement Officer Jason Lorrain, Town Manager Dan Bryer or a current planning board member. Sue Mello is Boothbay Region Water District’s resource protection manager. She told the selectmen the Boothbay Harbor and Southport boards opted to appoint a resident. 

Selectmen decided to post the position on the municipal website and review applicants before making an appointment. Mello also discussed how the early discussions with land trust officials resulted in an initial goal of limiting development around Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake. “We came together with the idea of really engaging the community in conservation. Not by taking the land, but by buying land already undeveloped. However, what direction the group takes will be decided once it’s formed.”

In other action, Bryer reported as the second stage of Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to reopen Maine begins July 1, he is thinking about implementing his own plan allowing the public back into the municipal building. He is formulating a plan for one-way traffic; the public would enter through a side door and exit through the front entrance. Selectmen also discussed if a second coronavirus wave struck this fall,  a drive thru window could be installed for residents to interact with town employees inside the municipal building. “Whatever we come up with will likely change. The entire plan is definitely a work in progress,” Bryer said. 

Selectmen unanimously approved a liquor license renewal and wharves and weirs permit. Owner Kelly Farrin received a Class I, II, III and IV liquor license renewal for his Carriage House Restaurant in East Boothbay. Robert and Lucille Scribner of Luke’s Gulch received a wharves and weirs permit to construct a 45 foot by 6 foot pier with a seasonal 54 foot by 3 foot runway to two 30 foot by 10 foot floats perpendicular to the shore. Two three-pile dolphins and/or chains from floats will hold them in place. 

Selectmen appointed a new local Emergency Management Agency director. The board appointed David Cody of Boothbay Harbor. Cody will also serve as the regional EMA director for Boothbay Harbor and Southport. Cody served 35 years in the Salem, Massachusetts Fire Department with 14 as chief. Selectmen meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 8.