On April 28, the Boothbay select board resumed a conversation begun two weeks ago by Selectman Desiree Scorcia on making Adams Pond Road one-way. Scorcia has concerns about the road being too narrow for handling traffic and pedestrians. She said the comprehensive plan also recommended improving two troublesome intersections.
“It is a terrible left turn from the information center turning onto Route 27 near the brewery. If we one-wayed it heading (traffic) north on Route 27, we would avoid problems associated with that intersection,” she said. Scorcia said her proposal would make it more “user friendly.” But Selectman Steve Lewis disagreed. He previously spoke to Fire Chief Dick Spofford who also opposes the change. Lewis reported the fire department uses Adams Pond Road for detouring traffic during Route 27 incidents. “I don’t see an issue up there. If you make it one-way then you are putting more traffic at one end, and I don’t want to create a problem that doesn’t exist,” he said.
Selectman Mike Tomacelli agreed with Lewis. Selectman Chuck Cunningham was absent, and Harmon declined to speak on the topic. But Boothbay Region Water District weighed in and supports another option. General Manager Jon Ziegra told selectmen the district trustees discussed making the road one-way during their April 27 meeting, but focused most of their attention on another alternative. Ziegra said trustees opposed making Adams Pond Road one-way. “I say that with a caveat; the official stance is we would support shutting down Adams Pond Road to through-traffic and installing gates for emergency use for residents on the westerly side of Adams Pond,” he said. Ziegra added most reservoirs nationwide aren’t located as close to an active road as Adams Pond is. “It all comes down to water quality for which Sue Mello is far better versed than I,” he said.
Mello, the district’s natural resources program manager, qualified the district’s support for closing Adams Pond Road to through-traffic. She described the proposal as a “huge undertaking,” which needs broad community support and part of their long-term planning. “The water district isn’t proposing this. This is a long-term vision that, if there was enough land protected, we could have walking trails by the pond and an adequate buffer protecting the pond which we don’t have now. We love the idea of a better buffer, but not at this time.”
In other action, selectmen held four public hearings on special amusement and liquor license approvals and renewals. Selectmen voted 4-0 to approve the following renewals: PGC 2 doing business as Boothbay Harbor Country Club for a special amusement permit and renewal for a Class I, II, III and IV liquor license; PGC 2 doing business as Boothbay Harbor Country Club Wellness Center for a special amusement permit and Class I, II, III and IV restaurant liquor license renewal; Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for a special amusement permit and restaurant Class I, II, III and IV liquor license renewal; 727 Ocean Point LLC, as a new applicant for liquor license and innkeepers license. The 1820 House was the location’s previous occupant.
Selectmen also approved two wharves and weirs applications. Douglas Gardner Jr. received approval to install a four-foot by 40-foot walkway from the existing stairs to a 14-foot by six-foot pier to a seasonal three-foot by 50-foot runway and a 10-foot by 24-foot float parallel to the shore. Gardner’s property is on Lincoln Street in East Boothbay. John and Leslie Malone received approval for installing a six-foot by 50-foot pier to a seasonal 3.5-foot by 50-foot runway and a 10-foot by 20-foot float parallel to the shore. The Malones live on Burleigh Hill Road.
Selectmen tabled reviewing new Emergency Management Agency Director David Cody’s emergency management plan. Cunningham has already reviewed the plan and provided Town Manager Dan Bryer a list of questions. Selectmen decided to invite Cody to a future board meeting to answer Cunningham’s questions and those of the other selectmen.
Selectmen meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 via Zoom conference.