Back in the Day, 1972

3/9/1972: This is a partial summary of $301,671 in appropriations that were approved by voters at the Bridgton Town Meeting.

Chief Stevens Barker explained the need for the department to acquire a combination pumper-tank truck to improve efficiency. This piece of equipment was priced at $30,000.

The request for $32,000 for a new firehouse drew considerable comment. Mrs. Eula Shorey said she was in favor of a new firehouse, but objected both to the proposed location (on Depot Street between Stevens Brook and the old elementary school) and the type of proposed construction. She contended that the location was undesirable and created a safety hazard with two rather blind curves nearby and in the vicinity of the school complex. She said the proposed building looked more like something that should be on an Army base and not in Bridgton.

Henry Shorey said he did not always agree with his wife, but would have to in this case. Several firemen came to the defense of the building for the reason of cost, maintenance and need and that construction could be accomplished immediately when firemen would be available to do volunteer work inside the building. Mr. Shorey said other than for expediency he did not believe this type of building was necessary.  The appropriation was approved.

Roads at Knights Hill Development and one at Ward’s Acres were accepted as town ways. Snowmobilers were allocated one-half of snowmobile tax receipts after Fred Packard explained the receipts would be used for trail construction and equipment.

The Police Department appropriation of $39,000 was approved with a minimum of questioning. A prolonged discussion followed introduction of the Chamber of Commerce advertising article and despite a gallant defense by several members, the appropriation was reduced to $5,000.

Editorial 5/25: Hardly any concern is expressed at hearings over large signs being erected in Bridgton, yet so far questionnaires that have been returned to the Lakes Environmental Association have indicated residents would like to see a ban on them. The Zoning Board approves over-sized signs under exceptions with the Zoning Ordinance. Before long, if more concern from the public is not forthcoming, the main highways and streets of Bridgton will be a mass of signs.

6/15: The Bridgton Jaycees are willing to be responsible for fireworks on July 4th if they can get citizens of the town to underwrite the cost, according to Robert Macdonald of the Jaycees. The Jaycees believe that they can collect $250 the night of the fireworks, but $700 more is needed to defray the entire cost. If you want fireworks, leave your contribution at the town office.

6/20: Plans for a wildlife sanctuary at Holt Pond were discussed at a meeting of the Lakes Environmental Association. A map of the area and the land situation surrounding the pond were presented by Peter Lowell, executive director of the Association. A review of the Water Quality Testing Program, sponsored by the Association was presented also. Animosity, between “summer people” and “townspeople” due to sources of misunderstanding, was aired. Townspeople, it was pointed out, place blame for lake pollution on summer people, which is not accurate as the water testing surveys bear out, and townspeople also feel that taxes and property prices have been forced up by those summer homes in the area. Summer residents point out that they pay taxes, but do not have a vote and it is the townspeople that back development at the expense of the environment.

8/24: Need a pill? If you live in Lovell, you will not need to go far to find one. “The pill with complete instructions will be available in my barn,” said Mr. E. H. Morrison, secretary of the Kezar Lake Association. The pills he referred to are of course, dye pills for tracing the seepage of waste water into wells or lakes and streams.

These editorials and articles were culled from The Bridgton News archives at the Bridgton Historical Society. Be sure to come to the Open House at the Museum on Gibbs Avenue on Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please consider volunteering this summer at Narramissic or at the museum. Volunteers of every persuasion are welcomed. Call 647-3699.

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