Bridgton selectmen notes: Campers seek waiver for electrical upgrade

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

When Paul and Kathy Hoyt leased Site 2 at Salmon Point Campground a few years ago, their camper did not require 50-amp electrical service.

When a neighbor (occupying Site 3) plugged into the electrical service on Site 2, the Hoyts were assured that if a day arrived that they required 50-amp service, the existing box would be theirs to use, Paul Hoyt told selectmen Tuesday night.

This spring, the Hoyts upgraded and their new trailer calls for 50-amp service. When they inquired about using the service box on Site 2, the campground manager informed the couple it was already in use and an additional box would need to be installed — at a cost to the Hoyts.

The bill was $716, with the Hoyts having to pay for half. Hoyt requested selectmen grant him a waiver for that cost, with the town absorbing the full expense.

Board Chairman Greg Watkins asked Paul Hoyt if he had any written documentation regarding the “ready for use” agreement between him and the town?

“Nothing in writing. I took it at their word,” Hoyt responded.

Selectman Bear Zaidman asked whether the town had a policy addressing the situation, and found it peculiar that an electrical cord could be running from one site to another.

Watkins noted that the town has rules and regulations regarding campground operation, but was unsure if language exists regarding electrical box usage. He suggested that no action be taken until the town manager could investigate the matter.

Hoyt felt language exists within the lease agreement signed by campground users, which gives the lessee “exclusive rights to use the leased premises” — thus giving him exclusive rights to use the existing electrical service that is on Site 2.

Selectmen voted 5–0 to table action until their Sept. 12 meeting, and told Hoyt to hold off paying any money for the installation until town officials made a decision.

In other business,

Sabattis Island status. Contracted tree work was completed Tuesday, and Bridgton’s Public Works crew will handle cleanup over the next few days. The crew will also prepare the picnic area for public use.

At press time, the island remains closed until the cleanup has been completed. Public Works Director Jim Kidder was unable to predict a specific time frame when the island will reopen.

Effects on Bridgton? If Sebago does indeed withdraw from SAD 61, what financial effect would Bridgton taxpayers experience?

Selectmen plan to invite SAD 61 Superintendent Al Smith and School Board Chairman Janice Barter to a future meeting to get a better handle on what withdrawal will mean. Selectmen also want to discuss a few other issues, including the future of the Bridgton Memorial School property.

Firetruck prep. Engine 5 painting is complete with a final buffing. Yesterday, the compartment doors were reattached, involving 500 nuts and bolts. If all goes well, the truck should be back in Bridgton sometime later this week.

Display board donated. Fire Chief Steve Fay thanks Deborah Ogle for donating a portable display board, valued at $1,500, and a podium cabinet, valued at $300. These items will be used for training, fire prevention and public outreach.

Chief Fay also thanks John England, who is the Lowe’s administration manager in North Windham, for the donation of a Rubbermaid outdoor storage shed, which will help streamline the waste removal process.

CDC chairman. Carmen Lone, who is the executive director of the Bridgton Community Center, is the new chairman of the Community Development Committee. She succeeds Chuck Renneker. The leadership change happened at the CDC’s Aug. 9 meeting.

Editor’s note: The News incorrectly reported two weeks ago that Bill Vincent had been named chairman. Vincent is not a member of the CDC.

Website kudos. Deb Brusini likes what she sees in the town’s newly-designed website. As part of Bridgton’s marketing push (see new tagline reveal story), the town has a new website look.

Brusini, a planning board member, felt the messages were “clean and nice.” She told selectmen the one glitch she found was after watching the 2-minute film promoting Bridgton, she was moved along to YouTube.

Board Chairman Greg Watkins admitted the redesign is a “work in progress.” Selectman Bear Zaidman also found a glitch, and reported it to the town manager. A message was sent to the website designer, and the site was corrected within a half hour.

In the Deputy Town Manager’s report, Georgiann Fleck noted, “Please be patient as we transition and transfer information from the old site to the new improved site.”

Market correction. Selectman Bob Murphy likes to walk around the Farmers Market each Saturday, and often helps some older vendors set up their tables.

Several weeks ago, Murphy saw a church group had set up an informational tent, and questioned whether the group was part of the market. While there was no tent at last week’s market, the group was still there.

“The policy is cut and dry” in regards to who is allowed to sell, display or exhibit at the market, Chairman Watkins said.

The matter will be turned over to town officials to investigate and address.

Tree matters. Trees can “dress up” an area, but also pose a danger.

Selectman Bear Zaidman questioned where the town stands in regards to replacement of trees along Depot Street.

With Town Manager Bob Peabody absent Tuesday night, Public Works Director Jim Kidder believes former Community Development Director Anne Krieg had brought the issue to the company responsible for the plantings before she left Bridgton. But, Kidder was unaware whether a solution had been worked out.

Zaidman expressed concern that the warranty may expire and the town would end up having to pay for tree replacement.

Another tree matter involves trees near Highland Lake Beach. An arborist from Q-Team in Naples inspected several trees and found that eight need to be cut down.

While there is no specific line item in the budget to address the trees removal, Kidder feels money can be shifted within the maintenance budget to cover the unexpected expense. The issue came to the forefront after the tornado touched down earlier this summer.

Kidder could earmark money for more tree removal in future budgets since “there are a number of other trees that are showing wear and tear.”

Too many signs? Greg Watkins understands that many local businesses rely heavily on the tourist market and need to cash in during the summer to withstand the slow winter months.

But, he feels the attempt to lure customers with numerous street signs and flags are “getting overwhelming.” He suggested that Code Enforcement Officer Rob Baker checks businesses to be sure they are following town regulations.

Selectman Bob McHatton disagreed with Watkins “100%.” When Watkins said the two should take a walk up Main Street and check out what businesses are using, McHatton said he would remain “happy” every step of the way.

Next meeting: The selectmen will meet Tuesday, Sept. 12 and Sept. 26.

Please follow and like us: