Cleanup complete, Sabatis Island reopens

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Sabatis Island is open for picnics and scenic walks on Moose Pond.

The island had been closed for several weeks after a July tornado downed several trees.

Forester Jack Wadsworth reported to Bridgton selectmen Tuesday night that a number of “diseased” white pine trees were also removed.

Wadsworth projected that new pine seedlings will reach about 5-feet in height in about 10 years, at which time the town should consider selective clearing to allow more sunshine for the young trees.

Although the town leases the property from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Public Lands, Bridgton was in line to receive two payments totaling $7,886.89 for the timber harvested from the island. Some funds will be used to cover repair costs (about $4,000), while the balance will be placed in a new Sabatis Island Reserve fund for future work there.

Bridgton Town Manager Bob Peabody noted that additional work is needed on the trail, which will be undertaken when county workers are in town for community service work.

In other park news, Peabody reported that a donation box has been recently installed at Pondicherry Park by the kiosk. Donations totaling $56.75 had been placed in the box, and will be added to the Pondicherry park Reserve Fund.

A counter has also been installed in the park, and figures show how popular the in-town location is.

July, 2,654 visitors

August, 3,279

September (up to the 11th), 2,950.

In other selectmen meeting notes:

  • Greasing the wheel. For months, Selectman Bear Zaidman has sought a response from the state regarding safety concerns about the Portland Road and Sandy Creek Road intersection and the possible need of a traffic light there. Still, no word.

So, Zaidman asked the board for the town to draft a letter to local state representatives and senators seeking their help to push the Maine Department of Transportation along.

Selectman Fred Packard liked Zaidman’s thinking, “Greasing the squeaky wheel is a great idea.”

  • Restitution made. The town received restitution of $3,200 for vandalism done at South Station.
  • Paving soon. The Town Hall parking lot is being prepped for paving.
  • New office location. If you are looking for the fire chief, EMA director or Wastewater superintendent, they can be found in the new downstairs office space at the municipal complex. Access to these offices is from the employee’s parking lot off Iredale Street. Signage will be installed in the near future.
  • On the CDC front. Community Development Committee chairman Carmen Lone gave selectmen an update on the group’s latest gatherings.

One, the CDC plans to place a survey on the town’s website containing four questions in an attempt to bridge the gap between local employers and possible employees.

Local youth are also being targeted to show them that good career opportunities exist here and in the region, an effort to retain them after high school and reel them back upon college graduation.

Secondly, the CDC reached out to the Historical Society regarding Bridgton’s upcoming 250th celebration. While the Historical Society is willing to help, the group lacks the resources to be the driving force behind the effort. The CDC will be looking for “champions to step up” and take on the project.

  • No change in policy. Selectmen declined a request by Kathy and Paul Hoyt to change Salmon Point’s policy regarding electrical service and a waiver for 50-amp installation. The town paid half of the installation with the Hoyts billed $358 as their share.
  • In Sam’s and Fran’s memory. Woods Pond meant a lot to Sam and Fran Stern, who were residents on Wildwood Road for 35 years and longtime supporters of lake protection.

When a shed was removed in front of the sandy beach at Woods Pond, Barry DeNofrio felt a tribute to the couple would be the donation and placement of a commemorative bench. The sand-colored bench will include a plaque, “In Memory of Sam and Fran Stern.”

Selectmen approved the donation, 4-0.

  • Dock rule clarified. When the town addressed docking at Salmon Point Campground, Code Officer Robbie Baker thought the rule was one dock per campsite.

A campground user, however, recently requested permission to install two personal watercraft lifts in addition to an existing dock.

Presently, docks are limited to 40-feet in length. Selectmen expressed concern that allowing lifts for jet skis in addition to docks could clutter the Long Lake shoreline. Although the policy infers one dock allowed by saying “a dock,” officials left no room for confusion by inserting the word “one.”

Selectmen, however, said the jet ski docking stations would be added onto the end of a dock if that structure is less than 40 feet (total space used would be 40 feet).

The campground user told officials that the present dock is close to 40 feet.

  • Requests approved. Selectmen approved a request by Bob Casimiro for a hawkers and peddlers license to sell vegetables from Frank Johnston’s farm at both the Maine Street Graphics property on Main Street and Community HELP on Nulty Streets. Proceeds will go to the Arruda Charitable Trust.

Selectmen approved special amusement permits for Bear Bones Beer (live, acoustic bands from noon to 10 p.m.) and Shawnee Peak (occasional live music/entertainment).

Next meetings: The selectmen will next meet on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. and Oct. 10.

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