Milfoil decree expands to all water

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — It started with one person.

One Naples resident made a request to include Tricky Pond in an ordinance requiring all major points of entry into the water to be surveyed for invasive aquatic plants like milfoil.

Joe Kellogg said that it was commendable that the town had established an ordinance to deter the spread of milfoil.

Kellogg said he lived near Tricky Pond, which also has a summer camp for boys and a campground on its shores. He asked if Tricky Pond could be added to the ordinance that included only Long Lake and Brandy Pond, which is connected to Long Lake by a short canal also referred to as Chute River.

The proposed milfoil survey ordinance will include all lakes and ponds in Naples. A second public hearing will be scheduled before it appears as a warrant article at Naples Town Meeting on April 30. 

On Monday, three groups — the Naples Board of Selectmen, the Naples Planning Board and the Naples Ordinance Review Committee (ORC) were present at the table for the public hearings on a handful of proposed ordinances. The public hearings were held in the town gymnasium which better accommodated the number of people in attendance. There were more than 60 people in the audience although not everyone was there for the ordinances.

The Invasive Aquatic Plant Survey Ordinance was implemented last summer.

A mistake in the language actually made it illegal to turn in the required milfoil survey. The error was corrected, and along with the addition of all bodies of water, the new draft will eventually head to town meeting.  

During Monday’s public hearing, resident Larry Anton asked, “Why is this restricted to Brandy Pond and Long Lake?”

Naples Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Renee Carter said the ordinance had been written by Lakes Environmental Association (LEA). The original intent was that it would be an ordinance shared by the towns of Naples, Harrison and Bridgton since Long Lake is within those towns’ boundaries. But, only Naples presented it to the voters and put it on the ordinance books.

In the ordinance, surveys for invasive aquatic plants are required for all public docks, marinas, and campgrounds. Those surveys must be completed by a certified professional during the summer months and turned into the town no later than Sept. 15.

After Carter spoke, Planning Board member Jimmy Allen said, “We should add all lakes and ponds to this.”

Chairman of the selectmen Jim Grattelo asked if there were any objections.

Selectman Bob Caron II said it was a good idea and asked Carter to “get a list of all bodies of water.”

Also during the public hearing, there was no comment on repealing the chimney ordinance with the exception of an explanation by the code enforcement officer.

The ordinance forbids the use of factory built or metal type chimneys or chimney pipes, Carter said.

“I think it was 1988 when it was adopted. Since that time, the manufacturing of Metalbestos chimneys has improved,” she said.

If the ordinance is repealed and this type of chimney is allowed, the town would follow state laws governing Metalbestos chimneys, she said. 

The Code Enforcement Department has received “a lot of requests to do Metalbestos chimneys, but couldn’t do it,” she said.

It would be a “safe and cheaper alternative for people,” Carter said.

Metalbestos stove pipe does not contain asbestos, according to the Rockford Chimney Supply webpage. Metalbestos is simply the model of pipe, the website said.

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