Naples planning for Winter Carnival

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES – The Naples Winter Carnival is still four months away, but town officials have already identified two ways to be prepared for the February event, which dovetails with the Hannaford Ice Fishing Derby.

The town will create a public access point to get on and off the ice on Long Lake – it’ll be a straight shot from the Naples Town Beach Road to the ice. This winter access onto the lake will be identified with signs, which carnival coordinators quickly volunteered to help put up when the time comes.

During Monday’s meeting, Selectman Rick Paraschak shared the findings (of a committee charged with reviewing uses for the town’s properties) with the Muddy River Snow Seekers’ President Bernie Flood and Vice President Tony Rossetti as well as Dean Sawyer, with the Hannaford Ice Fishing Derby.

By establishing a known access road, the town will protect its recent financial investments on the Kent’s Landing side of beach, and avoid damage similar to what happened during 2010’s ice-fishing season, Paraschak said.

Last year, warming winter weather contributed to damage to the ground around the Kent’s Landing property - particularly as people hauled fishing shacks off the thawing ice, he said. Since this spring, the town has spent money to repair the grounds, where a new changing-room facility was built in September. This upcoming spring, contractors will hydro-seed the expansion to the beachfront public area.

So, when the first snow flies, the town will neglect to plow the Kent’s Landing Property and let snow pile up so that area could be groomed for snowmobiles – a job which Muddy River Snow Seekers volunteered to do. Before the first snow flies, the town plans to remove the stacks of docking and open up more space for easy access to and from the lake. In addition, the low water levels will turn the beach into a parking lot.

Also, a new ordinance will ensure that non-profit vendors selling food don’t have to compete with for-profits providing the same, Paraschak said.

Some entrepreneurs showed up at the carnival, and snagged potential sales from local non-profits like the fire department, he said.  A $1000 fee for food vendors not associated with the Winter Carnival will discourage that from repeating, he said.

Carnival coordinators list vendors and make certain non-profits aren’t duplicating culinary offerings, he said, adding non-profits get a fair share of what people would spend on warm food at the two-day event.

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