Naples sees usages of new drone ‘limitless’

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — “Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s Superman!”

Wait a second. It is a drone.

While it might seem like a fun hobby, the small drone with videorecording capabilities has practical uses for the Naples Fire and Rescue Department.

The drone was purchased for the Town of Naples in April, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

“The uses of the drone are almost limitless,” he said. “It could be used for a house fire, for a missing person on the water, for a missing person in the woods.”

The drone’s video camera can send live-time recording to a computer — allowing rescue personnel to ascertain a situation in less time.

“Not to mention you can take great aerial shots of Naples,” Paraschak said.

Of greater importance to public safety, a new ambulance has been custom-ordered by Naples Fire Chief Jason Pond.

Road Rescue Emergency Vehicles, out of Florida, was awarded the bid. The cost was around $215,000, according to Paraschak.

“We literally signed off on it last week,” he said. The delivery date is early to mid-September, he said.

On Monday, Paraschak updated the Naples Board of Selectmen during his manager’s report.

Funds to purchase the ambulance were approved at Town Meeting this year when residents passed the department’s budget.

In addition to a new ambulance, the department plans to replace the tank on the tanker trunk. The metal tank has fallen victim to rust, and a new polyethylene plastic will take its place.

According to Paraschak, Pond “got rough quotes, but he needs to get competitive pricing.”

“He has to figure out what time of year he needs the tank truck the least, when there is the lowest call volume” for the tanker, Paraschak said, guesstimating that the time frame would be November or December.

In other news, the deed is still being located for one of two properties the town is hoping to sell. The sale of the town-owned property was also approved at Town Meeting this year; although the possible sale of unused town lots was discussed more than two years ago when the Begin Estate was purchased.

“The attorney’s researcher found an old deed for the State Park Road” parcel and “is still trying to find one for (the land on) Perley Mills Road,” Paraschak said.

“Next, we’ll go to a realtor and have it put out to sale,” he said.

Putting the land in the hands of a private citizen means the property tax will be paid on it annually.

Speaking of property tax, the tax bills should be sent out to Naples residents by late August per usual. The payments are due in two installments by October and in April 2017.

Sometime in August, the selectmen will set the mil rate. It is possible — given this year’s budget, that there will be no increase to the mil rate. However, that decision is in the hands of the Naples board.

Also, the selectmen are reviewing some tax debt ordinances of other towns with the goal of figuring out what might be appropriate for Naples. The sections are taken from ordinances in the towns of Portland, South Portland and Boothbay.

Basically, such an ordinance would prohibit a business owner from getting a liquor license or special amusement permit from the town if there is an unpaid tax debt in their name.

Chairman Bob Caron II asked the board if they had received the information (ordinance examples) in an e-mail.

“I didn’t see with any of those ordinances (what to do) if someone is renting the building or doesn’t own the property,” Caron said.

“I suspect I will find specific wording” for that type of situation, Paraschak said.

Caron said that everyone on the board would have time to look at all three ordinances “and discuss it at the next meeting.”

The next selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Aug. 8, according to the municipal calendar on the town’s website.

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