Naples Town Manager bridges info gap with Facebook

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES – Naples resident Derik Goodine has found a way to bridge one of his hobbies with the major construction job occurring on the Causeway.

As town manager, he deals daily with this two-year state transportation construction project.

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Anyone interested in getting updates on construction progress and fundraising plans, can attend the Causeway Renovation Committee, which convenes the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room. Please double check to confirm meeting dates by going to www.townofnaples.org and clicking on calendars.

Cost of Bay of Naples Bridge: $8.4 million

Town of Naples share in construction costs: $450,000

Sea Wall: Currently, concrete foam liner is being attached to sea wall. The surface of the concrete will have the appearance of wood. Approximately 2,000 feet of sea wall will be built by Spring 2011.

When groundbreaking took place: Oct. 29, 2010

Last summer that draw bridge is operational: May 2011 – September 2011

Construction begins on fixed bridge: September-October 2011

Fixed bridge opens for vehicular traffic: May 2012

Crews start dismantling old bridge: May 2012

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Recently, Goodine used his personal facebook account to post more than two dozen photos of the current construction project to complete the Bay of Naples Bridge and revamp the Causeway.

“It’s my own personal documentary outside of work because I get a birds-eye view of it,” he said.

“As town manager, I am allowed onto the construction site,” Goodine said.

“In a roundabout way, I did it because I want people to come to Naples and spend money.”

Goodine added quick blurbs – or captions – with each photo so people were provided information about the on-going construction.

Since the postings, he’s been fielding a few questions from folks from all over the nation.

Some of the people on his facebook friends’ lists are Naples property owners who winter elsewhere.

Others are longtime friends living in other parts of Maine or the U.S., he said. He frequently invites them to visit Naples and brags up the good qualities of the community and the lake-filled terrain. Naples’ good qualities include the building of the bridge and the creating of a new Causeway.

He wanted to make certain news of the construction zone in the thorough-fare of town wouldn’t deter people from coming to Naples this summer.

Currently, the town website isn’t set up with a facebook account, according to Goodine.

Facebook, a popular social-networking service via the Internet, was introduced to the public in February 2004.

According to Wikipedia, more than 600 million people worldwide actively use facebook – that number was last updated in January 2011.

Goodine’s most recent photo-gathering adventure may have made a splash among his facebook friends, but it put a damper in his day.

“I was going to walk out onto the lake. People told me there was still 12 inches of ice on Long Lake,” he said.

However, at least two inches of water was doing some social networking with the snowpack.

“The water was sitting in the snow. I was soaked up to my waist,” he said.

“I abandoned a trip around the town dock because I was rather cold,” Goodine said.

Later, when he got into dry clothes, Goodine sent the camera images from his cell phone to his facebook buddies – and everyone else who can access the posting via a criss-crossing connection of ‘friends.’

“I want people to know we’re open for business and making progress. And, I did it to educate anyone who happens to be interested,” he said.

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