Powers named chairman

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES – Christine Powers was traveling back to her home town after attending her daughter’s college graduation, when fellow members of the Naples Board of Selectmen voted her in as the new chairman.

According to former Chairman Dana Watson, Powers had agreed to serve in the position prior to the vote that took place during her absence. But, during Monday’s meeting, Watson joked, “It’s time to elect a new chairman, and seeing as Christine isn’t here let’s vote her in.”

The vote was 3-0, with Watson and selectmen Rick Paraschak and Tom Mayberry present.

Watson was elected as vice-chairman. Both will serve in those roles for a year.

In preparation for this weekend’s Maine Blues Festival, the board unanimously approved variances to the special amusement permits at several locations.

A few years ago, the town adopted a policy that prohibits outdoor music from being played after 9 p.m. Selectmen exempted Merced’s at Brandy Pond and Bray’s Brew Pub & Eatery – since blues music will be performed al fresco until the bewitching hour at both establishments. An exemption was granted to The Songo River Queen ll, which will be docked with a band playing on board from 9 p.m. until midnight.

The Queen will ferry passengers to the Songo Lock and back to its mooring as it offers three “Blues Cruises” during the day on Saturday. The band will be staged on the top deck of the paddleboat replica.

In addition, Tail of the Lake Lobster Pound will provide live entertainment outdoors until 10 p.m. So, selectmen gave that Causeway business a one-hour extension.

In other business:

• Following the public hearing before the regular meeting, the selectmen unanimously approved the liquor license for Naples Pizza and Dugout. Town Manager Derik Goodine said the license is for the sale of beer only. “It’s a low-key place,” he said, adding there have been zero complaints from state police. Selectman Rick Paraschak said local firefighters turn to the Dugout for many a pizza.

• The board approved the engineer’s designs for the proposed boat ramp at the Naples Town Beach. The design company Gorham-Palmer did the work for the town. The state required the town to provide professional blueprints for it boat ramp.

• Selectmen gave Causeway Renovation Committee member Bob Neault the go-ahead to arrange for a fund-raising consultant to speak to the committee, fundraising volunteers and the board of selectmen. The consultant would charge a flat rate, rather than a fee based on percentage of dollars brought in during fundraising, Neault said. One of the roles of a consultant would be to develop the town’s case for raising the money, and to put together leads of potential financial supporters. “With the right person in place, we could get enough money,” he said.

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