RTP extending bus service to Bridgton

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The Regional Transportation Program will be expanding its Portland-Naples bus service by coming to Bridgton as of Monday, July 14.

“It’s a pretty exciting endeavor and I’m happy it’s happening,” Anne Krieg told Bridgton Selectmen at their Tuesday meeting.

RTP began its 22-passenger bus service in November of 2013 from Naples to Congress Street in Portland, with stops in Casco, Raymond and Windham. Krieg said reports to date indicate the service is used by a fair amount of commuters, along with some seniors and students.

“At $3 for the ride, you can’t drive to Portland anymore for $3,” she said. Pickups and drop-offs in Bridgton for morning and afternoon runs will be from the parking lot beside the Bridgton Community Center. RTP will also be working with state transportation officials to add more stops along the way.

In other discussions and action at Tuesday’s meeting:

• Bernie King was elected as chairman, replacing Doug Taft. Taft will serve as vice-chairman. The board also revised its meeting procedures by agreeing that any action that is tabled will be listed as new business at the following meeting, so that additional public comment may be heard. No additional public comment, however, will be taken after a motion is made and seconded.

• The board agreed to allow the Ecumenical Clergy Group for Bridgton area clergy to use Highland Lake Beach to hold a free supper on three different Tuesdays, July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16, from around 5:30 to 7 p.m. Some singing and/or words of inspiration may be part of the event. Selectmen directed Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz to advise the clergy group not to set up too close to the public beach and boat landing, and to make sure they have insurance for the event.

• The board accepted the resignation of Karen Eller from the Board of Appeals.

• A Safety Enhancement Grant for $1,287 was accepted so that the Bridgton Fire Department can buy traffic cones and barriers to block off roads in the case of emergencies or other events.

• A consent agreement was signed with Linda Hamlin of 48 Pond Lane regarding a lake setback violation predating her ownership. Hamlin needed the violation cleared up in order to sell the property.

• The board adopted a Humanitarian Policy allowing residents who suffer loss of property and/or possessions to obtain items from the Bridgton Transfer Station’s Reuse 2 Recycle Store at no cost.

• The board agreed to turn over funds from the Reuse 2 Recycle Store to support the fireworks fund, on those months when no outside agency has signed up.

• The board revised town policy on outstanding balances of contractors using the transfer station by stipulating that accounts must be paid within 15 days of being billed, instead of allowing payment within four months. Violators would be placed on a C.O.D. billing status, and the revisions will be reviewed in six months.

• The estimated tax rate following budget approval at Town Meeting is $14.11, which is 58 cents over last year.

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