The fleet of six windjammers sailing from Camden Harbor will have the option of offering additional day-long cruises this season.

The Select Board unanimously voted on May 1 to allow up to 15 day sails per vessel. Harbormaster Steve Pixley presented the request to amend the windjammer license agreement to the board. He said windjammer day cruises would add a new sailing option in Camden Harbor, and would be longer than the one and two hour sails offered by the current fleet of daysailers.

Ray Williamson, who with his wife Ann owns three historic windjammers, proposed the idea several months ago to the Harbor Committee. On May 1 he told the Select Board that "business has been off over several years. We often have a boat in the harbor and I still have to pay the crew."

The Williamson's own the Grace Bailey, Mercantile, and Mistress, which have been part of Camden Harbor for over 80 years.

Williamson plans four-hour sails that include a classic windjammer meal, "from soup to nuts." He hopes people from Camden might be interested in a day-long sail on a windjammer He asked how many people have lived in Camden their entire lives, but have never been on a windjammer cruise. "It's an experiment to get people interested in the windjammers," he said.

He added that longer cruises in the Penobscot Bay will remain the "primary business," saying, "what we want to be doing is to be out on the bay a week at a time."

The current fleet of six windjammers in Camden Harbor includes the Angelique, Lewis R. French, and Mary Day.

The annual licensing fee for each windjammer is $4,107 this year, and will increase to $4,190 in 2019.

For many years, the license agreements between the town of Camden and the eight historic windjammers sailing from Camden Harbor have specified the length of cruises as three days or more, and restricted day sails to three per year.

The town has a separate agreement for day-sailing vessels in Camden Harbor.

Board members asked about the reactions of daysailer owners and owners of the other windjammers to the proposed change. Pixley explained that the daysailers offer shorter cruises on a regular schedule, and Williamson said all the other windjammers would be able to offer the same number of day sail cruises.

Other business

The Select Board set the date of May 15 for a public hearing on the new personnel policy. The policy has been developed over the past five years, and has been vetted by town attorneys, according to long-time Personnel Board member Steve Melchiskey. The five-member Personnel Board is established by the town charter, with three elected members, one member appointed by the Select Board, and one full-time town employee elected by a majority of full-time town staff.

Continuation of the agreement with the Camden Farmer's Market was approved. Board Chairman John French believes the Farmer's Market should compensate the town for use of Tannery Park Wednesdays and Saturdays. Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell said that because soil excavated for the new Camden-Rockport Middle School would be stored at the park, it was not the year to set up a license agreement with the Farmer's Market. She said a licensing agreement could wait until after the completion of work to cover a portion of the park with soil and landscaping to remediate residual chemicals left behind from tannery businesses, located on the property in the past. Caler-Bell said she offered the Market an alternate site for this season, but the Market chose to remain at Tannery Park.

The Watershed School's request to close off Free Street between Pearl and Mechanic streets June 9 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for a community celebration was approved by the Select Board. Watershed Director Will Galloway said he hoped the community would come out to celebrate the work the school's students have done with the town of Camden over the past 15 years, with lots of food and a contra dance with music by The Gawler Sisters.

Steve Widdecomb requested that the town of Camden maintain Sagamore Farm Road in accordance with town of Camden subdivision ordinance requirements. He explained that he and a neighbor are responsible for the road, and it is seeing more traffic now that Sagamore Farm has bike trails. He cited use of the road by the Water Company and Central Maine Power, and said town trucks park there daily. Select Board members French and Alison McKellar spoke about how Sagamore Farm Road is an easement, not a road, and that the town provides the service of grading the easement annually. The town's agreement with the Water Company requires the easement to be passable. When McKellar questioned if Camden is receiving any money from the Water Company, Caler-Bell stated the agreement has expired. Widdecomb asked if removing the road sign could be considered, if the town was not going to maintain the road. Caler-Bell said the town would do something to prevent people from driving up Sagamore Farm Road, and from parking up there. There is a separate parking area for recreational use of Sagamore Farm that can be accessed via the driveway to the Lodge at Camden Hills property, by the owner's agreement.

Board members voted 4 to 1 to sunset the Four Seasons Snow Bowl Committee. McKellar voted against the measure, stating that no members of the committee were present at the meeting, and that the item was not placed on the agenda with the required notification. She asked what the objectives of the committee were and if they were met. Caler-Bell explained that the now-completed strategic plan for the town-owned recreation area, and the mountain biking plan, were the original work plan for the committee.

The Select Board, convening as wastewater commissioners, voted to approve a request from Oak Point Associates and SAD 28 to allow clarified water in the town-owned wastewater treatment plant to be used for a thermal heating system for the new Camden- Rockport Middle School.

The sewer-thermal system could provide 80 percent of the heat year-round at the new middle school, according to Oak Point mechanical engineer Matt Albert. The system will divert treated wastewater into a sewer-thermal trench or existing manhole, pump the heated water into the school's radiant heat system, and eventually return the treated water to Camden Harbor, which is the normal end cycle of the wastewater system.

Oak Point has prepared the sewer-thermal bid. The bid is one of seven bid alternates, that are contingent on the base bid for the middle school building coming in within budget, Albert said. The cost of the sewer-thermal heating system is an estimated $250,000. The payback period is long-term, according to Albert, and is realized through the reduction in annual heating costs. The school's ventilation system will require the use of propane.