CAMDEN — Members of Save the Dam Falls expressed outrage Sept. 6, arguing that right after the Select Board passed a resolution that voters would decide the future of Montgomery Dam a press release announced the town winning a grant to partially or fully remove the dam.

Select Board members argued the $1.6 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is to study all options and does not commit the town to any course of action. They reiterated several times that any final decisions will go before the voters.

Ken Gross of the Save the Dam Falls Committee questioned how the granting agencies came up with the summary saying local dams would be removed.

Select Board member Tom Hedstrom said, “This has not committed us to anything.”

“It is an action to plan dam removal,” Gross said, arguing that violates the resolution the board approved on the dam. The resolution resulted in Save the Dam Falls putting on pause its plans to hold a special town meeting on the issue.

Select Board Chair Robert Falciani said he disagreed with Gross’s interpretation. “It’s overreaction,” he said.

Gross responded, “You have acknowledged you have a communication problem.”

Gross said he did not want the Select Board to gloss over the fact that the grant includes a $260,000 match in funds from the town and questioned whether residents would get to vote on whether to approve that funding in November.

He was told that funding was already approved and that the grant would allow “in kind” payments for the match, so that even things like committee meetings, hearings and studies might count toward the match.

The Select Board voted 3-2 to appoint the nine members of the Megunticook River Advisory Committee, an action that also turned out to be controversial. Select Board members Hedstrom and Stephanie French opposed the appointments.

French raised concerns during the meeting more than once that the committee includes members who are not full-time, voting Camden residents. She argued there was a lot of money on the table with the project and she opposed having people on the committee who would not share in paying that money while having a say in spending it.

The counter argument was that all of the committee members have some connection to Camden. Some work in the town and some are involved in work on the Megunticook.

The members appointed are:

Raymond Andresen, who is a member of Save the Dam Falls and President of Merryspring Nature Center.

Courtney Cease, who is a member or Restore Megunticook, a group that has opposed Save the Dam Falls and supported the Select Board in exploring options for the Megunticook. She has 20 years of experience as a sustainable development professional.

Deborah Chapman, who has 20 years experience as a consultant to Maine’s land trusts.

Lynette (Elphie) Owen, a math teacher at Camden-Rockport Middle School.

Ellen Reynolds, a business owner in Camden and former NOAA fisheries biologist. She is Executive Director at Children’s House Montessori School.

Tyler Smith, an engineer and lifelong Camden resident, owner and operator of multiple hotels and commercial businesses in Camden.

Seth Taylor, local outdoor retail manager, sportsman and guide.

Richard Thackeray, who is a hearing officer for the State of Maine and SAD 28 Schoolboard member.

Susan Todd, Trustee at the Camden Public Library; Harbor Park Committee member; Camden resident for 22 years.

Select Board member Sophie Romana serves as the non-voting chair of the committee.

There were 22 applicants for positions on the committee. Forrest Bell, the town’s consultant on the Megunticook project, brought the slate of appointees to the Select Board.

Weighing in on the choices was Camden Deli owner Tom Rothwell, who said he did not feel that the business community or stakeholders were represented on the committee.

Select Board member Alison McKellar said she understood people’s interest and offered the context that she personally felt “ticked off” that she was not included on the committee. She advocated for making sure there was a way to allow public input in the proceedings.

In response to French’s objections, McKellar said she would like to have Lincolnville representatives on the committee since they share the watershed.

Romana argued, “This is a starting point. We have to start somewhere.”

“We are not going to be able to tell the public with a straight face that whatever this advisory committee recommends, we’re not going to adopt,” Hedstrom said.

Falciani disagreed, saying the goal was to be thorough and look at the data before deciding what would go to the voters to decide.

Tom Rothwell, left, speaks with the Select Board on Sept. 6.

In other business:

The board scheduled a public hearing for 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9 in the French Conference Room at town hall for a 180-day extension to the Moratorium Ordinance prohibiting installation, construction or modification of piers, docks, floats or ramps serving residential properties within the bounds of the Coastal and Outer Harbors.

The board voted 3-2 with Hedstrom and French opposed to approve up to $66,000 for a new electric pickup truck for Fire Chief Chris Farley. It had previously been approved in the budget.

Hedstrom said he was concerned that this was version 1.0 of electric vehicles. French also questioned the ability of an electric vehicle to perform and its battery life.

It was noted, however, that when the purchase of the truck was originally approved in the budget process, that it was stated that the town would buy an electric vehicle if it could. It would include the cost of installing charging stations.

The board voted to approve a new business, Wolffie’s Wheels, a taxicab service run by Charles Overholt.

The board approved plans for the Realtors Fighting Homelessness fundraiser at the Village Green Oct. 1 that could raise up to $20,000 for Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, the Knox County Homeless Coalition and New Hope Midcoast. Sandy Cox, president of the Penobscot Bay Council of Realtors, met with the board and noted that half that money would be kicked in by his organization. As part of the event, people will tent out in the park.