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Snow Bowl refund policy for season pass holders updated

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 21, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich A plan is in place at the Snow Bowl to issue credit to season pass holders if there are closures between Jan. 1 and March 1 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

CAMDEN — The town-owned Snow Bowl ski area will issue credits to season pass holders if skiing is cut short by state health requirements related to COVID-19.

Select Board members approved a plan Oct. 20 that will provide refunds to season pass holders in the form of a credit towards next year's skiing. These credits will be issued if the season does not begin Jan. 1 as planned, if it ends prior to March 1 or if the season is entirely closed down. Credits apply only to COVID-19 related events, and not to weather closures.

Snow Bowl General Manager Beth Ward presented the recommendations. Ward said she and Assistant Manager Holly Anderson researched what other ski areas are doing, and how they are guaranteeing the season. She said in the past, season passes were not refundable, but this year's credit system is a response to current events.

Town Manager Audra Caler said there have been a lot of questions about the Snow Bowl's refund policy in the event there are early shut downs or the ski area does not open due to COVID 19. The town does not anticipate the ski area will be closed, she said.

The selling of early bird season pass discounts began Sept. 1 this year, instead of October as in previous years. Caler said sales were going well. Board Member Marc Ratner said the sales were way behind sales in previous years.

Ratner said the new credit policy is important and asked that it be promoted so people know about it.

"We need to give that confidence to people looking forward to skiing if we can guarantee they’ll get their money for next year," he said. Skiing this winter is one of the great things people can do, and it should be really safe, he said.

Ward said partial credits will be offered if the ski area fails to open on time, or if it closes early. A full credit will be issued for what people pay for their season pass if the ski area does not open. She repeated that this only pertains to COVID-19 related restrictions. Season pass prices are based on a 60-day season, she said. Season pass holders are aware of the risks that the mountain can be closed on certain days due to weather, including rain and high wind.

Wastewater department bids

Board members approved bids for work on Wastewater Department infrastructure.

Installation of a new pipeline on Chestnut street was awarded to Ted Berry, who submitted a base bid of 27,600. Installation of a culvert on Cobb Hill Road was awarded to Farley & Sons, who submitted a bid of $129,700. Both awards were the low bids on the projects.

Wastewater Department Superintendent David Bolstridge confirmed that the culvert is an open bottom configuration in response to a question from Board Vice Chairwoman Alison McKellar. Caler confirmed that there is a cost sharing arrangement with the water company for this project.

Sagamore Farm

Select Board members approved the release of a Request for Interest for entities to acquire and develop the town-owned Sagamore Farm property. The one-page request will be posted on the town website, along with a survey of the property, a traffic study and other related information. Planning and Development Director Jeremy Martin prepared the Request for Interest.

Sagamore Farm is located on Route 1, in the rural residential zone, which allows single family dwellings and open space residential developments. The 77-acre property contains 2.5 miles of public mountain bike trails and a half-acre solar farm. The Request for Interest describes these uses as valued community resources that the town wants to continue.

The town will consider proposals that would require zoning changes, if it "is deemed to be a benefit to the town and is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan," according to the document.

Tannery property

Martin told Board members that the town had received two proposals as of Oct. 20 to redevelop the town-owned property on Washington Street. Two other entities requested an extension to 4 p.m. Oct. 21. He said he had reached out to everyone who had expressed interest and told them he was extending the deadline.

A further extension of the deadline was discussed, but Board members agreed that would be unfair to those who adhered to the original Oct. 16 deadline.

McKellar said the Board could discuss what the process will be for evaluating the proposals at their next meeting Wednesday, Nov. 4. At that point, the Board might ask entities that submitted proposals to revise, or allow new people to submit proposals, and if that occurred the deadline could be reextended.

Elm Street drainage project

Caler said Oct. 26 would see the start of the downtown drainage project along Elm Street, extending from the Stop N Go store and gas station to the Public Landing.

The Maine Department of Transportation project entails replacing stormwater infrastructure and improving the sidewalks.

The project begins on the Public Landing with the installation of a new outflow pipe, which runs through the alleyway next to Sea Dog Restaurant, through the upper portion of the Public Landing parking area, and out into the harbor at the base of the southerly facing waterfall.

Caler wants the town to help DOT to make sure they are speaking to all the businesses and residences that will be affected.

 

McKellar raised a concern about the impact that drilling on the Public Landing will have on people visiting downtown Camden. She said there are still many visitors and the parking there has been full.

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