Voters to decide spending for athletic fields and building repair

By Susan Mustapich | Nov 27, 2018
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Improving the visibility of two unmarked crosswalks at Lincolnville Beach was discussed by selectmen Nov. 26.

LINCOLNVILLE — The Board of Selectmen decided Nov. 26 to hold a public vote on paying for an assessment of the condition of the Lincolnville Improvement Association building, and adding money to the budget to improve ballfields at Lincolnville Central School.

The details of what will go to a vote at a special town meeting on these issues, and the meeting date, will be discussed at an upcoming board meeting.

Lincolnville Improvement Association building

The board agreed that voters should decide whether funds in the 2018-19 municipal budget for repairs to the LIA building can be used to assess the building's condition. The building was built in 1892 as a two-room schoolhouse, and has been owned by the town for 100 years.

Repairs to the building's exterior siding and walls were approved by voters at town meeting in June; however, the scope of the project has changed since discussions began in October with Amanda Austin, principal architect of 2A Architects LLC of Rockport.

Because the building is owned by the town and used by the public, Austin raised issues to consider, including the building's structural condition and deficiencies, assessment of mold or other hazardous materials, and compliance with building safety codes.

Public meetings and community events are held at the LIA building, including Lincolnville Sewer District meetings, and the upcoming community Christmas party Dec. 1 to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus and the holiday season.

Austin asked that the town have some minor demolition work done, removing small areas of drywall, ceiling tiles and an exterior wall, so that the building can be assessed. The cost of the work includes: architectural analysis of the building exterior $6,800, structural evaluation $3,800, mechanical and electrical systems evaluation, $1,800 and construction cost estimating, $2,400.

Ballfield improvements

The board agreed to ask voters if they want to allocate additional funds to improve the ballfields at Lincolnville Central School. There was general agreement that more work needs to be done, and there is not enough money in the budget to complete it. About $7,900 has been spent this fiscal year, according to Town Administrator David Kinney, and an estimated $8,500 is needed to complete the work.

Kinney described the goal of the work as bringing the athletic fields up to top condition. There is a soccer field, a baseball field, a Little League/softball field and a practice field.

During a discussion with Recreation Commission Chairman Lesley Devoe, board members asked that the commission provide a detailed plan. Board members agreed that a cooperative effort between town and school officials has fallen short because of a failure to attract volunteers to do a portion of the work.

Devoe asked selectmen for a go-ahead to develop a green option, which would eliminate the use of chemicals, including pesticides, on the ballfields. She pointed out that going green is healthier for the students and for the nearby pond, but is more costly, because it requires more material and labor.

Selectman Keryn Laite said he promotes going green, but the question is how much can the school do, with the additional work it requires. He sees the need for two proposals, one for the status quo and one for the green option.

Selectman Josh Gerritsen said he is most concerned with the use of pesticides, including Roundup and Millennium, which contains the chemical 2,4-D, which he said is very toxic.

Board Chairman Ladleah Dunn said the board could not take a vote on going green, but must see proposals and costs for the status quo and green options. She said detailed information is needed, that decisions on how to proceed will be discussed during the upcoming budget process, and ultimately the townspeople will make the decision.

Laite and Kinney pointed out that labor should be factored into any plan. The consensus at the meeting was that the effort to seek volunteers to do the work had failed. Kinney pointed out that coordination between the school and town has not always produced results. He raised the question of who would do the work needed. Laite brought up the alternative of paying someone to manage the fields and lawns.

Upcoming meetings were announced, including the first meeting of the Inland Waterway Mooring Committee Dec 4 at 7 p.m.

Safety of pedestrian crosswalks

In other matters, the board voted to request that the Maine Department of Transportation install pedestrian crossing signs at all of the crosswalks on Route 1 in Lincolnville Beach that are not already marked.

Dorothy Newcomb, owner with her husband of the Whales Tooth Pub, spoke about the five crosswalks in the Lincolnville Beach area, and how two crosswalks are not marked. Drivers travel downhill into Lincolnville Beach from both directions, and the unmarked crosswalks are dangerous, she said. She talked about electronic signs in other towns that are vey effective in making drivers aware of their speed and alerting them to crosswalks.

Laite said vehicles should be slowed down before they enter Lincolnville Beach.

Dunn suggested working with DOT as a first step toward erecting signs at the crosswalks on Route 1 and at the approaches to the beach area. Gerritsen spoke in favor of signs at every crosswalk, immediate placement at Lincolnville Beach of the one speed-activated sign owned by the town, and research on funding to add more speed-activited signs there.

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