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Brunswick council adopts road standards, ice-hole ordinance; Meeting on First Parish church intersection upgrade set

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Brunswick council adopts road standards, ice-hole ordinance; Meeting on First Parish church intersection upgrade set

BRUNSWICK — The Town Council on Monday unanimously adopted an ordinance to create guidelines for taking over private roads.

The council also voted to permanently require shellfish harvesters to fence off ice holes on the Brunswick side of the New Meadows lakes.

The new road policy provides guidelines for road construction that might one day become town property. The ordinance was drafted following concerns that some roads taken over by the town didn't meet its engineering standards.

The ice-hole ordinance was enacted on an emergency basis last month amid concerns that quahog fishermen were leaving the holes unmarked after boring into the ice on the New Meadows "lakes."

Over the last six months, the area has attracted clammers hoping to harvest a bounty of quahog clams. Management officials opened the area to clamming for the first time in 10 years last summer.

 According to Devereaux, harvesting activity was initially limited to a handful of clammers, but has increased to as many as 17 boats and 29 clammers on the small lake at any given time.

The ice has since melted on the New Meadows. However, Councilor Suzan Wilson, who sponsored the provision, said she was glad the council moved quickly to prevent what could've been a safety hazard to snowmobilers, Nordic skiers and other fishermen.

 In other business, the council unanimously supported a liquor license for The Monkey Bar at 103 Pleasant St. The establishment was previously Cuddy's Bar and Grille, a trouble-spot for Brunswick police.

Cuddy's closed in early February.

The Monkey Bar is owned by Amanda Bernier, the former manager of the Daniel Stone Inn. Bernier told the council she was well aware of Cuddy's reputation.

"We're here to change that," Bernier said. "We're looking to make changes and I want people to feel comfortable."

Bernier said she planned to enact a strict over-serving policy and bartender training, as well as bans on customers who cause trouble.

"That stuff isn't going to happen on my watch," Bernier said.

Meanwhile, Town Manager Gary Brown announced a March 24 public forum on an updated proposal to upgrade the intersection near the First Parish Church.

The council in 2008 approved a Maine Department of Transportation plan to repair the intersection. However, various stakeholders – which include the church, the developers of Maine Street Station and Bowdoin College – disagreed on traffic flow and intersection reconfiguration.

One plan called for transforming the area into a traffic rotary, but it was widely panned by church officials and bike and pedestrian advocates. 

John Foster, the town's public works director, said Wednesday that the rotary plan has been scrapped in favor of smaller changes, such as relocating the left-hand turn onto Maine Street and discontinuing the short street near the Spanish War Memorial. The latter would become green space.

Meanwhile, a new parking lot would be built on the Bowdoin-owned property near 24 Cleaveland St.

Foster said the latest proposal was still in concept phase, however, it appeared to be generally well-received by stakeholders.

The public will have a chance to weigh the proposal during the March 24 presentation at People Plus. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Steve Mistler can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 123 or smistler@theforecaster.net