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Harpswell selectmen consider putting pier assessment to voters

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Harpswell selectmen consider putting pier assessment to voters

HARPSWELL — Residents could be asked to make a decision at the March 13, 2010, Town Meeting about the future of the the pier at Mitchell Field.

On Dec. 17, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to set a public hearing on a grant-funded assessment of the pier. If the analysis is approved, they said, it will be put to voters at Town Meeting and will determine the prospects and costs of developing the pier, or perhaps tearing it down.

The pier is part of the deep-water access to Mitchell Field, a 119-acre parcel that was once a U.S. Navy fuel depot. The town assumed ownership of the property and has ratified a master reuse plan. But the plan didn't completely address the future of the pier, which hasn't had a thorough examination of its condition.

Last week, selectmen said it's time for that analysis.

"Until we know what we have there, we can't do anything with it," Selectman Elinor Multor said.

The board also voted unanimously to appoint Marguerite Kelly as the town's new bookkeeper. Kelly, who is also the town's elected treasurer, will be paid $22 an hour for the part-time position. She is expected to work between 12 and 16 hours per week. 

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said officials consulted the town attorney to make sure Kelly's elected and appointed positions do not conflict.

The board also voted unanimously to allow Goodall Landscaping to put a mobile office at the town's transfer station. In the fall, the town signed a  road maintenance contract with Goodall. Crooker & Sons had been the previous provider, but opted not to re-bid on the contract this summer.

Eiane said the mobile office agreement is a separate arrangement that will make it easier for Goodall to respond in snow storms or similar events. The firm would reimburse the town for electricity used by the office.

In other business, Eiane announced that nomination papers are now available at the town clerk's office for elections at Town Meeting.

Positions on the ballot include a seat on the Board of Selectmen, currently held by Chairman Jim Henderson, and another on the Maine School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors, now held by Dorothy Carrier.

In addition, voters will elect a treasurer, currently Kelly; tax collector, currently Martha York, and town clerk, currently Rosalind Knight.

Nomination papers are available at the Town Office at 263 Mountain Road.

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