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Cumberland councilors OK fairground concerts, move forward with yard waste fees

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Cumberland councilors OK fairground concerts, move forward with yard waste fees

CUMBERLAND — Town Councilors heard no opposition Monday night to allowing concerts and pari-mutuel horse racing at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds, and moved forward with new yard waste fees and a new Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

Concerts and pari-mutuel horse racing will now be allowed at the fairgrounds on dates in addition to the annual county fair. Concerts would still have to come before the council for approval under the town's Mass Gathering Ordinance, but the council removed wording in the ordinance restricting concerts to a "type, style and character historically associated with the County Fair."

The Cumberland Farmer's Club, which oversees the fairgrounds, estimated it could hold three or four summer concerts based on the current event schedule.

There are several changes on the horizon for Cumberland's yard waste facility.

Effective July 1, the brush dump will no longer accept items containing freon or metal goods.

Also by July 1, the town will no longer transport yard waste to North Yarmouth for disposal, which has cost the town approximately $24,000 per year. Instead, there will be on-site composting of the yard waste.

The council also took one step closer to establishing fees for disposing yard waste at the Cumberland facility effective Aug. 1. Tentatively, the fee schedule will be set at $5 per load for cars, pick-up trucks and single-axle trailers; $10 for trailers over 4 feet by 6 feet, rack body trucks and one-dumps, and $25 for six-wheeled dump trucks. Larger loads will not be accepted.

The council discussed offering residents a discount for pre-purchasing a punch card. Final approval of the fee schedule will be voted on at the July 27 meeting.

A stand-alone Shoreland Zoning Ordinance was also approved at the meeting.

Code Enforcement Officer Bill Longley said the ordinance contains the "least restrictive approaches" to bring the town into compliance with state requirements.

"The most substantial changes in the ordinance are the new setback requirements along coastal bluffs," Longley said. He said he expected the new setbacks to affect approximately 50 to 60 Cumberland Foreside homes.

The current setback requirement for new principal structures is 75 feet from the high-water mark in areas marked "unstable" and "highly unstable" in the Maine Geological Survey. The new setback requirements will now be measured from the top of the coastal slope.

A decision on increased fees for victualer's licenses was tabled indefinitely due to time constraints.

Heather Gunther can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 115 or hgunther@theforecaster.net.