CUMBERLAND — The Town Council voted 6-1 Monday to issue a mass gathering permit for a girls youth lacrosse jamboree, while waiving or reducing some of the related fees.
Since he expected there to be no more than 400 people present at the Twin Brook recreation facility at any one time during the June 5 event, Town Manager Bill Shane had recommended that all but the $400 fee for a fully staffed ambulance be waived for the event.
The council opted to charge a $100 field use fee – a reduction from the regular $500 fee – as well as a $250 mass gathering permit fee and $150 for an EMT without an ambulance. Police Chief Joseph Charron did not think a police officer needs to be present, Shane said, which would have been a $400 expense, and the avoided need for a paramedic also reduced costs by about $250.
Late last year, the town lowered the threshold necessitating a mass gathering permit from at least 1,000 people – including players and spectators – to 500.
“This team got kind of caught by surprise with the new mass gathering rules and the Twin Brook facility use rules,” Shane said. “Early on in the process they thought they were going to be paying around the same that they have in the past … but they had no idea that it would be this high.”
The Town Council voted last month to stand by the permit fee requirement for a boys youth lacrosse jamboree. Last year’s event had fewer than 1,000 people and avoided the need for a permit. Having been uncertain what the monetary impact would be of the permit adjustment, Mike Mullin of the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Youth Lacrosse Club had requested a waiver of the $250 mass gathering permit fee and a $500 field usage fee.
Although the council declined to waive the fees, its members agreed to postpone payment for up to six months to give the club more time to raise money for the fees.
Town Council Chairman Ron Copp, who voted in opposition on Monday, said the next day that “I want it to be uniform for anybody that rents or uses that facility. I don’t think that we need to be giving everybody that comes in there a different price (to use it). We had just allowed the boys youth lacrosse to use it, and we negotiated a price for them, and now here we are negotiating a different price for the girls, and I didn’t think it was right.”
Copp added that “it wasn’t that I was against them using it at all; I just don’t think that any one should get a better price than somebody else.”
The Town Council asked its ordinance subcommittee to review the mass gathering threshold to determine whether a second tier should be established for smaller events.
“They’ll look at that and report back to the council in a few months,” Shane said.
The council also voted to request two speed limit reductions from the Maine Department of Transportation. Councilors favored dropping the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph on Blackstrap Road from the Falmouth town line to Route 100, and from 50 mph to 40 mph on Route 100 from the Gray town line to the area of Skillin Road.
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or email@example.com.