Falmouth council extends library fundraising, OKs Rivalries licenses

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FALMOUTH — During a meeting Monday that lasted more than three hours, town councilors gave more time and money to some local causes.

An agreement with the Falmouth Memorial Library on fundraising for the library expansion was extended a year, to Dec. 31, 2017.

The Senior Citizen Advisory Committee received another year to work on ways to improve services to senior citizens. Councilors also approved a $75,000 allocation from unassigned funds for a new kitchen and other improvements to the senior center at the Mason-Motz Activity Center.

Councilors also rejected motions to limit the hours of operation at the planned Rivalries sports bar and restaurant on Hat Trick Drive, and approved one-year food and liquor licenses for the business.

Library fundraising

Marsha Clark, president of the library board, delivered good news about fundraising for the expansion Monday.

“We are about halfway through design and development,” she said. “We are where we should be, given our fundraising.”

A bond for the library expansion and renovation project was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014, with the town financing $2.81 million.

Clark said trustees have received $1.3 million in commitments for their half of the $5.62 million expansion cost. Those range from $10 donated by a middle school student to $250,000 from a local business owner.

With New Hampshire-based Porter Caesar now coordinating the volunteer fundraising efforts, Clark said most of the funding commitments have been made since January. But a Dec. 31 deadline loomed large, she said. 

“At this point, we are very excited about the process, but feel we are running out of time,” Clark said.

She said trustees can continue to work with Porter Caesar at no extra cost, and the library project is expected to be done by Nov. 11, 2018, the 300th anniversary of Falmouth’s incorporation.

Ready for Rivalries

Councilors voted 6-1 to approve Rivalries’ food service license, and 6-1 to approve alcohol sales. Council Chairwoman Karen Farber opposed the food service license, while Councilor Claudia King opposed the liquor license.

Both licenses, for daily operations from 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m., were granted after failed attempts to limit the hours of outdoor and alcohol service for the restaurant, which has an anticipated Nov. 1 opening date.

The only public comment was from Bob Isler of 22 Farm Gate Road, a board member of the Tidewater Farm Homeowners Association, who said the license language was too open-ended because it said Rivalries could be open to 1 a.m.

“‘As late as’ is just way too vague,” Isler said. “This is an effort to have the town council finally acknowledge and preserve some small portion of what we all had embraced before this master plan was amended.”

Developer Lance Meader said he might possibly reduce the outdoor service hours, but said he still needs to stay open until 1 a.m. because of West Coast games that draw customers.

“Can you picture if I have to immediately turn off the game and turn everybody out? There would be mutiny,” he said.

Because of the Columbus Day holiday and Yom Kippur during the week of Oct. 10, the Falmouth Council will not meet again until Oct. 24.

Colin Ellis contributed to this story. David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Trustees of the Falmouth Memorial Library were given a one-year extension Monday, Sept. 26, on fundraising for a major expansion.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.