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Mitchell Field bandstand goes to Harpswell voters

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Mitchell Field bandstand goes to Harpswell voters

HARPSWELL — Mitchell Field could host a summer concert series and more if the town officially accepts a recently finished bandstand near the waterfront.

The Board of Selectmen on April 25 unanimously approved a warrant article to fund the bandstand through donations, along with creation of a town bandstand committee.

The board also approved the purchase of an acidity meter and training services to increase its shellfish conservation efforts; an interim contract with Casella Waste for recycled goods disposal, and a memorandum of understanding that will require more frequent marine patrols.

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said the bandstand warrant article will ask voters in a June 11 referendum if they want to authorize the town to accept grants and gifts for the special fund.

Dan Huber, vice president of Harpswell Bandstand Committee, an independent, nonprofit group that worked on the all-volunteer project, said the fund will be used for performances, maintenance and further improvements.

If the fund is approved by voters, Huber said, the budget for programming and maintenance could be self-sustaining, and of no extra cost to the town.

Huber said his group hopes to officially hand over the bandstand property to the town at an inaugural concert on June 16.

He said it will also mark the debut performance of the new Harpswell Concert Band, which is being led by Bob Modr, president of the Harpswell Bandstand Committee.

That concert and others are still awaiting approval from the Board of Selectmen. Huber said it will be the new committee's job to maintain the bandstand and also make programming recommendations to the board.

"There is a proposed series of concerts pending approval from the selectmen that are scheduled to be held every Thursday evening throughout the summer," he said. "We're very pleased to have been able to do that, (to) make this kind of contribution. It involved the labor and donations of many people in the community, and it comes to the community at no taxpayer's expense."

In other business, selectmen:

• Approved the purchase of a pH meter and training services from the Friends of Casco Bay to measure the acidity of local clam flats. Eiane said the measure came from the recommendation of Selectman Alison Hawkes to continue the town's clam conservation efforts.

• Approved an interim contract with Casella Waste for recycled goods disposal from Aug. 1 to the end of the year, when the town begins using a single-stream recycling system. 

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with the town's marine patrol officers that will require them to perform 25 patrols of local waters between May 1 and Oct. 31.

"Overall, it's the town intent that there be more of a marine resource presence from the water," Eiane said.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.