TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen on Feb. 19 unanimously approved increased penalties for various parking violations.
Police Chief Timothy Young, who said he had been asked by the board to review the parking fine ordinance, presented a list of revisions that included doubling the $10 fine for overtime parking, parking in a crosswalk or sidewalk, obstructing traffic, obstructing a driveway, parking in a restricted area, double parking and parking overnight.
Parking illegally in a space reserved for the handicapped also doubles, from $100 to $200 for each offense.
Fines will now be collected by the town clerk’s office, instead of Police Department dispatch.
The Board of Selectmen last amended this section of the ordinance in 1997.
In other business, Town Clerk Ruth Lyons recommended Ralph Williams, chairman of Topsham’s history committee, for the job of town historian, a recommendation approved unanimously by the board.
“He just loves the town of Topsham,” Lyons said. “He’s like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the history for us, and he’s a valuable resource.”
Lyons said there had been a historian up until the early 1990s, and she asked that this time the position be appointed by the board. Selectman Steve Edmondson pointed out that this is a non-paid, non-employee role.
The historian will be appointed every three years and serve as the liaison between the town and people who want to use documents or records in Topsham’s custody and control for historical research purposes. The historian will also recommend, in concert with the history committee, ways to collect, preserve, organize and catalog records and documents possessed by Topsham that have historical significance, and will be allowed to carry out those methods with the board’s approval.