Wiscasset police to view airport online

Posted:  Friday, August 18, 2017 - 8:00am
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If someone breaks the law at Wiscasset Municipal Airport, the Wiscasset Police Department may see a replay. A new security system has replaced one Airport Manager Frank Costa said was fried in a power surge. On Aug. 16, Costa and Police Chief Jeff Lange described the new one to the airport advisory committee.

Most of the airport’s cameras are on the system, and everything they pick up will be stored for 60 days, Costa said. He said police can use the system to monitor the airport from the station. The web-based system will help the town on insurance costs for the airport, Lange said.

Costa recalled an incident where someone trying to steal gas damaged an airport tenant’s vehicle. Costa said it wasn’t airport property, but he’d felt bad. “We had nothing, absolutely nothing. Now we’ve got a little something,” he said. “Even when we’re not here during the wintertime, (Lange) will be able to, either himself or his personnel, monitor the safety of this airport.”

Lange said if he’s investigating an incident, he can go on the computer at his desk, locate that time frame on the stored footage, and if it shows what happened, determine if a crime occurred. “Then we can prosecute from there,” he said.

The meeting was the first for new member Ervin Deck. He managed the airport before Costa.

Also Aug. 16, Costa agreed to waive any reimbursement for tenants’ displaced planes’ being housed in a town-owned hangar during the Texas Flying Legends Museum’s recent stay. There had been prior talks on the warbirds museum possibly reimbursing the town, but Committee Chairman Steve Williams told Costa, that was when it looked like the museum was staying several weeks. It stayed a week and bought thousands of dollars in fuel, Williams said.

“I don’t see any issue with it at all,” Costa said about not getting reimbursed for the hangar’s use. He thanked the museum for coming, adding, it could have stayed anywhere in the area and chose Wiscasset.

In other business, Costa and committee members doubted the dry weather is the only reason for some bald spots Costa said the grass has had this year. They suspected grubs. Costa said any treatment would have to suit environmental standards. “I don’t want to risk ... getting in trouble with DEP (Maine Department of Environmental Protection).”

Deck said he would look into it. Costa planned to also talk with Wiscasset Public Works Director Doug Fowler. Costa also discussed plans to reseed those areas when the weather cools. Member Pam Brackett suggested waiting until after the treatment.