Westport Island tries for COVID-19 aid

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 7:45am

    Westport Island is seeking $4,670 in Keep Maine Healthy funds to help spread awareness on, and prevent spread of, COVID-19. Selectmen agreed Monday night to apply.

    Deputy Emergency Management Agency Director Gaye Wagner said the town should know in a week or two if it will get the funds from Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. It would be good til Oct. 31, she said.

    In the teleconference and an email later, Wagner said the money is for an awning for Municipal Agent Dedee Greenleaf-Hodgdon’s new walk-up window at the town office; Centers for Disease Control guidelines posters and hand sanitizing dispensers for Clough Point Preserve, Ferry Landing and other public facilities and for walk-up businesses such as North End Lobster Co-op, Squire Tarbox Inn, Lulu's Barn, Sasanoa Brewing, Crossroads Coffee Beans and Westport Pottery; and supplies and audio-visual equipment for a safe, socially distanced town meeting.

    First Selectman George Richardson said the board hopes to have a plan June 29 for town meeting next month. He and Wagner said preliminary plans are to have it at the town hall, community church and possibly outdoors, and connect the sites with audio-visual equipment. The moderator must be able to view everyone and vice versa, Wagner explained.

    We’ll have disposable face masks, we’re going to have to mark the floor (and) have signage there. We are hoping ... to just give people pens so we don’t have to worry about trying to sanitize anything at the time.” She said the aim is to have town meeting “in a timely fashion, in a safe fashion and make sure that we plan for the number of people (who might) attend.” 

    As for giving businesses some of the dispensers and posters, Wagner told the board: “Part of the purpose of the money is to support the summer tourism industry despite all the hinderances we have right now for business.”

    At the planning board’s request, selectmen moved Dick Barker from alternate to member, for three years. Selectmen meet next at 7 p.m. June 29 via teleconference.