Wiscasset Selectmen

Wiscasset approves winter parking fees

Schooners restoration update
Posted:  Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 10:00am

On Tuesday night, Wiscasset selectmen approved a $25 permit for off-street wintertime parking in municipal lots. The permit is aimed mostly at downtown apartment dwellers who do not have off-street parking provided.

Wiscasset has an overnight street parking ban between Nov. 15 and April 15. The fee would be used for permit stickers that would provide police with contact information for car owners in case lots need to be plowed. Cars in municipal lots would have to be moved by 8 a.m.

It was not clear if the new rule would take effect this winter. Currently, police run the license tag and knock on the door to ask drivers to move their cars if there has been a snowstorm and vehicles need to be moved. Town Manager Marian Anderson said, in addition to tenants using the lots, there have been several cars left in municipal lots for the entire winter, and the new fee is designed to discourage that practice. The fine for improper winter parking will be $20.

After some discussion, the board approved the fees, 4-1. Bob Blagden dissented.

Bill Gimmel, who is taking control of the restoration of artifacts from the Hesper and Luther Little, spoke to selectmen about the next steps he would recommend. He asked that the town set aside space on either the Main Street or municipal piers, or the grassy area near the recreational pier, to display the artifacts and a series of plaques on the history of the schooners. He also recommended building a display case for the wooden objects and an image of the vessels.

He asked that the town authorize the painting and restoration of the wooden objects, and the movement of the non-wooden objects to the site. Gimmel preferred the grassy area near the recreational pier, which could attract more visitors to the waterfront. Selectman Katharine Martin-Savage said she would see if Two Bridges Regional Jail might be able to construct the display case or paint the wooden objects. Selectmen agreed to look at the matter again on Jan. 23.

Lonnie Kennedy spoke about the amenities for the Maine Department of Transportation’s downtown project, and discussed the choices the Public Advisory Committee made based on the survey results taken in the summer, and input from the public, the Historic Preservation Commission and tree experts.

Several items were not from the survey. The first was benches, which some PAC members thought would be nice if engraved or made with small plaques in memory of various people or on behalf of citizen groups or other organizations. Fundraising is underway to pay for this addition.

Kennedy said another item, bike racks, were all very similar. As for trees, survey respondents chose a Japanese lilac, but the group later discovered the tree is not hardy, and after much discussion, PAC members preferred planters with annuals. Later on, other arborists suggested other tree species that might work, and Kennedy said the PAC would be considering those.

Kennedy said the brick pavers would closely match the existing brick in the sidewalk. The bollards with chains are similar to those already at the courthouse, he said. Tree grates may not be needed if the town decides on planters rather than trees. The PAC chose the Bath-style lampposts, which had planters and a place to hang banners or flags. The wrought iron railings will have to be adapted for Americans with Disability Act compliance, he said. Finally, the bollard lamps near the waterfront will shine only on the sidewalk side, and the light will be directed downward.