letter to the editor

Frustration over getting public access in Edgecomb

Posted:  Monday, December 18, 2017 - 4:15pm

Dear Editor:

Edgecomb has been putting aside money in the Woodend fund to buy a more suitable piece of property for public water access. This account was invested and most years, voters approved boat excise tax money be dedicated to this fund.

Because of my vocal passion for public access, I have been approached more than once by a resident wanting to sell water access to the town. Some lots were inappropriate but some were not.

The late Phil Chaney on Shore Road approached the select board before he passed away offering to sell his shore frontage to the town and the offer was turned away. I do not think the selectmen shared knowledge of this offer with the residents.

More recently, Alan Dodge offered to sell a piece of property on Shore Road to the town. Selectman chair Jack Sarmanian asked the Conservation Committee to look at it and make a recommendation. The committee discussed it, looked at the property twice, and recommended the selectmen have the property appraised and negotiate with Alan. Alan, after waiting over a year, being equally as frustrated as I, sold the property to a Bath resident.

I feel a real problem exists having a three-person select board. One has told me he has no interest in water access, and another seems to dismiss any access site. That makes a majority vote against any proposal for buying access.

I suggest the selectmen at the next town meeting submit an article to increase our select board from three to five members, keeping the total salary package the same just splitting up the pay as well as the work.

As for fixing the lost public access opportunities, maybe the selectmen should go to Phil Chaney's daughters and apologize and see if they would consider selling their father's shore property. If that fails, then go to the buyer of the Dodge property and see if they would resell it to the town at a profit, as it is quite small to build anything residential on. If both opportunities fail, the selectmen should be more proactive in putting opportunities in front of the people.

Tom Boudin