By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - A proposed amendment that would prohibit future marina development on Lake Wassookeag, which was narrowly approved by the planning board, was tabled Thursday by the Town Council."This [the amendment] seems a bit arbitrary," council member Dean Thompson said Thursday, before moving to table it for further planning board review.
Both the lake association and utilities district support the amendment, which was prompted by a local man's request to purchase Frye Cove property.
Planning board member Al Tempesta told the council Thursday that the board felt there was an urgency to develop the amendment, but not all were happy with the proposal. He said other alternatives could be imposed instead of prohibiting future development.
"Would you rather have 175 people - the number of property owners who have boats on the lake - filling their boats from 5-gallon cans, or one spot on the lake where boaters can go get gas, and you can designate the spot?" he asked. There are a lot of conditions you can put on a marina to make people happy, Tempesta said.
Anton "Tony" Larson, a planning board member who opposed the amendment, said it would restrict the use of the lake to those who own shorefront property. He explained that big boats launched from the small lake landing would be unable to use the underpass to the large lake where there is no official boat launch.
Longtime businessman Stan Russell sparked the discussion when he approached the Town Council late last year to purchase the Frye Cove property. Russell said he wanted to place a small portable dock on the large lake to support demonstrations and sailing lessons associated with his boat business.
His request raised concerns among local fishermen, many of whom fish for smelts in the cove. In response, Russell modified his request to purchase a small parcel and later withdrew it altogether. After the discussion, town officials learned the state, not the town, owned most of the land along the cove.
In a related matter Thursday, the council approved a 10-year agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation which gives the town legal access and oversight authority for the state-owned portion of Frye Cove on the south side of Shore Road.
The council also approved borrowing $500,000 through the Maine Bond Bank for road paving. Contingent on bond bank approval, the contract to pave 10.7 miles of town roads in the downtown region, sidewalks and parking lots was awarded to Barrett Paving of Dover-Foxcroft. The firm's bid of $530,590 was the only bid received in response to the town's advertisement.
Town officials had anticipated the project would cost $498,000, including a contingency of about $30,000.
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