By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER -A proposal by a local man to purchase a town-owned strip of shoreline that provides access to a popular fishing spot on Lake Wassookeag will be discussed by the Town Council next month.
Stan Russell asked town officials Thursday if they would sell him a 0.12-acre parcel located on Frye Cove so he can place a small portable dock there to support his marine business.
Russell offered no purchase price for the lot, which is valued by the town at $1,200. He said that before he completed any purchase, he would need to ascertain if the lot could be cleared of its vegetation, specifically the poison ivy.
His request raised some concerns among council members.
"It's like the 'Andy Griffith Show' - it's the old fishing hole; you're asking for the old fishing hole," council member Doug Pooler said, noting that the parcel is used by local fishermen.
Others worried about access to the lake. "We have so limited access to the lake now, what are we going to lose?" Fred Banks of the council asked.
Russell said he had no plans to gate or restrict the parcel, but acknowledged that should he sell it to another party, that party could do as they pleased. The businessman said the sale would benefit the town by relieving it of any liability. If the town does not choose to sell the entire lot, he said he would be interested in purchasing half of it.
Council member Marcia Delaware asked whether the parcel should be placed out to bid, the same as tax-acquired property. Town Manager Robert Simpson said the sale of this lot is a gray area under the town's bylaws and regulations and suggested that an interpretation be sought from the town's attorney.
In other business, the council voted to consider next month a 25-year lease of a 70-by-70-foot piece of land near the municipal golf course to Vertical Resources Engineering. The firm wants to construct a 160-foot communications tower for Unicel.
Simpson said the use of cellular communication has developed into a critical element in the town's public safety net. However, the cellular phone coverage "is worse than pathetic in Dexter," he said. The tower would give the town enhanced coverage. The town manager said he supports the project because it also would add to the municipal valuation and personal property taxes.
The proposed lease would be $1 a year for the first 10 years, then increase to $200 a month the 11th year and increase in increments in the subsequent years, until the town received a total of $44,794 by the end of the lease.
Simpson said the company wants to construct the tower as soon as possible.
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