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Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 9, 2014
Castine selectmen approve development direction for CED committee

by Sharon Bray

Under dire weather predictions, the Board of Selectmen moved up the Monday, January 6, meeting from 4 to 1 p.m.

Rick Armstrong, chairman of the Community and Economic Development committee (CED), talked to Selectmen David Unger, Peter Vogell and Gus Basile about two consultants for specific jobs.

Selectmen approved use of consultant funds approved by voters at a town meeting. Armstrong said the committee wanted a specialist from Portland to “bring together” several aspects of work done by a predecessor committee. The cost of $1,500 includes travel expense and some graphics, Armstrong said. (See related story from the CED meeting on this page.)

While the CED will continue to support efforts of a “promotions committee,” such as waterfront concerts and other public events, Armstrong said members will focus more energy on “looking at the bigger picture.” Part of the picture involves an “incubator program” to encourage research job development.

Armstrong said he, Tony Politano and Scott Vogell are collaborating with three representatives of a not-for-profit corporation.

For another $300, Armstrong said a different consultant can maintain a website started last year, including its Facebook presence until a February 15 re-evaluation of the CED’s next steps.

In other business, selectmen voted to allow the town’s fire and rescue department to accept a “stair chair” from the Castine Firefighters Association. Selectman and fire department officer Peter Vogell explained that the chair could be used to move a patient from a second floor location to the ground floor for loading onto a stretcher.

The town received a counter offer for lease of the take-out food business on the waterfront. Attorney Michael Harman’s letter apparently crossed in the mail with a letter sent by Town Manager Dale Abernethy, according to Selectman David Unger.

Harman proposed hiring a person to clean the public restrooms while keeping the cost of the lease the same as last year. He also wrote that the town should reimburse The Breeze owner for the cost of cleaning supplies.

Selectmen had previously agreed that cleaning the toilets will not be included in a lease agreement, stated Peter Vogell. He said he would prefer to have the company hired by the town last year continue the cleaning.

Abernethy said Harman had made a mistake in his version of a proposed agreement because the town had paid for paper products in the restrooms but never for cleaning supplies.

“I suggest we think about this, ask Dale to think about it…and vote at our next meeting,” Unger said.

Basile asked Abernethy how the town is doing on its winter roads budget.

Finance Officer Karen Motycka said the budget looks fine, adding, “Of course, we are in the first week of January.”

“We’re going to have to buy more sand,” said Abernethy. He added that the budget looks good so far, in part because wages for the town crew are not included in the winter roads budget.

Town Clerk Susan Macomber noted that Otter House daycare is currently located in the basement of Emerson Hall because a broken sprinkler had flooded part of the Episcopal church. She also reported that a second sprinkler head at the church had given way Monday.

Macomber said she called George Motycka, head of the town’s utilities, to shut off water to limit the damage.

Upcoming meetings:

Selectmen: Tuesday, January 21, at 1 p.m. in Emerson Hall.

Town/gown: January 22, 8 a.m. at MMA.