Wood Island agreements benefit all Kittery residents
The Wood Island Life Saving Station Association and the Kittery Town Council are to be commended for finally sealing a deal that will allow restoration work of the iconic life saving station to begin. Two agreements were penned Monday night. The first will allow the organization to begin repairs on the inside of the building and complete repairs to the exterior. The second is a 20-year concession agreement that will allow WILSSA to operate a maritime museum and gift shop – an accommodation by the town that seemed out of reach not so very long ago.
WILSSA has been the only organization to step forward with a plan to save the life saving station, filing its first documents with the town in 2011. Things became occasionally acrimonious between WILSSA and the town as both worked in good faith but with sometimes different agendas to reach an agreement. In fact, it is perhaps not surprising that the vote Monday night broke down between the council’s old guard and the new. Frank Dennett, Jeff Thomson and Judy Spiller, who did not support the agreements, certainly remember the summer days of 2013 when heels were dug in, lawsuits threatened and personalities clashed. The four councilors who approved the agreements Monday – Chuck Denault, Ken Lemont, Russell White and Gary Beers have been elected in the relatively halcyon times since.