Town Council approves new fee scale for Fort Foster
KITTERY, Maine — The Town Council appointed a new member to the Planning Board, approved a small increase in pavilion fees at Fort Foster and approved an overnight stay at the fort for Bike Maine, a week-long biking event that benefits participating communities.
Several other actions were taken at the roughly three-hour meeting, including the denial of adding two stop signs at the intersection of Manson and Stevenson roads and denying the Charity Defense March the right to use the Shapleigh Middle School athletic complex as a starting point for its three-day march.
The council appointed resident Robert Harris to the Planning Board, voting him in over fellow candidate Matt Brock.
“I think I can be of service to the board,” Harris said as the councilors interviewed both him and Brock before voting Harris to the board, five votes to two.
“I have no compelling reason not to appoint the candidate who has been in the pool the longest,” said Jeffrey Thomson, chairman of the council, speaking of Harris.
Deborah Driscoll Davis was reappointed to the Planning Board, her term expiring Nov. 20, 2017. Harris’ term expires Nov. 30, 2016.
The council also approved increasing the rental fees of the small and large pavilions at Fort Foster, due to the move to online registering and associated fees with those online registrations, according to Jeremy Paul, assistant director for the Kittery Recreation Department, which handles the reservations of the pavilions. Rental of the small pavilion was increased from $50 to $51.50, while the large pavilion for 50 people or less went from $100 to $102.50 and from $150 to $153.75 for groups of more than 50 at the large pavilion. The 2.5 percent increase is due to fees from the third-party company the recreation department uses for registrations, while a 3 percent fee for credit card purchases will be passed on to the buyer, according to Paul.
Also approved by the council was the use of the fort on Sept. 12, 2015 as an overnight campground for Bike Maine, as roughly 350 participants and 50 volunteers bike through several Maine communities, promoting bicycle-based tourism, local business and bicycle safety. The group will stay overnight Sept. 12, while roughly 150-200 cars stay parked at Fort Foster for the week until they return Sept. 19.
The council denied the addition of two stop signs at the intersection of Stevenson and Manson roads near Shapleigh School, which would have created a triple-stop intersection. Discussion focused mostly on the statistical analysis of traffic and speed collected by Police Chief Ted Short, which indicated that the route was heavily traveled but speed wasn’t a primary concern based on the statistical evidence. The council didn’t see the addition of two stop signs affecting traffic, and that it could exacerbate the problem due to more stopping.
“I don’t see what changes two stop signs would make,” said councilor Frank Dennett.