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Tragic week Record breaker The past week, 2 people died — one from a heart attack fighting a fire and the other in an accident Inside News 4 on the Fourth continues to get bigger! 2012 saw a record number of finishers, campers Page 3A Page 1C Calendar . . . . . . . . . . 1D Classifieds . . . . . . . . . 4D Country Living . . . 6B-9B Directory . . . . . . . . . . 8D Obituaries 6D-7D , 9D-10D Opinions . . . . . . . 1D-5D Police/Court . . . . . 4A-5A Sports . . . . . . . . . 1C-8C Arts & Entertainment 1B-5B Towns . . . . . . . . . . . 10B Weather . . . . . . . . . . . 5D Vol. 143, No. 28 Serving Bridgton and the surrounding towns of Western Maine since 1870. 40 PAGES - 4 Sections Bridgton, Maine July 12, 2012 (USPS 065-020) SIXTY CENTS Concerns about rental units aired By Lisa Williams Ackley Staff Writer Should the Bridgton Board of Selectmen appoint a committee to research and craft regulations that residents could enact to require local landlords to allow inspections of their rental properties? The Bridgton Planning Board heard a presentation this week from a landlord regarding his concerns about “the conditions of some rental units in Bridgton and the lack of enforceable standards.” “There are standards which must be met if landlords are renting to state-assisted tenants,” Tony Mallon said, in his letter to the planning board that he read aloud July 10. “The standards are reasonable and enforceable. Inspections are called for prior to allowing tenants to occupy the rental units, and on an annual basis after that.” “Something needs to be done” Mallon, who said he primarily owns rental properties in Naples, stated, “Something needs to be done. I, as a landlord for more years than I care to admit to, have looked at multifamily buildings in Bridgton and have been horrified at the conditions some families are living in.” “At one point, I spoke to then Police Chief Dave Lyons and the then fire chief about my concerns,” Mallon said further. “It was after a woman who, in order to be removed to the hospital, had to be taken out a third floor window, once the window was removed. Everybody understood the concern, everybody was busy and nothing changed.” Mallon then told the planning board members he believes “the quality (of rental units in Bridgton) is about as bad as it gets and the conditions for people living in them is dangerous.” “I don’t like people (landlords) who get away with stacking people in these (apartment) buildings,” Mallon said. He noted that, due to the poor conditions at some of the rental properties in Bridgton, “If something does happen in one of these buildings, it could come back on the town.” Saying the enforcement of CAUSEWAY ART — An artist attracted some attention along the Naples Causeway from passerbys as he painted a scene (De Busk Photo) Section 8 regulations was “taken — the site of the seaplane ticket area. over by the State of Maine (Housing Authority) on June 1,” Mallon held up a booklet entitled “A Good Place to Live” put out by HUD that details the required elements a rental unit must have By Gail Geraghty Lopez referred to the board’s McHatton remained unde- provided the town’s insurance in order to pass inspection, as terred, saying he is taking each for many years, and has been Staff Writer vote, at their previous meetwell as what a tenant should conbid process on a case-by-case quite responsive to the town’s It’s only been a few weeks ing, to award the bid for insursider when looking for a unit. ‘Local preference’ sparks debate RENTAL, Page A Brewery proposal tabled to August By Lisa Williams Ackley Staff Writer The Bridgton Planning Board has once again tabled the application for the Mount Henry Brewing Company proposed for Portland Road — this time until its August meeting. At their July 10 meeting, Planning Board Chairman Steve Collins announced that the board had received an e-mail from applicants Robert Prindall and Angela Roux saying, “they will not be able to present the storm water survey” this month that the board had requested in order for them to satisfy requirements of the Site Plan Review Ordinance regarding stormwater runoff and any potential groundwater pollution. “They hope to have it presented at the August planning board meeting,” said Collins, which will be held Aug. 7. So, the planning board unanimously approved a motion to take the Mount Henry Brewing Company application “off the table” and place it on their August agenda. However, planning board member Dee Miller asked what would happen if the applicants don’t bring the requested information to the board’s August and/or September meetings. Asked Miller, “How long does it take? I don’t think it (the application process) should last forever.” Planning Board member Brian Thomas said he had been told there is a possibility the brewery application may be withdrawn if the sale of the BREWERY, Page A Hacker’s Hill fund drive picks up steam By Dawn De Busk Staff Writer CASCO – Does it ever seem like music should accompany the sunset? What chords would the ear hear if there were sounds to go with the setting sun? This evening, viewing the sunset from Hacker’s Hill in Casco could be music to the ears. Tonight, the folk music style of the band Swampdonkeys will keep beat to the final movements of the sun in the west. The Acoustic Sunset runs from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The fee for attending the fundraiser is $10 for adults and $5 for children. This event is the first in several summertime fundraisers to be hosted by Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) as it embarks on a year-long goal to raise the remaining $150,000 to pay the mortgage on the Hacker’s Hill land purchase. According to LELT Executive Director Carrie Walia, “We have through the summer of 2013 to raise $150,000. Most of that money will go to pay off the mortgage, any balances on the purchase, and toward the endowment to care for property,” Walia said. The purchase cost of the 27-acre tract on Hacker’s Hill is $700,000; an additional $100,000 is required for a perpetual care endowment, she said. Most recently, the Nine Wicket Foundation in Portland awarded a $5,000 grant to the Hacker’s Hill Campaign and local businesses and summer residents continue to make contributions, Walia said. So, the month of July kicks off another phase of fund raising. This Saturday, a hands-on geology lesson will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. The Geology HACKER’S, Page A since Bob McHatton Jr. returned to local politics in Bridgton, but already he’s stirred up the pot by his strong belief that local businesses should be favored even when they’re not the lowest bidder, as long as the bids are close in price. At Tuesday’s meeting of the oard of selectmen, Mark Lopez challenged that thinking, suggesting that such a stance sets a precedent that will force selectmen to find ways to defend against charges of cronyism. ance coverage to Chalmers Insurance Group of Bridgton, instead of a bid that was $2,300 lower made by the Maine Municipal Association’s Risk Management Services. The bids were $45,092 from Chalmers, and $42,691 from MMA. “The policies are substantially similar,” and at a time when the mil rate has increased by 40 cents, a $2,300 difference should not be “marginalized” in favor of buying locally, said Lopez. basis, on its own merit, and believes that Chalmers more than makes up for the difference in terms of its contribution to the local tax base, the number of people it employs and the charitable funding it provides to the local community. “When I was elected, one of my main goals as selectman is trying to help local businesses,” McHatton said. Selectman Woody Woodward agreed, saying it is reasonable to factor in the fact that Chalmers has needs. Chairman Paul Hoyt said he felt MMA’s lower bid should be honored, because “$2,300 is a lot of money.” In the end, the vote was 32 in favor of Chalmers, with Hoyt and Selectman Doug Taft opposed. Sewer Committee member Glen “Bear” Zaidman joined Lopez in questioning the decision, pointing out that Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz told his committee that favoring PREFERENCE, Page A Bridgton beavers’ saga continues By Gail Geraghty Staff Writer A grand experiment in coexistence with beavers began last weekend when a few passionate folks waded knee-deep in muck to modify the dam the beavers created behind the Bridgton Post Office on Elm Street. The dam was causing flooding in the post office’s parking lot, and raised water levels well above what’s typical for a large expanse of downtown wetland bounded by Elm, Park and Nulty Streets and the town’s Wayside Avenue leach field. Regional Wildlife Biologist Scott Lindsay of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife believes it’s one or two young beavers at work, possibly the same ones that built the lodge and dam just a short distance away at Shorey Park, where Highland Lake meets Stevens Brook. Resident Lega Medcalf, who’s been championing the beavers’ cause, called Lindsay for advice about the problem, and he put her in contact with Richard Hesslein of Brownfield, who has worked on beaver modification efforts for years. Together, they walked the perimeter of the wetland around Corn Shop Brook late last week. To trap or not to trap Lindsay favored trapping and relocating the beavers, given the amount of development in the area. It’s unlikely the beavers would stick around, he said, if humans start messing around with what they’ve built. They couldn’t find any evidence of a lodge, but with such a large wetland, Lindsay said it’s likely they’re just laying low for now, planning their next move. “They like to raise the water level up so they can feed on the trees, because they don’t like to go more than 20 feet from water,” he said. If there’s too much water drainage or other disturbance to the habitat they’ve created, it could drive BEAVER, Page A By Lisa Williams Ackley Staff Writer LOVELL — A 15-year-old girl from Texas, whose leg was severed above the ankle in a boating accident on Kezar Lake Tuesday afternoon, was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The teenage girl was sitting in the bow of a powerboat, operated by her father, that was towing a 13-year-old boy on a tube when the accident happened, according to Corporal John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service. “At about 2:45 this after- noon, a boat crash occurred that injured at least two people,” Cpl. MacDonald said, in a phone interview with The Bridgton News July 10. “A 15-year-old girl was ejected (from the boat) and the boat drove over her and severed her leg above the ankle. The operator of the boat was the girl’s father.” Cpl. MacDonald said in a statement issued later on Tuesday that a “family-owned” 24-foot Correct Craft inboard fiberglass motorboat was carrying six family members when it crashed near a small island on the east side of Kezar Lake. “Involved in the crash was a 13-year-old boy being towed on a tube, a 10-year-old boy in the rear of the boat, three teenage girls sitting in the bow (one who is 13 and two 15-year-olds), and an adult driver,” MacDonald stated. “Driving the boat was 44-year-old Robert Mueller from Houston, Texas. Mueller was towing the boy when he struck a submerged rock barely visible from the surface. Upon impact, all three female passengers in the bow were ejected TEEN, Page A A CAGEY WAY — to prevent the beavers from plugging up the upstream end of the culvert was to erect this wire dome over it, held in place by rebar sunk deep into the stream bed. Teen injured in Kezar Lake mishap The Bridgton News Established 1870 P.O. Box 244, 118 Main St. Bridgton, ME 04009 207-647-2851 Fax: 207-647-5001


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