News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 20, 2020
Contract signed for Oliver Hazard Perry visit

by Eli Forman

At the Castine Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, February 18, Town Manager Shawn Blodgett informed the selectmen that the contract to bring the Oliver Hazard Perry to Castine has officially been signed.

The Oliver Hazard Perry, a 200 foot, 3-masted frigate built in the 18th century will be in Castine from July 12-14 as part of Maine bicentennial celebrations conducted by the town.

“We’re in dialogue with the [Maine 200] steering committee and in dialogue with the Perry to schedule everything,” said Blodgett.

In other business, the selectmen moved into a quick discussion and a series of unanimous votes approving annual innkeepers, tavern keepers and lodging houses licenses for the Castine Inn, The Pentagoet Inn and a renewed bottle club registration license for the Castine Golf Club.

The meeting progressed with Blodgett’s town report, in which he described the revised Castine entrance and excavation fee schedule, which charges homeowners for pavement repairs that result from construction that cuts into the public way. Revised in May 2019, the fee schedule charges $75 per square yard for any cutting into the public way, which according to Blodgett is problematic because typically a town’s public works department will conduct the necessary repairs when this fee is charged. Blodgett noted that since Castine’s public works department is not conducting this repair work, this effectively amounts to double charging homeowners who must additionally pay a contractor for the square yardage of the repairs.

The revised fee schedule will address this, by requiring a one-time administrative fee of $100 for the issuance of a street opening permit and an additional fee of 15 percent of the estimated total impact value to offset future paving costs. According to the verbiage in the revision, the total impact value is calculated by multiplying the unit cost by the estimated area involved. According to Blodgett, these changes will avoid “an exorbitant cost to the homeowner.”

After Blodgett’s explanation, selectmen voted to approve the revised fee schedule.

Blodgett also mentioned legal developments regarding the property at 563 Castine road which has been ordered by the town to clean up debris on the lot and fix or remove unsafe structures. Blodgett stated that the property owner’s motion to dismiss has been denied, saying “We are still moving forward,” and further adding, “hopefully I will hear back something from our attorney to simply allow us onto the property, so that we can put this one in the rear view mirror.”