Call To Order: 4:00 PM by B.O.S. Chairman Phil Whitney
Town Official Attendance:
Phil Whitney, Selectman
Dan Lief, Selectman
Aaron Gray, Selectman
Denise McCormick, Town Clerk
Bill McGuinness, Facilities Supervisor
Nanette Hadlock, Deputy Clerk
The hearing was also attended by approximately twenty-two Islesford Residents.
Purpose: The purpose of this public hearing is to discuss the Vehicle Waste Disposal Fee Ordinance, which was approved by voters at the Annual Town Meeting in March of 2004.
A petition from property owners of the Town of Cranberry Isles has been received, asking the Board of Selectmen to bring the vehicle importation ordinance back to the voters of the Town of Cranberry Isles, to ask that the ordinance be revoked. This is the second petition received, however the first petition was not deemed legal. The petition being discussed at this meeting is deemed legal. A Special Town Meeting has been called for Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 9:00 A.M. at the Islesford Neighborhood House.
The purpose of the proposed alternative ordinance is to discourage the importation of vehicles to the islands (particularly old junk cars and trucks) and to encourage the use of alternative means of transportation. This ordinance will not apply to electric vehicles, golf carts, ATVs or other small, environmentally-friendly vehicles.
The proposed terms of the alternative ordinance are as follows:
For the purpose of this ordinance:
i. "Year round" residency will be determined using the criteria set forth by the State of Maine to determine eligibility for the Homestead Exemption.
ii. A "household" will be defined as any individual or family unit (i.e. a couple, with or without children) occupying a single residence in the Town of Cranberry Isles. Under this ordinance families with multiple drivers living under a single roof will only be entitled to one exempt vehicle.
The majority of residents present at the hearing felt there are too many vehicles on Islesford. A survey done by the Comprehensive Planning Committee last year also shows participants feel there are too many vehicles on the Islands.
Many people agreed that enforcement of any ordinance is a difficult task. Police officers may be a solution; however Islanders in the past have defeated warrant articles asking for funds to pay a police officer. Many Islesford Residents voiced that every individual needs to be responsible for their own actions. It is also a belief that getting junk vehicles off the Island can be easily accomplished, and according to Selectman Lief, most individuals with junk cars on Islesford are very responsive to doing so. The problem appears to be the growing number of cars.
Some residents feel that the existing ordinance with its grandfathering of vehicles that were on the Island before June 2004, defeats this purpose. Many more cars received grandfathered exempt stickers than were ever received by paying the importation fee. Some feel that multiple cars owned by family units are unnecessary. Still others feel that it would be ill advised to try to legislate need for anyone.
One concern was mentioned about the seasonal residents not needing a vehicle on the Island. There may need to be exceptions for people who live far away from the dock, or have health issues. Under the current ordinance, residents can ask their Board of Selectmen for an exempt sticker for certain circumstances.
A majority of the hearing participants agreed there needs to be some way of enforcing registration and insurance requirements for Island Cars. Many were also concerned with the environmental impact that old junk cars may have on the Islands.
Off Island Vendor Vehicles tend to take up parking space at our Town Docks, and are often left at the Islands year round. Importation fees are rarely paid by these vendors. There may need to be an alternative parking spot for vendor vehicles.
Discussion of an alternative ordinance will continue at the Board of Selectmens Meeting on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at the Great Cranberry Schoolhouse at 8:45 A.M.
Adjournment: 5:21 P.M.