Cameras to start recording downtown Lincoln

Posted Nov. 18, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:09 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Downtown merchants, residents and visitors will benefit from the additional security provided by the town’s new but long-delayed security video camera system in time for the Christmas holidays, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Wednesday.

FairPoint Communications has given permission to run fiber-optic cables from the already installed cameras from its Main Street locations to Lincoln Memorial Library, where the monitoring and recording equipment would need to be installed.

Time Warner Cable is due to handle the installation by mid-December, Goodwin said, clearing the way for Motorbrain, a local information technology company administering the project, to get the cameras recording.

That will help make an already safe downtown even safer, Goodwin said.

“We have a large investment in the Christmas tree lights downtown and that area will be watched by the cameras,” Goodwin said Wednesday.

If not for the delays which dogged the project since the Town Council approved it in November 2007, Lincoln would be the first municipality in the Lincoln Lakes and Katahdin regions to use such a system.

Meant to curtail vandalism and improve downtown safety, the cameras are placed to cover Veterans Square, Main Street, West Broadway and the Lee A. Rush Memorial Gazebo near Mattanawcook Lake. Councilors voted 6-1 in November 2007 to spend $2,849 on the plan. Motorbrain donated two cameras, a server and service contract, saving the town about $4,600.

The delays came when Motorbrain discovered that the wireless system it had hoped to install to transmit images from the cameras to their receiving monitoring station could not work downtown, and the two communications companies refused — or tried to charge what town officials thought were exorbitant rates — to run ca-bles.

Time Warner, FairPoint, town officials and Motorbrain eventually settled their differences. Goodwin said she holds all parties blameless for the delays.

“It was one of those times where you set out to do a project with what seems a cut-and-dried plan, and you run into problems,” Goodwin said. “We’ve spent a lot of time solving those problems, and soon residents will be able to sit in their homes, get onto our [town] Web site, and see what’s going on in downtown.”

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