Machias OKs street dance, lawn mower

Posted July 15, 2010, at 1:25 a.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Selectmen approved a few items Wednesday night, including giving the go-ahead to a street dance during the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, buying a lawn mower to share with the school district, and several other equipment purchases.

Kathleen Shannon, executive director of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, said the street dance was scheduled for 8-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, in the municipal parking lot behind Machias Hardware Co.

She said the band Fishwhistle would perform and a beer garden is planned. Police Chief Grady Dwelley said the garden will be fenced and closely monitored, and he does not expect trouble.

Shannon said private security will be hired, and the Chamber is providing insurance.

The board also approved a bingo tent complete with pull-tab games that the Chamber will sponsor during the blueberry festival.

In other business, the board approved applying for a Maine Department of Environmental Protection low-interest loan to proceed with major repairs at the town’s sewer plant.

The town has a consent agreement with DEP to make the upgrades. Bids for the necessary work came in hundreds of thousands of dollars above what the town expected, Town Manager Chris Loughlin said.

He said a $500,000 DEP loan would be at 1.5 percent interest for 20 years. He said there was also an opportunity for forgiveness of part of the loan by DEP.

“Because we overflow into the bay, the high number of low-income residents we have, we stand a good chance of having some of the loan forgiven,” he said.

Loughlin estimated that the upgrades will increase rates $25,000 a year, or $8 a quarter per user. The increase would not take effect for at least another year, he said.

Loughlin said the town could apply for the loan but would not have to take it.

“We don’t have a choice,” board Chairman Aubrey Carter said.

The board also purchased a John Deere lawn mower with a 60-inch mowing deck and a two-year warranty. The mower will be shared — both in cost and use — with the School Department. The contract was awarded to Greenway Equipment Sales of Ellsworth for $9,300.

The board also reappointed Edward Pellon and Arthur McCurdy to the Planning Board for three-year terms.

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