June 23, 2018
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Harpswell voters OK spending $5,200 as part of deal for public access to private beach

Dylan Martin | The Forecaster
Dylan Martin | The Forecaster
The private portion of Cedar Beach Road has been closed by neighbors Charles and Sally Abrahamson since 2011.
By Peter L. McGuire, The Forecaster

HARPSWELL, Maine β€” Harpswell voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved providing $5,200 in supplemental funding to ensure public access to Cedar Beach.

By a 584-165 margin, residents decided to expend the money, according to unofficial results that evening.

The funding is required to meet the town’s obligations under an agreement it reached earlier this year with residents Rachel and John Aspatore to open part of Cedar Beach, on Bailey Island, to the public.

Most of the money, $4,000, will be used to hire part-time seasonal beach monitors who will be responsible for making sure beach-goers adhere to rules set by the agreement.

The remaining $1,200 will be used to purchase signs posting the rules and for no-parking signs on the town road leading to the beach.

Under terms of the agreement, only town residents and their guests are allowed on the beach, and fires, motor vehicles, trash, pets, mass gatherings and camping are banned on the property.

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said Wednesday that selectmen will be taking steps to make sure the signs and monitors are in place by July 1, as required by the agreement.

Until Labor Day, the monitors will be responsible for daily oversight of the beach and enforcing the rules.

“In a worst-case scenario, [the monitors] could ask someone to leave if they weren’t following the rules,” she noted.

Monitors also may be authorized by selectmen to issue tickets for vehicles parked on the road illegally, Eiane said.


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