GLENBURN, Maine — Local officials have agreed to create a working group to explore steps the town could take to curb bad behavior at Lakeside Landing, a recreational area on Pushaw Lake.
Amenities at the town-owned facility include a beach, a boat launch, picnic tables, horseshoe pits and a float with a slide for swimmers.
Town Manager Michael Crooker said last week residents have complained the atmosphere of Lakeside Landing took a turn for the worse last summer, after the town eliminated the former permit system.
Lakeside Landing formerly was reserved for Glenburn residents and property owners, who would pay a nominal fee for permits entitling them to access to the beach, Crooker said.
Since the beach opened up to nonresidents, he said, the town has fielded complaints about parking problems, overcrowding and unleashed dogs “that end up in the swimming area and do what dogs do,” Crooker said.
There also have been reports of fireworks, which aren’t allowed in Glenburn’s town parks, overcrowding, drinking, foul language and vandalism. Crooker said the picnic tables need to be fished out of the lake several times a year. And that’s when they haven’t been cut up for firewood.
Last Friday morning, Crooker said, town staff needed to fetch the float from the other side of the lake after it mysteriously became unattached from its tethers.
Among the issues the Lakeside Landing working group will evaluate are what similar sized communities that don’t have their own police departments do to prevent poor conduct in their public parks and spaces and which, if any, of those measures might work for Glenburn, Crooker said.
The group then will make recommendations to the Town Council, he said.
There is no set timeframe for forming the group and doing the work, but Crooker said the plan is to have something in place in time for next year’s swimming season.
Several of the ideas discussed, but not implemented, include a ban or tightened rules for dogs, strengthened enforcement provisions, surveillance cameras, gates, a return to residents-only status and beefed up police patrols through the town’s coverage contract with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, according to town council and recreation advisory board minutes.