June 25, 2018
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Lincoln code officer’s efforts paying off

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — It has been a somewhat slow process, but Jerry Davis’ efforts to work with shoreline landowners in enforcing clean water and shoreline zoning regulations have been increasingly successful, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Tuesday.

It was entirely unplanned, but at least seven shoreline landowners met with Davis, the town’s code enforcement officer, at different times last week to inquire about building private boat launches into the town’s ponds, lakes and other water bodies, Goodwin said.

Davis could give them only bad news. State shoreline regulations do not allow private boat launches, as the launches breach berms that are the final lines of defense against pollution carried by runoff, said Ruth Birtz, the town’s code enforcement supervisor.

The landowners took the news well once Davis explained the rationale behind the regulations, Birtz said.

Goodwin and Birtz said they felt the consultations were good progress, indicative that Davis’ work to prevent violations, and the fines that often come with them, is bearing fruit.

“He has been working hard so that our residents aren’t faced with violations. He works with them ahead of time so that everything they want to do is done correctly,” Goodwin said Tuesday.

This is vastly different from what Davis experienced when he started the job five years ago, Birtz said.

“He found 30 shoreline zoning violations in the first month,” Birtz said.

Town shoreline property owners associations deserve credit, too, in the effort to preserve Lincoln’s lakes, Birtz said.

“They have seen [the] benefit of it so they have encouraged people to call Jerry before they do any work on their properties. They have been a tremendous asset,” Birtz said of the associations.

As part of his work, Davis inspects town shorelines by boat at least twice a year, while also responding to individual complaints. Anyone with complaints or questions can contact him at 794-3372.

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