May 26, 2020
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Disc golf players disrupting Orrington neighbors

ORRINGTON, Maine — Even though there is a “closed for the winter” sign posted at DR Disc Golf on Center Drive, golfers still are using the facility and some players are bothering the neighbors, who have turned to the town for help.

Erik and Amy Michaud live next to the disc golf course, located at 265 Center Drive, and approached the town last month with a letter full of complaints, mostly about the players who sometimes use profanities, are loud and also park facing the Michauds’ home while leaving their vehicle lights on.

“I had to call the cops on a guy last week” for relieving himself in the disc golf club’s parking area that abuts his house, Erik Michaud told town selectmen on Monday.

“He said, ‘Oh sorry,’” Amy Michaud said of the player. “That was it.

“If my children were outside and witnessed that …,” Amy Michaud said, letting the end of her sentence trail off without finishing.

“All I know is I can’t go through another summer,” she added later.

Town selectmen also heard from Ryan Enman, co-owner of DR Disc Golf, who stated he didn’t want swearing in their backyard, either.

Town selectmen discussed the issue at length, going back and forth about what they legally could and could not do, and eventually decided to do two things: put up barriers to block the entrance to the disc golf course until March 15, when the business officially opens; and require the business to move the parking lot to a back portion of the lot, away from neighbors.

The business also has been allowed for the last four years to use a small town building once used as an ice skating shack. That use will be discontinued at the end of September, the panel decided.

“It’s a start,” Erik Michaud said at the end of the meeting.

Selectmen also decided to hire a Portland engineering firm to design plans to fix Swetts Pond dam. Problems with the dam were first brought to selectmen’s attention five years ago.

The hiring comes with two caveats: that engineer Bill Olver of Winterport review the contract and that a deadline is put into place for the work to be completed, Town Manager Paul White told selectmen.

The town in January 2007 hired Olver and Kleinschmidt Associates of Pittsfield, a firm that specializes in hydro dams, to inspect the Swetts Pond dam. Kleinschmidt issued a report in September 2007 saying it was a “dam with significant hazard potential.”

HDR Engineers of Portland came into the picture in 2010 and after the town received no bids on doing the engineering work on the “small project,” the town pursued them, Town Manager Paul White explained to selectmen.

The estimated $300,000 project, which involves the U.S. Army Corps, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Geological Society and others, should be started now to ensure it’s done this year, White stressed.

“There are plenty of contractors to do this” once the structural design is completed, the town manager said.

Chairman Kevin Allcroft was the lone dissenter in the vote to hire HDR. The company did not produce reports in a quick manner and the engineering project that HDR originally estimated at $42,000 two years ago is now a lot more, he said.

With the delays, “we’re now going to an estimate of $73,000,” Allcroft said of the engineering work estimate.

White said Olver will be asked this week to review HDR’s estimate before the contract is signed.

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