At the Lamoine Board of Selectmen meeting of June 26, 2014, all Selectmen signed three Consent Agreements with two gravel companies, MacQuinn and Goodwin.
The agreement was to delay until May of 2015, compliance with the ordinance requiring monitoring wells to be drilled in three of their pits. The board met in executive session for 50 minutes before allowing members of the public to enter. The Administrative Assistant promised to put these agreements on the town website, but they were not yet posted by noon of 7/2. As of now we don’t know the details of the agreements, although Selectmen asserted that the only accommodation granted the gravel companies was the delay. It was stated that one pit owner had drilled one new well, but it was not stated which one, or how many were required by the ordinance. Members of the public expressed their outrage and asked questions about why the two biggest gravel companies in town got special treatment while the smaller ones are in compliance, but were told that the agreements represent a step forward and that we should be satisfied with “getting 99% of what we wanted”. The Selectmen stated that the long delay would allow the gravel companies to comply with ordinance changes which may be voted on in November of 2014. No indication was given as to what these changes might be or why they were needed.
The Consent Agreements are a culmination of several months of negotiation between the town and gravel operators after the refusal of gravel operators to comply with ordinances passed by the town in March of 2013. The ordinance changes increased setbacks, mandated more monitoring wells and defined renewal of permitting. Gravel operators sued the town, and the town refused to issue stop work orders or levy fines. Instead, a “Gravel Work Group” was formed to hash out the differences between the operators (most non-resident) and the town. It is the final report of this group which will be used by the Board of Selectmen to propose changes to the ordinances, which will presumably be voted on in November. Upon formation of the Gravel Work Group the pit owners dropped their lawsuits against the town.
In other business, The vacancy on the Planning Board created by the leaving of Jim Gallagher was filled by current Alternate Perry Fowler by unanimous vote. The Alternate position will now be filled by David Legere. The Comprehensive Planning Board’s positions were also chosen: Valerie Sprague, Katherine Gaianguest, Bonnie Marckoon, Fred Stocking, Michael Jordan (also code enforcement officer), Brett Jones and Bob Christie.