The summer of 2017 has not been without new developments in Lamoine. Among them:
- The time for the Public Hearing has been set for the permit before the Lamoine Planning Board for Harold MacQuinn’s proposed new (expanded) pit to remove the rest of Cousins’ Hill at the center of Lamoine. Wednesday at 6:30 on September 27 at the Lamoine School gymnasium, will be the time and place for the hearing which may determine Lamoine’s future.
- Another Code Enforcement Officer has decided to call it quits. The town website has posted the job opening.
- Hydrocarbons, in this case with 11 or 12 carbons, have been found in small quantities at a test well in Doug Gott’s gravel pit, on 6/13/2017. The well is on the border with the Goodwin pit, so it’s unclear where the contamination originated. Well test results were discussed at Monday (September 11) night’s Planning Board Meeting.
1. MacQuinn’s application for a new pit would have not happened except that it was submitted before the No New Pits referendum was passed in 2014. The permit was rejected by the Planning Board in 2014 but MacQuinn sued because they claimed a Planning Board member had a conflict of interest due to his connection to the Cold Springs Water Company, which draws its water from under the affected area.
In 2016, a settlement between the town and MacQuinn agreed that the permit must be considered again, without the disputed member and according to the old ordinances in effect at the time. Since then, the Planning Board has been grappling with what is old and what is new, and whether to include new information without violating the spirit of the “do-over”. The hearing on September 27 at the Lamoine School gym should be spirited.
2. Our current Code Enforcement Officer wishes to take advantage of extended vacations as part of his approaching retirement, and feels his occasional absence would not serve the town well. He has agreed to stay on until a new C.E.O. can be found and trained, and will remain as Facilities Maintenance Director.
3. The aromatic hydrocarbons found in Doug Gott’s GW-3 test well were probably diesel fuel according a source at EPA’s fuel testing facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Diesel fuel contains 10-25% aromatic (ring shaped) hydrocarbons with the remainder aliphatic, or straight chained. The test well is located 2,000 feet from Blunts Pond (see photo). This is the first time detectable levels of hydrocarbons have been detected in this well since the three other testing dates of 8/19/16, 5/1/15 and 6/14/14. On Monday, September 11, the Planning Board decided to accept Goodwin’s offer of a follow-up test to be conducted in October. Meanwhile, Planning Board Chairman John Holt will contact Maine’s D.E.P. to prepare for a response should the hydrocarbon pollution increase above 200 micrograms/liter.