Sebago Harbor Master Committee
Minutes from Meeting of July 24, 2008
Attending were TM Robert Nicholson, CEO Jim Smith, Selectman Allen Crabtree, Bruce Hart.
Follow up on discussion about the rule change proposed by George Powell’s office in Augusta. Robert discussed his phone call to Powell and was told that comments from the town to him on June 30, 2008 were appreciated.
Bruce will call Tim Thurston, one of Powell’s staff, to discuss marker requirements for an approved anchorage.
Comments to Powell made on June 30, 2008 are attached:
Town of Sebago, Maine
406 Bridgton Road
Sebago, ME 04029
June 30, 2008
George F. Powell, Director
Boating Facilities Division
State of Maine
Department of Conservation
22 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
RE: Town of Sebago Written Comment on the Proposed Rule Change to Allow Municipal Anchorages Beyond the Water Safety Zone on Inland Waters of the State
Dear Director Powell:
The Town of Sebago appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule change to the Maine State Aids to Navigation System, and supports the proposed change that would expand the definition of Anchorage beyond the existing Water Safety Zone and establish procedures for Municipalities to authorize such anchorages. We support the process for municipalities being authorized to designate such areas as anchorages, and the proposed permit system outlined in the draft rule change.
We have four comments on the proposed rules, however. First, the cost and duration of the Anchorage Permits that would be issued under Section III (5)(a) is not defined. Will these be an annual permit or for a longer period? Since there are several bodies of water within the Town of Sebago, there is a potential for the town requesting several different Anchorage Permits, and we need to be able to factor permit fees into our municipal operating budget and/or user fees. Also, if these are going to be annual permits, what is the estimate of the time that it will take for permits to be issued?
Secondly, the Town of Sebago intends to develop an inland harbor master program and is in the process of drafting a Harbor Master Ordinance that will include the requirements of Section III(5)(a). Subsection (ii) reads “Have adopted a mooring ordinance for the anchorage, that addresses operation and maintenance and the non-discriminatory allocation of moorings to residents and non-residents of the municipality.” Does this mean that municipalities would be
Director Powell, cont
June 30, 2008
required to open up the permitted anchorage to all who wish to utilize it regardless of place of taxation and or resident status? We submit that municipalities should be permitted to develop their own ordinances that may favor access for residents and restrict access to moorings to non-residents. We believe that opening these moorings to residents and non-residents alike will exacerbate concerns over the limited space in a permitted anchorage. We recommend striking the words “and non-residents” in this subsection.
Thirdly, we are concerned that the requirements of subsection (iii) are vague. What would constitute a demonstration “to the Bureau’s satisfaction that no reasonable alternative exists, such as requiring boaters to trailer their boats, or keep their moorings within the Water Safety Zone..?” We recommend the addition of the phrase to this subsection “...and such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.”
Finally, the provisions of Section III(5)(a) pertaining to buoys to mark permitted anchorages and (b) pertaining to mooring buoys do not address the fact that both of these types of buoys would be in place only on a seasonal basis and would be removed before ice forms in the winter. We assume that seasonal removal of the buoys would not negate the designation of a permitted anchorage to the municipality. Is this correct, or does the Division intend to require applications for permitted anchorages on an annual basis?
On behalf of the taskforce, Board of Selectmen and Town of Sebago residents I would like to thank you for providing us the opportunity to comment on this proposed rule change. This effort on your part has provided hope that the Town of Sebago will be able to continue its historic use of the waterfront of Sebago Lake. If there any questions please contact me at your leisure at Townmanager@TownofSebago.org or by calling the Town Office at regular business hours at 207/787-2751.
Robert C. Nicholson