The Brooklin Board of Selectmen took the first unofficial steps toward establishing the post of harbormaster for the town at its September 3 meeting.
There is currently no appointed harbormaster for Brooklin. According to state law, in the absence of a waterfront official, the job falls to the chairman of the board, Chairman Albie Smith said Tuesday at the regular board meeting. Smith said he found that out last week during the annual sail-in by the New York Yacht Club, which was hosted by local boat builder Atlantic Boat Co.
Smith said skippers of those boats kept calling him at home looking for information on where to find a mooring.
They were all referred to Atlantic Boat, but Smith said the time probably has come for the town to have a harbormaster.
“More and more people are boating, and there’s going to be more and more boats,” he said. “It’s time for us to try to address this issue.”
Board member Deborah Brewster has gathered information on becoming a harbormaster. But the three members of the board agreed that they did not want the job.
At Smith’s suggestion, the board members agreed to invite harbormasters from one or two neighboring towns to meet with them to discuss the harbormaster post.
“We’ll get the harbormasters from one or two towns to talk with us about the position, the duties, problems and processes involved,” he said.
Board members said they also will review a study done several years ago on harbor use in other neighboring towns.
The board did not establish a timeline for appointing a harbormaster.
Meanwhile, the town continues to research the possibility of installing a solar power system that would provide electricity for municipal and school buildings. Selectman Mike Roy reported that he is waiting for information from a second solar power company as part of that research.
The selectmen received information from ReVision Energy earlier this summer, and Roy said the town is seeking other quotes as it considers the potential of solar power for the town. He noted that there are a variety of programs available to help towns financially with solar power systems.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there for towns and municipalities to do it,” Roy said. “We have to see if there’s a way to defray the costs and help to make it economical.”
The initial estimate from ReVision was $270,000 for a system that would supply electricity to the school and the fire department, the two big municipal energy users.
Roy has been working with the school board chairman, Mike Sealander, not only because the school is a large energy user, but the proposed system would be installed at the school. The preliminary plan calls for solar panels to be installed on the school roof.
One issue that needs to be resolved is the school roof. It needs to be re-shingled and that work would have to be done before the solar panels could be installed.
The matter will have to go to the annual town meeting and it was unclear whether the project would be ready to present to voters next spring.
“There are still a lot of things to work out—the logistics, the funding—to see if it’s right for Brooklin,” Roy said.
In other action, the board confirmed an early decision to appoint Lew Hutchins as the deputy code enforcement officer and to reappoint him as plumbing inspector.
The board members also will meet with Bill Hanley to discuss the report from the Center Harbor Committee. That meeting is set for next Tuesday. The board will also meet with town attorney Ed Bearor on September 24 to discuss the report and other legal matters including how to proceed with properties whose owners are unknown.
The board also approved a proclamation establishing the week of September 17-23 as Constitution Week in Brooklin. The week marks the 226th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.
The warrant for the week of September 3, included revenues, $169,517 and expenditures, $223,497. The big ticket items on the warrant included the school, $46,239; the final payment on the vault, $20,624; and the county tax, $145,492.