Some board members have reduced the maximum number of municipal licensed pleasure craft to six for the 2022 season and have not renewed the license for the Exit.
On October 6, the vote was 4-0 with President Bob Falciani absent from the meeting.
Daysail licenses give boats the use of a dock off the city pier for boarding passengers, a parking space at the public pier, and use of the pier by employees booking cruises. The license also allows the operation of a second boat, which does not use the city’s sailing float.
While daily sailing licenses last for 3 years, a city ordinance requires annual renewal.
General Manager Audra Caler recommended in a note not to renew the license for the Exit, because it “hasn’t worked or has worked incredibly infrequently” over the past three summers. The traditional open lobster boat is owned by Ray Williamson of Maine Windjammer Cruises.
Caler explained that daysail’s owner licenses have a “use it or lose it” requirement.
The Council also had the option of not occupying seventh place with another daysailer. Caler described a congested inland port with increased recreational use, and said it would be appropriate for Council to decide not to fill the slot for this permit with another vessel.
Board member Sophie Romana asked how much revenue would be lost by not laying off another boat.
Harbor master Steve Pixley said he thought it was $ 3,500.
Board member Matt Siegel asked if the owner plans to run the business next season.
Pixley said he warned Williamson that day.
Support for the suspension of Exitlicense, and not filling the slot with a seventh boat came from board member Marc Ratner. When the council decided to clear a seventh daysailer several years ago, it opposed it, he said. “We are almost cannibalizing the people who are already there by putting too many boats on board,” he said.
In 2020, the city understood when several dayailers and windjammers were not operating or were operating at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, Caler said.
Williamson has had a hiatus, although he didn’t lead the Sally in 2019, she said. “We have been very clear with him this summer 2021, if he expected to keep this license agreement, he had to execute it regularly.”
Parking at the public pier was another issue discussed during the approval of the 3-year term for daily sailing licenses in 2020. At the time, nothing was decided, according to Caler.
“Considering all of the work that we are currently doing on the parking lot, it is very appropriate to revisit this at this time,” she said.
She asked the board of directors to consider whether the parking granted to one type of business operating outside the tier is equal and fair to that granted to other downtown businesses. Public parking at the landing stages is almost as used as the spaces along Main Street, she said. The day-sail license can be changed every year, she said.
Ratner asked Pixley if a parking space at the landing stage is essential for day sailing businesses. Pixley said it wasn’t because there was always space available for loading and unloading.
Romana is a member of an advisory group for an ongoing study on downtown parking. She said parking on the landing was being discussed by the group.
Members debated whether to remove the parking spaces from the sailing license. McKellar recommended that the port committee consider any recommendations.
McKellar and Caler said incorporating the issue into the parking study would have no effect unless there is a political will to remove parking for sail owners.
Ratner suggested to drop the discussion and resume it when Falciani was present. Romana suggested that the parking spaces be removed. Council voted on the two suggestions, 2-2, and both were not adopted. Ratner and Siegal voted for filing and against removing spaces, and McKellar and Romana against filing and for removing spaces.
Board members also voted unanimously not to renew a long-standing lease agreement with the First Church of Christ, Scientist on Central Street. The lease allows the city to use most of the land for public parking, except during services, in exchange for snow removal from the land in winter. The council decided not to renew the lease due to a change to Central Street one-way several years ago, which means it is not accessible from Main Street.
The Snow Bowl food concession will be managed by a new company, Snow Dogs, this upcoming ski season. Snow Bowl manager Beth Ward reported that the Bagel Cafe decided this spring not to operate the dealership. Snow Dogs was the only offer received for food service, she said.
The menu features a hot breakfast and sandwiches, five hot dog and fries options, nine varieties of hot sandwiches on a hot dog bun including Buffalo Tender and Ban Mi’ish, burgers and wraps. Vegetarian options and take out options are available.
Owner Jason Doppelt’s foodservice career began rolling burritos at Taco Bell and led to working for many award-winning James Beard chefs, including Primo’s Melissa Kelly. He has extensive experience, from making pizza at Lincolnville General Store to sausage at Main Street Market and was a chef at Ada’s Kitchen.
The Camden Area Business Group’s plans to bring Christmas events back to the seaside were also discussed.
The board decided not to take action to close Pearl Street on Halloween and instead encourage local tricks, walking around neighborhoods where families live. The Snow Bowl will also host a Halloween event with chair rides, free for costumed riders.
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