MECHANIC FALLS — Monday's public hearing on a proposed change to the town's zoning ordinance that would allow LED signs in the downtown drew no opposition.
Light-emitting-diode signs are the relatively new generation of signs that allow for trailing messages and colored pictures that flash and change to attract attention.
In voting to adopt changes to the zoning ordinance that allow LED signs along the developed portion of Route 121 in the special commercial district, the town council stipulated that the signs can only be activated between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The signs are to be blank during the nighttime hours so as not to disturb nearby residents.
The section of Route 121 where LED signs will now be permitted extends along Lewiston Street, from near the Municipal Building, across the Little Androscoggin River and up the hill along a portion of Pleasant Street.
The council also met with Jennifer Boenig and Mary Martin, two of the town's representatives to the RSU 16 School Committee, who extended invitations to council members to attend a Dec. 12 meeting with consultants hired to help the school district develop a strategic plan for the next five years.
The two noted that it is very important that town officials become involved in the strategic planning process.
The Dec. 12 meeting, intended to gather input from elected officials from Minot and Poland, as well as Mechanic Falls, is a warm-up for larger community meetings, scheduled to be held in each town during January. Mechanic Falls' community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Jan. 9, place to be determined.
Town Manager John Hawley told the council that he had sent a letter to Androscoggin County Commissioners telling them that Mechanic Falls was agreeable to terms whereby the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office would continue to handle all the town's 911 calls and serve as dispatch for the town's police and fire departments.
The town's total cost, set primarily on a per capita basis, would be slightly in excess of $32,000.
County commissioners had requested that towns let them know whether they want in on the offer to provide dispatch services by Nov. 21. Hawley noted that he has yet to hear back from county officials.
Hawley also reported that town code enforcement had come across a serious dumping violation on Riverside Drive. He said the person responsible for dumping a pickup load of materials down the river bank had been identified and the Department of Environmental Protection had been contacted.
In other business, the council accepted the resignation of Police officer James Avery, leaving for a position with the Lewiston Police Department, as well as the resignation of Derek Thebarge from the town Recreation Committee, and approved a signature stamp policy.