Passes needed for use of beach

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TURNER – People using the Bear Pond public beach this summer will have to show a printed family pass that selectmen have the authority to revoke if it’s abused.

People identified as nonresidents, who aren’t legally permitted to use the beach, have been creating problems in recent years, including driving on and parking vehicles on the beach, littering and trashing the area, and operating vehicles in a dangerous manner in the parking lot. Selectmen have been seeking cost-effective solutions to the problems.

Town meeting appropriated about $1,500 a week for eight weeks for a deputy sheriff who will work exclusively in Turner at the will of selectmen. He will be assigned as the key authority at the beach, with full enforcement powers. Residents who want to use the beach must purchase an annual family pass for $8. For that they’ll be permitted to bring guests, either residents or nonresidents.

The passes will be issued at the town office and will cover an entire family. People who want to earn a free pass by volunteering to clean up the beach for a specific time can. People who volunteer more than 40 hours to the town each year, such as firemen or those serving on boards and committees, will be eligible for free family passes.

The beach will open Memorial Day weekend. Hours of operation have yet to be established. In the past, the beach opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Selectmen acknowledged the first-ever fee policy for use of the town beach might create some problems, but agreed those could be worked out over time. People with questions should phone the town office at 225-3414.

In other action Monday night selectmen:

• heard Town Manager James Catlin report that most revenues and expenses are on line, except for General Assistance, where skyrocketing fuel prices have sent costs 13 percent over budget;

• purchased a 50-yard container for the Transfer Station for approximately $7,600, with the understanding another will likely be bought when the budget cycle for next year begins in July; and

• awarded a mowing bid to All Terrain Lawn Care of Turner for $6,300.

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