City officials have given the OK to regular cul-de-sac gatherings of people living along Country Club Drive.

There’s one caveat: Participants in the evening socials must obtain a fire permit from the Fire Department if they plan to use a small fireplace built by some residents there.

City Manager Pat Finnigan told city councilors during their regular Monday night meeting that Deputy Police Chief Phil Crowell met with some of the people who live along the drive to discuss the get-togethers. She said that was part of Auburn’s community policing program.

One neighbor had opposed the socials, but didn’t attend the meeting arranged by Crowell, Finnigan said. The neighbor did send a letter saying why he didn’t like the gatherings, she added.

Finnigan said that based on information offered by most of the neighbors and related by Crowell, she and other municipal employees recommended that the residents be allowed to continue to socialize on the cul-de-sac.

The opposing neighbor was informed of the decision, she added, but hasn’t replied to it.

– Doug Fletcher
Auburn: City increases Festival Plaza festivities

The city’s making its Festival Plaza more festive.

“Festive Fridays” are scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. through Sept. 5. This Friday’s program is the Sean Mencher Swing Combo playing rockabilly music.

“Saturday Night at the Movies” follows the next evening with the films starting at dusk. This Saturday’s will be “Muppets Treasure Island.”

Similar shows are planned for the rest of the summer.

The Friday concert series and Saturday movie schedules will be interrupted only for the 11th annual Great Falls Balloon Festival, which runs from Aug. 15 to 17.

Concerts will feature music ranging from big band sounds to reggae, Motown rhythm and blues to Latin salsa, blues and jazz.

The movie schedule will include “Grease,” “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars.”

A complete listing of shows and dates is on the city’s Web site,

– Doug Fletcher
Turner: Selectmen ask for new dam inspection

According to a report from the Maine Emergency Management Agency, there are still problems with the Nezinscot River dam in Turner Village.

However, Selectman Ralph Caldwell questioned the validity of that report since the inspection was done during high water. “I doubt he could even see the structure with 2 feet of water going over the top,” Caldwell said.

Selectmen instructed Town Manager Jim Catlin to request a second inspection be done sometime in the next 60 days when the water will be low. They also asked to be notified and have representatives present for that inspection.

– Jody Goodwin
Turner: New fees and stickers at transfer station

New fees went into effect at the transfer station beginning July 1. For the first time, residents are required to pay a fee for certain items taken to the station.

Those fees include tires up to 16 inches, $2 each; tires between 16 and 22 inches, $4 each; tires larger than 22 inches will not be accepted; any appliance that contains freon, such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, $10 each.

All other appliances remain at no charge.

No money will be collected at the station. Residents must go to the town office during regular business hours, pay the fee and present that receipt at the station. New transfer station usage stickers are currently being issued.

The old stickers will not be honored after Sept. 1. There has been a problem with nonresidents using the transfer station because they had illegally obtained stickers, town officials said.

– Jody Goodwin

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