PARIS – People questioned what costs the town could face if a proposed set of restrictions on Hall Pond is approved at the polls Nov. 4.

Lew Williams, general manager and facilities operator for the Hebron Water Co., and Susan Breau-Kelley of the Maine Rural Water Association appeared Monday before selectmen to discuss their proposed restrictions on the 50-acre pond that is the only public source of water for the neighboring town of Hebron.

Williams said the restrictions aim to protect the water quality and strike a balance between use of the pond as a water source and for recreation, including boating and fishing. Bodily contact with the water, including swimming and entering the water without waders, is prohibited. Cars and trucks are prohibited from driving on the ice during the winter.

Under the proposed ordinance, ice fishing shacks and gasoline-powered boats would not be allowed on the lake, although boats with electric motors would be allowed. A boat ramp would be gated off to all but the water company and emergency services to prevent trailers from transferring invasive species into the pond.

“All the plant species that are in there are natural to the pond,” Williams said. “It’s worth our while to try to protect that.”

A floating dock would be installed to assist in the hand launching of boats. A new toilet facility and parking area would also be installed, and the boat ramp would be regraded to prevent silt contamination.

Williams said ice fishing will still be allowed on the pond, but the ban on shacks is meant to reduce possible pollution from inside them or shacks falling into the pond. The changes would be enforced by the Paris Police Department.

Glen Libby said that while more was needed to the ordinance, it was a “good start.” Libby questioned whether portable ice fishing shacks would be allowed, and said he read the ordinance as banning all internal combustion engines, including those on snowmobiles and ice augers.

Libby suggested increasing education about the pond’s use, including posting signs.

“Half of them you ask them, they don’t know it’s a watershed,” he said.

Robert Ripley questioned using the town’s police for enforcement, saying only four of the water company’s 35 to 38 hookups from the pond are in Paris.

“Don’t get me wrong; I think the water should be protected,” Ripley said. “I’m just wondering who’s going to incur the cost to protect Hebron’s water.”

Jack Richardson asked if the company could reimburse the town for enforcement. Williams said the company would not be able to afford to do so.

“I can’t imagine why we should have to foot the entire bill for that enforcement,” he said.

Williams said the pond has been regulated by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, but the Paris Police Department has assisted with enforcement before. He said he foresees any problems on the pond as occurring primarily near the shoreline.

Anne Stanley said the water’s quality was separate from other issues, and could be addressed separately.

Selectman David Ivey agreed.

“Can’t we just be good neighbors?” Ivey asked.

Ripley said it would be impossible to negotiate terms of enforcement and other issues after passing the referendum, and said the company “needs to be up front” on those matters.

Voters will act on the ordinance in balloting Nov. 4.


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