RANGELEY — A local business owner on Tuesday accused the Board of Selectmen of damaging his personal and professional reputation.

Martin Wilson, the sole proprietor of The Shed, explained that on July 18, he had hired local musicians to play at his restaurant to help give him some extra business and showcase local talent. At 6:05 p.m., a noise complaint was made and police told him to shut the music down shortly thereafter due to lack of a correct permit.

“What’s crazy about this is, I don’t need a permit,” Wilson told the gathering of roughly 50 residents. “There’s no town ordinance that says I need a permit for music.”

He said that a phone call was made to Selectman James Stone, who then contacted police. Stone corrected him, saying that there had been several complaints about the noise but that he had never called police.

“The chairman (Donald Nuttall) called me,” Stone said.

Wilson, however, pointed out that selectmen shouldn’t be directing police officers.

“This is clearly the selectmen overstepping their bounds,” he said. “It’s an abuse of authority. They’ve gone out of their way to shut down the operation of my business.”

He said he deserved “a formal letter of apology” and called for the selectmen to be reprimanded.

“The town should not only reimburse me for my last concert, they should pay for my next one this Saturday,” said Wilson as residents applauded him.

Nuttall said he received a phone call from a reserve police officer who had several complaints of music being played too loudly at The Shed.

“I was wrong about the permit,” Nuttall said. “I told the officer as far as I knew, no permit had been issued for outdoor music.”

Wilson said that the noise complaint warranted a disturbance of the peace warning, not a shutdown of the music. Nuttall apologized for originally thinking that the entertainment required a permit but made no apology for police acting upon residents’ complaints.

Town park planned

In other business, plans are moving ahead to create a town park on the old fire station lot next to Haley Pond. A downtown revitalization committee has been working for the past several months to finalize a design and plan for the park.

“I feel the town should be responsible for its public spaces,” said Revitalization Committee member James Jannace, a local business owner.

Several other business owners expressed their support for the park. The Revitalization Committee has raised $61,000 so far in donated materials, services and time.

“This is amazing, actually, that you were able to pull this many people together,” Selectman Dennis Marquis said. “What do you need from us? How do you envision carrying it through?”

The committee requested $25,450 and town support to continue with the park. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth suggested the money be taken from the Parks and Recreation reserve account. Selectmen unanimously approved $26,000 to be taken from that account, drawing thunderous applause from the audience. Work will commence shortly on the park, and plans are to have it in place by September.

Carry Road maintenance

The condition of Carry Road came under scrutiny from townspeople who demanded to know from Maine Department of Transportation officials why the state wasn’t helping maintain it. Peter Coughlan, director of MDOT’s Local Roads Center, said it was classified as a state highway, although the 1-mile gravel road didn’t function as such.

The MDOT is trying to turn the road over to the town, but the work to be done on it is extensive, said Coughlan. Problems include frost heave, poor drainage and ditching issues. MDOT Western Region Engineer Mark Hume said that years of accumulated winter sand have resulted in the road’s shoulders being higher than the surface.

Coughlan emphasized that no decision would be made on the road’s classification without input from townspeople. He agreed to listen to input from residents and town officials and to make a decision on the road’s classification by Sept. 15.


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