RANGELEY — The Board of Selectmen heard a report Tuesday from John Carroll, Central Maine Power Co.’s manager of public affairs, on the plan to rebuild the power transmission line from Oxford to Rangeley.

“The line that comes up here is old and not reliable,” Carroll said. “We’ve had about 30 outages in three years. The corridor is not well trimmed, and trees come down from the side onto the line.”

CMP plans to clear the 26-mile corridor from Roxbury to Rangeley to its original 100-foot width, and build a new line, of single-pole construction, down the center. The new line will be shielded from lightning strikes and have a potential capacity of 115,000 volts. The current line carries 34,500 volts.

Carroll said the goal is to begin the construction in the summer of 2014. The new line will be more reliable, and will close a gap in CMP’s 115,000-volt grid. The project is expected to cost $50 million, which will be paid by local ratepayers in CMP’s entire territory. When asked by the board if the project would cause rates to rise, Carroll would only say that rates would not go down.

The board signed the warrant authorizing a special town meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, to approve funds to pay a lawsuit settlement.

The board gave fire Chief Tim Pellerin authorization to put further Fire Department surplus items out for bid. Pellerin had reported to the town manager that the two winners of the Open House art show, Kasey Burgess and Stevie Galkowski, were given a ride to school in one of the fire engines. The school greeted them in a celebration the chief called “a great success.” Pellerin also sent word that the Fire Department will host a children’s Christmas Party at the Rangeley fire station on School Street from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.


Alice Smith spoke from the audience about the need to keep the cemetery open later in the season to accommodate families who want to add decorations for the holidays. The board approved leaving the cemetery open until the first plowable snowfall.

A discussion on the power of the Parks Commission to authorize events in the parks drew high words from two selectmen who disagreed about the ultimate resting place of this authority. Pam White pointed out that the commission is an elected body, formed under a 1944 statute, and should have the power to pass on events in all three parks, Haley Pond, Lakeside and Oquossoc.

Donald Nuttall argued that since the parks can’t be run without money voted by the selectmen, the board has ultimate authority to issue permits.

White said the Parks Commission is also responsible for getting the Police and Fire departments to sign off on events.

Parks Commission Chief Carol Sullivan, in the audience, said the commission did get the cooperation of police and fire personnel, but was only aware that it had the responsibility for Lakeside Park. She said any commercial aspects of events, such as vendors, were referred to the selectmen.

Board Chairman Gary Schaeffer asked for clarification on who is the entity that authorizes the use of the parks. No conclusion was reached at the meeting.

Sullivan also requested money to secure documents for the rest of the Master Plan’s projects for Lakeside Park, including the bath house, the playground and drainage issues. The commission wants to request a bond issue from the town to do all the work at once, beginning the day after Labor Day.

The board requested more information before it agrees to vote on the funds for the drawings.

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