RANGELEY — Much of Tuesday’s selectmen meeting was spent reading several messages of thanks to the Fire Department for its help in the Lac-Megantic, Quebec train derailment disaster.

A dozen Rangeley firefighters, including Chief Tim Pellerin, spent as many as 29 hours in the Canadian town, helping to extinguish the fire from the derailed oil train that killed at least 38 people.

One letter came from Nicolas Fontaine and Pierre Gariepy, owners of Stratton Lumber Inc. of Maine, and residents of Lac-Megantic. A Canadian firefighter named Andre, who was assigned to the Rangeley crew as liaison and interpreter, emailed Pellerin with his thanks and to say he had signed a commemorative flag for the Maine firefighters.

U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins of Maine also sent commendations to the department.

Steve Philbrick, president of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, has opened accounts at Franklin Savings Bank and Camden National Bank for cash donations to the Canadian relief effort. Philbrick is heading a delegation that will travel to Lac-Megantic to meet with officials and determine what other help the town needs.

Former Board of Selectmen Chairman Gary Shaffer withdrew from his newly-appointed office of vice chairman, saying he felt the change in leadership should be complete. The board voted Pam White as vice chairwoman.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Dave Burgess read a long letter of resignation from four members of the Parks Commission, who felt frustrated and marginalized by the lack of support at the town meeting when voters defeated the Lakeside Park master plan and the funds for the park’s entrance walkway. Resigning were Janet Walsh, Alexander Miller, Carol Sullivan and Tom Sullivan. They suggested the commission should either be given authority and funds to continue the project or be disbanded.

Shaffer, who had been chairman during the development of the master plan, said the $1.8 million cost dissuaded voters, although he noted that some of the signees had not been at the meeting to vote for or support their plan. Shaffer and Burgess both stressed that park improvements should not be considered a dead issue.

Speaking for radio station WRGY, Nancy Bessey requested a donation of $10,000 from the town to keep the station broadcasting. The station’s last grant ran out in 2012, and while seeking other grants and commercial funding, they have come up with a $7,000 shortfall. She said $10,000 would guarantee the station’s staying on the air for the next six months.

Pam White said the request is out of the board’s hands, because it would have had to go through the town meeting.

Selectman Shelly Lowell suggested asking the chamber for a portion of its town funds, and Shaffer spoke of the possibility of a special town meeting to discuss a donation from the undesignated fund. The subject will be added to the next agenda.

The board approved a park permit for the University of Maine at Farmington’s Summer Daze Camp, an outdoor festival permit for the Trail Town Festival and a vendor license renewal for the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club. Although the Saint Andrews Society of Maine had provided eight pages of documentation, selectmen tabled a permit application for the society’s Celtic Festival until they could send a representative to address the board.

The board authorized White to begin the process to ask the state for a speed limit on the newly resurfaced Carry Road. The board suggested a 25 mph limit from the bridge to the landing.


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