NEW GLOUCESTER — A proposal by the Maine Turnpike Authority would have cost the United Society of Shakers $3,000 a year to display signs along the Maine Turnpike, creating a financial hardship.

But testimony by the Shakers and their supporters in June 2014 led to cost-effective changes for those who display logo signs along the turnpike. The cost has been reduced to $500 a year for signs in each direction.

Originally, the plan would have cost the Shakers $1,500 per sign for northbound and southbound signs.

At the time, the Maine Turnpike Authority had a contract with Maine Logos, which set the price for the signs. When the contract expired in March 2016, the MTA decided to handle the signs itself, allowing new fees to be set for signs along the turnpike.

According to Erin Courtney, spokeswoman for the MTA, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority produced a fair, rational, uniform way to treat logo-sign requests that are generally in line with national standards but tailored to Maine’s specific needs.

Michael S. Graham, director of the United Society of Shakers, said Thursday, “We feel this is a significant cost savings, which greatly reduces the financial burden upon Shaker Village to maintain necessary signage along the Maine Turnpike. In the time since our gathering, the Maine Turnpike Authority has continued to be highly proactive, responsive, sensitive and supportive of Shaker Village in many ways. We are grateful.”

The new signs will measure 3 feet by 4 feet and contain the image of the Shaker double barns. They will read “Shaker Village” below the image and will be placed at Exit 75 in Auburn southbound and northbound at Exit 63 in Gray.

In addition to being the world’s only active Shaker community, Shaker Village is the largest of Maine’s 43 national historic landmarks and is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Districts.

Shaker Village maintains 17 historic buildings, manages 1,800 acres and operates a museum that preserves a collection of more than 100,000 historic objects.


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