Selectmen listen to comments from the public. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

BETHEL — Members of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum made a request to close a section of Main Street and Chapman Street on Friday, July 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The section of road in front of the museum and on the side of museum (which faces Chapman Street) would be closed.

Since Main Street is a state road, the museum will have to get permission from the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD).

The museum wants to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, which was July 20, 1969.

The museum is requesting the closure so they can unveil the four largest pieces of moon that “exist on the planet,” according to Director Barbara Barrett.

“This is a huge event for our town,” Barrett said. “It will receive national coverage on the news.”

The museum opted to do the celebration on the 19th instead, because the following day is Molly Ockett Day.

Selectman Pete Southam wondered how much of Main Street they would want closed.

Director of Advancement Jessica Siraco said that about 200 feet of Main Street would be closed and that the end of Chapman Street would be closed. She also said that Vernon Street would still be accessible.

Selectmen unanimously approved the museum’s request to close Chapman Street.

The museum plans to get in contact with the MDOT and OCSD to get approval for closing Main Street.

Other business

Resident Janet Bartlett talked about an art project that would be done by Bethel Area Arts Music (B.A.A.M.) Youth Arts. The community art project would consist of painting picnic tables.

Bartlett said they are going to get a picnic table to paint and put on the common and that the current picnic table at the skate park is going to be replaced and also painted.

Bartlett said the project is being funded by B.A.A.M. Youth Arts.

Tanya Johansen said their is going to be themes for each one of the designs that is going to be painted on the table.

Bartlett said the tables will be ready to paint at the Bethel Art Fair in July. She also said in the future she hopes that more tables will end up being painted.

Selectmen unanimously approved allowing B.A.A.M. to paint the picnic table at the skate park and to get one to paint on the common.

Selectmen also unanimously approved appointing resident Lucy Abbott to the Recreation Board.

Selectman Andy Whitney was absent.

The meeting was also the last for Selectman Don Bennett. Bennett has served as selectman for 21 years. He announced in April that he would not be seeking re-election.

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