Council approves emergency dock, Long Lake Fire Dept. moves on to next approval phase

By Adam Quandt
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During the regular meeting of the Orono City Council on June 26, the Council addressed a variety of issues.

With the Fourth of July approaching, the Council and city officials have safety at the forefront of their minds.

The Long Lake Fire Department brought a site plan for an emergency dock in hopes of gaining the Council’s approval before moving on the watershed district.

The department hopes to put an emergency dock for the exclusive use of the Long Lake Fire Department boat off of city-owned property near Molly’s Corner in the 700 block of Shoreline Drive. However, due to the inability to a meet a 20-foot setback required by the LMCD, the department will be looking for a variance from the LMCD.

According to the fire chief, the new dock would facilitate rapid response calls for service, especially in the Big Island area.

If approved by all parties, the fire department hopes to be set for next year and years moving forward, rather than continuing to ask for approval every year.

With Councilmember Richard’s Crosby experience as a firefighter, this has been a project he has worked very closely with.

“Rich has been working hard on this one, that’s for sure,” Mayor Dennis Walsh said.

The council passed the departments site plan with a 5-0 vote and wished the chief luck in gaining further approvals from the other parties involved.

During the meeting, the council also approved a motion to transfer city-owned property at Orono Woods to the properties new owners.

The land was originally leased through the city to ensure the land remained in use for senior housing in Orono.

The Council’s approval came with an extension of a guarantee to maintain affordable senior housing in Orono for another 18 years. The new owners also took on a variety of other fees associated with transferring the title of land.

Both the mayor and Council extended appreciation the new owners for their willingness to work with the city to “provide affordable housing to Orono seniors.”

Lastly, during the meeting, the Council voted 5-0 to approve the appointment of a new City Administrator, Dustin Rief.

“We look forward to having you,” Mayor Walsh said.

The next regular meeting of the Orono City Council will take place on July 10 at 7 p.m. in the Orono City Council Chambers at City Hall.