The Dresden Planning Board will hold a site walk and public hearing for a smelt camp business near Cork Cove in the Kennebec River.
Dresden resident Roger Bintliff presented his site plan review application for Cork Cove Smelt Camps, at 739 River Road, to the board Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Smelt camps existed on the cove years ago, before Bintliff purchased the land. As a result, he has received visits from people wanting to access the cove through his property to go smelt fishing, he said.
After speaking with people for whom smelt fishing is a family tradition and hearing the memories attached to those outings, Blintiff decided to start a business.
“I thought I might as well give it a shot,” Bintliff said.
His plan calls for the seasonal placement of aluminum shacks on the ice in the cove as soon as it becomes thick enough. He will determine the exact number of shacks in the future, and will store the shacks on his property during the offseason.
Bintliff also plans to have a parking lot to accommodate about 24 vehicles.
The camps would have electricity and LED lights. Bintliff said he spoke with an electrician who believes a former power line could still be in place.
Planning board Chair Jeff Pierce told Bintliff he would need to obtain approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection before beginning operations.
Bintliff said there “will likely be somewhat of a learning curve” as he starts the business, but he plans to run a serious business.
“I’m a no-nonsense person, and it’s my home and property, so I will have high expectations,” Bintliff said.
According to his application, Bintliff would start construction as soon as possible in order to have the camps ready for the 2017-2018 ice fishing season.
The planning board found Bintliff’s application complete and voted to hold a site walk at the property at 9 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 17. A public hearing will take place at Pownalborough Hall at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19.