The special meeting of the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen to discuss the Wiscasset Airport Master Plan July 22 may be rescheduled to allow the authors of the plan to review the request for revisions by the owners of the Chewonki Campground.
Campground owners Pam Brackett and Ann Beck have requested amendments to the plan in an effort to mitigate the impact on their business from the proposed expansion of the airport.
In a letter to the selectmen, Brackett and Beck said they had hired licensed engineers to review the plan, prepared a technical memorandum, and consulted with Federal Aviation Administration representatives to make sure the proposed revisions are in compliance.
Interim Town Manager Don Gerrish told the selectmen July 15, he has sent a copy of the proposed revisions to the Airport Manager Ervin Deck to review, but has not received a response from him before the meeting.
Selectman Ben Rines suggested the board wait until word is received if the revisions will be added to the plan. “People in this town think a lot of the campground, and we should try to have all parties agree on the plan before we approve it,” he said.
At issue is the potential removal of several trees on the campground that would impact several campsites. The master plan calls for taking down trees that obstruct the airport’s airspace by getting easements to remove trees, some on airport property, and others on Chewonki Campground property.
Chewonki Campground owners are suggesting three revisions be added to master plan, they include: (1) adding a displaced threshold of 400 feet which will reduce the number of trees impacted from 48 to 23; (2) include further mitigation measures via the measures permitted by FAA’s own compliance criteria; and (3) proposing that some form of extension to runway 25 be completed in the short term rather than waiting.
One of the main concerns of Brackett and Beck is the acquisition of easements. Their consultant spoke with someone in the FAA who reiterated there is the possibility of waivers.
“If the wordage ‘requests for waivers and/navigation easements’ can be put into the amendment, we think we can move forward in positive direction for all involved.” the owners said in their letter to the selectmen.
“I would like to see this all worked out between the parties before we meet to approve the master plan,” Rines said.
Selectman Pam Dunning met with Brackett and Beck June 30. Following that meeting the owners spoke with their attorney and are now recommending the revisions in the plan.
Gerrish told the selectmen as soon as he hears from Deck regarding the revisions he will contact them. If that happens before July 22, the special meeting will be held on schedule, if not there will be no meeting on that date.