SECTION 1:   INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS OF EXISTING CONDITIONS

1.1  Community Character/History

1.1.0     Introduction

Frye Island is located in Lake Sebago, closer to the east side of the lake than the west, just off Raymond Cape. The Island is approximately 1000 acres, 3 miles long, running north south, and a mile wide at its mid-line. Highest elevation on the Island is 385 feet above sea level.

 

As of 2000, the Island with seven miles of shorefront had approximately 400 cottages and a store and café.  Recreation facilities include 16 beaches, a nine-hole golf course with club house, a swimming pool with cabana, four tennis courts, a Community Center with pool tables, ping pong tables, a football table and an air hockey table, a Marina with 68 slips (expandable to 120 slips), and an 80 boat tie up area.  Construction of a ball-field/park was initiated in July 2001.  Two, 1960-70’s vintage ferryboats, which are owned by Frye Island Incorporated (FII) and operated by the Town, provide access to the Island on a seasonal basis.  The boats are 65 feet long and 24 feet wide.

 

1.1.1     Development 1949 – 2000

For many decades before 1949, the Island was unoccupied and owned as one tract of land.  Modern development started after the forest fires of 1947.  The Island was purchased by John P. Porell, who sold a number lots to others and 100 acres for the Frye’s Leap Sailing Camp.  But in 1964 Porell sold his remaining property to Leisure Living Inc. and the major development of a resort community began.

 

The intervening years saw growth of this resort community, legal actions over the development and ultimately the demise of Leisure Living Inc.  This led to the establishment of two new entities to administer the Island community.  (Frye Island Inc. and the Municipal Services Corporation).  Because of deteriorating relations with the Town of Standish, to which the Island belonged, the Island petitioned, and the State Legislature approved the formation of the Town of Frye Island on 1 July 1998.

 

A detailed Town Historical Background is at Section 5.3.1

 

 

1.2  Population

1.2.0     Introduction: 

Development of a Town Comprehensive Plan must depend on an understanding of the town’s past history and “… demographic data describing the municipality and the region in which it is located.”  While the state law requiring comprehensive plans doesn’t specify a state goal on Population, it does include the noted quote.  The impacts/needs of the town’s inhabitants must be understood if a viable plan is to be developed.  This section will address past population growth through the Town’s unique development from a generally uninhabited island to a vacation resort, which on 1 July 1998 became Maine’s newest town.  This unique progression will be used to predict the future growth trends needed to develop a viable Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Frye Island, Maine.

 

1.2.1     Characteristics of Frye Island Inhabitants:

The 1999 town survey results and summary included in this plan well document the very unique aspects of the Town of Frye Island as a vacation/second home community.  Located in the south end of Sebago Lake, the approximately 1000-acre town complements and reflects the lake vacation ambiance of the Lakes Region and the communities of Sebago, Naples, Raymond and Windham.  This region’s attractiveness as an inland waters oriented summer vacation area is reflected in regional growth while also drawing attention to Frye Island as a unique community.

 

In 1964, Frye Island began its development as a resort community.  However, it was viewed as an isolated island attracting a limited number of vacation/second home inhabitants “from away”.  Records reveal a cottage/camp community that in 37 years (1964-2001) has grown from basically zero to approximately 400 cottages with a locally assessed value in excess of 31 million dollars and a state assessed value in SAD#6 calculations in excess of $41 million.  Figure 1:  Frye Island Cottage Growth & Projection highlights the trends of slow growth, as well as peak periods of growth such as 1984-87.

 

Figure 1:  Frye Island Cottage Growth & Projection

Since July 1997, there has been increased public awareness of the island community since it has taken actions to become a self sufficient Maine town.  This was further nurtured by a strong national and local economy, which allowed renewed interest in vacation/second homes.  This was especially evident from the 1999 existing cottage sales and construction permits for improvements and new construction.  However, such growth is attributed to a select clientele who are attracted to a town administered on a year around basis and inhabited each year only from the end of April through the first week in November.  Such owners also accept that electrical and phone services are commercially provided and remain active on the Island in the winter (unless suspended till spring by weather conditions), but all other services are local (Town) and cease.  Despite these conditions, some of the more adventuresome owners may visit by snowmobile and/or skis, if the lake freezes over.

 

The Town property owners are a diverse group as documented in the Town Survey.  While there are only 74 registered Frye Island voters and a 2000 national census count of zero, current local estimates indicate a population of over 1400 when all existing cottages are occupied.  (This is based on the results of survey question #43.)  Adding guests and renters, it is believed the population could double to 2800 on a peak holiday weekend such as 4 July.  In the past “day trippers” have generally been golfers and/or house guests.  While at present no data exists to validate this belief, additional “day trippers” now include the occasional bikers.  To obtain such data and facilitate future plan updates a local census process should be developed.

 

To better understand the demographics of the Town inhabitants the following selected data, as extracted from the Town Survey, are emphasized. It is assumed that the respondents generally represent the total Town population.

 

·       The “from away” population dominates the Town inhabitants.

Massachusetts 36.8%

Maine                          14.2%

Connecticut                  11.7%

New Hampshire          10.8%

Florida                          9.8%

All others                    16.7%

Note:  The 5 New England states account for 74% of the Town property owners.

 

·       Town resident time:

57% of the survey respondents consider themselves “seasonal residents”.  A majority of the respondents spend over 100 nights per year on the Island.  As noted in Figure , the greatest number of respondents, 24% have been on the Island for 11 to 16 years.  This agrees with the major growth period shown on the “Frye Island Cottage Growth & Projection Curve”.  The next significant period of residency is 1 to 5 years.  This corresponds with cottage resales and limited new construction.  The original “resort” inhabitants are found in the 30 to 33 year category.  However, as owners age, a tendency for longer stays on the Island is noted.  This conclusion is supported by an increase in mail deliveries.  Again there is a lack of statistical data to validate these statements, which are based on verbal contacts.

 

Figure 2:  Years on Frye Island

·       Occupations and education:

Approximately 50% of the household adults are fulltime employees at their primary residences.  Approximately 28% are retired.  Approximately 60% of the household adults have a college or graduate degree.  Another 18% have some college education.  However there are no Town children attending the local school district, which serves Frye Island (SAD#6).

 

·      Cottage rental:

Of the cottage owners reporting, 83% do not rent their cottages.  This does not reflect use by family and friends, however.  Of the 17% of owners who rent their cottages, 24% rent for 2 to 3 weeks a season, 17% rent for 5 to 6 weeks, and 13% rent for 6 to 7 weeks.  Thus, considering that there is no industrial or agricultural activity in the Town, vacation rentals are one of the few aspects impacting the Town economy.  Rental income helps owners to keep up with their property tax payments while also providing a continuing customer base for the Island store/restaurant and the golf course.  This rental activity also clearly defines the Town’s high season as 1 July through Labor Day.  These data are based on the records of the predominant rental agent on the Island.

 

·       Demographic Representation by Age:

The age distribution displayed in Figure 5 is also a reflection of Island development trends. The dominance of the 40-59 year group meshes well with the major growth on the Island in the 1980s. Now, as these owners age they may extend their stays on the Island and ultimately stay for the season. But they may also decide to sell, as was demonstrated in 1998 and 1999 by increased property sales

 

·       Regional Aspects:

The Town of Frye Island’s regional ambiance is based on Sebago Lake and it’s recreational environment.  The Town’s unique rural surroundings, gravel roads, private beaches (owned by FII and leased to the Town) and wildlife attract a class of people from all walks of life in Maine and “away”.  This Island environment, on an inland lake, seems to provide an experience not readily available in many mainland communities.

 

Positive national and regional economies facilitate an interest in Frye Island.  The part time habitation of the Town is unique and offers a certain security to property owners when they are away for the winter.  But during May-October the inhabitants impact the local and regional economies by subsistence purchases, maintenance and new cottage construction contracts and Town contracts for services such as fire, emergency rescue, police and solid waste disposal.  Though the Town is fully supportive to state and regional education programs, none of the Town’s children attend the School Administrative District (SAD) #6.  This due to the seasonal status of the Town’s residency.  The growing impact of membership in SAD#6 on the Town’s fiscal capacity has resulted in a referendum-initiated withdrawal movement, which was endorsed by the Town voters in the October 2000 Town Meeting.  Subsequent progress was stymied in the fall of 2000 by a state legislative action to preclude withdrawal from SAD#6 without specific legislative action.  At this writing new options are under development.  

 

These selected population characteristics reflect the broad diversity of the Town’s inhabitants and support the findings outlined in the Town survey.  These findings emphasize a desire for a rural community in a natural environment, while protecting the quality of that environment and Sebago Lake.  These findings also indicate a desire for public safety and a viable recreational experience at a reasonable cost.

 

1.2.2     Trends of Town Growth

As outlined above, the Island and now Town growth is only documented by land sales and increased cottage/home construction.  True historical records are scattered between the three and now four entities involved in development on the Island.  Growth prediction is controlled by the national and local economies and the public’s interest in acquiring a seasonal second/vacation home.  Growth on the Island is further constrained by the PWD court decision, which limits Island “build-out” to no more than 750 septic systems.  This may not translate to 750 homes as septic system equivalents have also been applied to recreation and other Town and FII facilities.  There is also no comprehensive population data.

Population:

The lack of any formal, local, “full-time resident” population data is further complicated by the lack of any National Census results. The only census number is a 1990 tract number from Standish that shows a population of one for Frye Island.  This was only an anecdotal entry as, at that time, Frye Island was part of Standish and seasonal.  The 2000 Census, while recognizing the Town’s existence, collected no data from the Town, as the island is closed on 1 April.  Further, Census forms were not delivered to island property owners, and no door to door follow up was conducted.  Figure 3, Cumberland County Population Forecast by Community: 1995-2025 was obtained from the Greater Portland Council of Governments and was considered in developing Town of Frye Island growth trends.  None of the listed communities are occupied part time. While many of the towns do enjoy the impact of the seasons, the communities of Sebago, Raymond and Naples were given specific consideration due to their proximity to Frye Island and Sebago Lake.

 

Figure  3  Cumberland County Population Forecast by Community: 1995-2025
 

 

To arrive at a reasonable estimate for current population and future growth trends, it was decided to use the Frye Island Cottage Growth & Projection curve in conjunction with the results of the Town survey.  Also considered was the average number of new home construction permits issued over the last five years.  Details for 1998-2000 are enclosed on the next two pages as a reflection of recent enhanced activity.

Figure 4:  Building Permits – 1998 - 2000

1998 Building Permits

   

2000 TOWN OF FRYE ISLAND BUILDING PERMITS

 

 

 

PERMIT DESCRIPTION

EST. VALUE

COST

new house

$32,000.00

$160.00

shed

$1,200.00

$25.00

addition

$10,000.00

$100.00

fin. basement

$4,000.00

$40.00

carport&porch

$4,000.00

$40.00

new house fndtn)

$5,000.00

$25.00

porch

$3,500.00

$40.00

shed

$800.00

$25.00

addition

$1,220.00

$25.00

deck

$3,500.00

$35.00

deck

$2,500.00

$25.00

shed

$300.00

$25.00

shed

$1,200.00

$25.00

deck replace

$3,000.00

$25.00

shed

$800.00

$25.00

shed&porch

$5,000.00

$50.00

deck

$500.00

$25.00

new house

$30,000.00

$300.00

new house (foundation)

$4,000.00

$40.00

porch&deck

$3,500.00

$35.00

addition

$25,000.00

$250.00

new house

$55,000.00

$550.00

addition&porch

$8,000.00

$80.00

new house

$115,000.00

$1,150.00

new house

$100,000.00

$1,000.00

shed

$1,450.00

$25.00

repair/replace

$15,000.00

$50.00

shed

$2,300.00

$25.00

porch

$18,000.00

$180.00

new house

$120,000.00

$1,200.00

new house

$110,000.00

$1,100.00

after/repair

$8,000.00

$60.00

new house

$70,000.00

$700.00

new house

$150,000.00

$1,500.00

 

 

 

Total

$913,770.00

$8,960.00


 

The Community Survey at Question 43 yielded a count of 729 inhabitants for the 205 households that responded to the Survey.  In 1999, there were approximately 390 cottages on the Island.  The reported numbers would indicate an average household of 3.55 inhabitants.  Thus, the population for 400 cottages, if all were simultaneously occupied, is estimated at 1420. As previously noted, on a peak holiday weekend it is conceivable that the population could double to 2800.  To validate these estimates a special weekend survey would be needed.  Also, for a better household estimate consideration might be given to including a Town Statistics questionnaire in the annual property tax bills.

 

Cottage Growth:

Analysis of the “Cottage Growth Curve” (Figure 1) reveals the historical growth pattern of a vacation resort that became a Maine Town.  It reflects the following cottage per year growth for the periods noted.

            Full period                  (1964-2000)                11 cottages/year

            Initial growth               (1964-1971)                20 cottages/year

            Problem years             (1971-1986)                6 cottages/year

This period includes a number of impacts, such as a growing concern by the Portland Water District  (PWD) over septic systems impact on the Lake.  A court order in 1974 had placed a limit of 750 cottages with septic systems on the Island development.  This was also the period during which the resort developer (Leisure Living) chose to abandon the development and sold the Island to Frye Island Incorporated, a new company made up of Island property owners.  The initial years proved to be lean for development as the new management/owners took on their task.

            Major growth      (1986-1988)            35 cottages/year

            Recent 12 years  (1988-2000)             8 cottages/year

            Recent   6 years  (1994-2000)             6 cottages/year

            Recent   3 years  (1998-2000)             8 cottages/year

 

Data for the most recent period, 1999-2000, shows an increase in building activity on the Island, corresponding with a strong regional/national economy.  At that time, a building boom for 2001 was predicted approaching the “boom “ years of the mid-80’s.  A potential for 27 new foundations/homes was estimated.  The intervening economic change into 2001, complicated by fuel and gas prices may have a negative impact.

 

1.2.3     Projections of Town Growth

Considering the above trends, national and local economy factors, and the continued interest in vacation/second homes a 10-year projection using the last five year trend is deemed logical. However, the inhabitants’ desires that no condominium or campground developments occur must also be remembered.  Also, growth may be tempered by the limited number of remaining waterfront lots.  Thus, the future growth may rely on development of shoreline one back lots, or lots around the golf course.

 

After a careful review of the various data and the projection options shown on the “Cabin Growth & Projection Curve”, a 10 year projection of 6 to 10 new cottages per year appears to be reasonable.  Assuming a worst case of 10 per year, it would result in 100 new cottages for a new total of 500 in 2011.  This is still well under the PWD 750 limit.  This imposed limit must, however, be a continuing consideration.  How quickly it could result in a moratorium on construction will depend on changes in subsurface disposal technology acceptable to the proper authorities and the rate of  construction of cottages on lots already in private ownership.  New lot sales by Frye Island Incorporated (FII) are generally restricted to privacy or septic pump back lots which have no impact on the 750-lot limit, or to buildable lots within the 750 septic system limit.  In 2001 FII initiated a land use / real estate study on all its holdings.

 

Applying the current derived factor of 3.55 inhabitants per household the 2011 population is projected at 1575 before peak holiday impact.  Using the holiday doubling assumption 3000 is possible.  The 10 year (2001-2011) population increase attributed to cottage growth is 355 and an annual growth rate of approximately of 2.5 % per year.  While this appears lower than the local lake community estimates for Sebago, Naples and Raymond, it appears reasonable based on the unique aspects of the Town of Frye Island.

 

1.3  Local Economy

A Town of only second/vacation homes, a six-month occupancy per year and with no industrial or commercial basis except tourism, tends to show no strong economic base.  This is reflected in the property tax rate required to operate the Town.  If a year around occupancy were pursued the associated costs to achieve it appear cost prohibitive and contrary to the Town’s present focus.   Even if year around living were possible, there would be no major employment increase except possibly for home based businesses.

 

Within the Town of Frye Island’s 1000 acres there are 823 privately owned lots, 512 lots owned by Frye Island Incorporated (FII).  One 1-acre parcel and one 11-acre parcel have not been previously subdivided.  Frye Island has 74 registered voters and at full occupancy, it is estimated there would be 1400 inhabitants.  Since Town occupancy does not occur at National Census time, there is a distinct need for a local census program.  These data could have a viable impact on State and Federal grants and the Town economy.  In recent years, a slight increase in fall season occupants has been noted.  Employment opportunities on the Island remain very limited, as there is no industry and very little commercial activity. This mirrors the employment interests of the Town inhabitants.  Of the residents who stay for the season and might consider employment, many are retired and their wage income may be limited due to pensions.  Other residents, who stay for varying periods, are employed off Island.  There are also a small number who are self-employed as home maintenance contractors and limit their activity to work on the Island.

 

The provision of Town services provides year round employment for 3 people and seasonal wages for an additional 15.  None of these personnel can live on the Island year around.  The Frye Island Golf Course provides seasonal employment for approximately 7 people.  The only other employment opportunity on the Island is the general store/café, which employs approximately 8-12 people.  These jobs provide no significant revenues toward sustaining the Town.  The revenue stream generated by the town’s inhabitants is more significant to the regional economy (food, fuel, home repair, maintenance and construction).

 

The Town of Frye Island adopted the Grand List on properties from the Town of Standish when Frye Island became a town in 1998.  The last complete outside revaluation of the Island properties was in 1983.  In subsequent years, the Standish tax assessor kept the Island tax valuation comparable to the States valuation.  After becoming a Town, July 1, 1998, the Town of Frye Island’s ratio of local valuation to State valuation has dropped to 70.5%, necessitating a re-evaluation in the near future, based on State standards.

 

There is no fiscal database to further substantiate this narrative other than the previous MSC and now Town budgets.  Additional research might consider previous State sales tax information and employee wages.   

 

1.4  Housing

The town of Frye Island is a full-time town with part-time residency. The Island generally opens the last week in April and closes about November 1 with the cessation of all municipal services except for administration.  Property owners do not have access to their property via the car ferry, the entire Island water system is drained, fire and police services cease (except for emergency services), and the administration offices move off the Island.  Maintenance crews continue to work for one or two months after closing and begin work again about a month before opening to prepare the roads and water systems for owners to arrive.

 

The seasonal nature of the Town’s residency has a major impact on how the Comprehensive Plan must consider housing.  In addition, there is the added factor that the Island is under a 1974 court order that restricts the number of lots with septic systems to a maximum of 750.  The Court Order also provides that each septic system must meet the State Plumbing Code and that no dangerous phosphate concentrations will result to the Lake.

 

From its inception, the Island has been considered as a recreational and, for some, a retirement haven. As a result, all homeowners have second homes in other locations throughout the United States, and generally spend more time at these other locations than in the Town.  37% of survey respondents listed Massachusetts as their winter home, while 14% are from elsewhere in Maine, 12% from Connecticut, and 11% from New Hampshire.  Florida was listed by 10% of the respondents.  Figure  shows the distribution of the population by age and supports calculations that almost 20% of the Town survey respondents fall in the retired age range of 60 and older.  Also approximately 57% of the respondents, ages 18-59, fall in the employment range.

 

The Comprehensive Plan survey conducted in September 1999 indicated the owners wanted to maintain the rural and recreational character of the Town.  They did not want townhouses or condominiums to be constructed, nor did they want bed and breakfasts or any significant commercial development to occur.

 

The court ordered limit of 750 septic systems has had and will continue to have an impact on housing development in the Town.  Currently 830 lots are held by private owners and about 350 of them remain as buildable.  511 lots are owned by Frye Island, Inc.  There are nearly 400 homes and if all the remaining 350 lots met the perk conditions for septic systems, then the limit of 750 systems would be reached.  Some lots on which homes have been built did not pass the


 

Figure 5:  Demographic Representation by Age

septic seepage tests.  Back lots have been purchased for septic fields thus reducing the total available lot inventory.  Some privacy lots that have been purchased can not be built on, thus reducingthe inventory even further.  The zoning ordinances require a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet and as shown in Figure 6, only 15% of the lots satisfy this requirement.
 

Figure 6:  Frye Island Lot Sizes

 

Single non-conforming lots may be developed due to grandfathering regulations, but if two non-conforming contiguous lots are held in common ownership they must be combined to satisfy State regulations.  This applies to the privately owned lots as well as to lots owned by Frye Island, Inc.  Shoreland frontage requirements that reflect State Statutes must also be applied.  Therefore, zoning regulations further reduce the available inventory of lots.  The combination of these factors significantly limits the possibility of housing development in the Town.

 

Nevertheless, homes are being built.  As discussed in the section dealing with population, the rate is between 6 and 10 homes per year.  To an appreciable degree, the rate of building varies with the national economy.  The quality of housing being built has increased as well and distribution of costs of homes has shifted toward being more expensive.  Regardless of costs, the impact of 60 to 100 more homes over the next 10 years will have a major impact on the infrastructure of the Town, particularly the water system, ferry usage and the environment.  These issues were discussed in Section 1.2.2.  Given the small lot sizes, it is important that consideration be given to controlling the footprint area of new construction and additions.  Current ordinances do not address this concern and for environmental as well as aesthetic reasons the size of homes should be addressed.

 

Affordable Housing.

 

The issue of affordable housing must be addressed.  It is particularly difficult to apply the State Statutes to the part time usage of the Town of Frye Island.  It is hard to imagine a situation in which a low income family whose income can not support an affordable year round home being able to afford a second home that has as its purpose a recreational use and is accessible only for six months.

 

Affordable housing can be discussed based on median income and the definition of what constitutes affordable for very low, low and moderate income households.  The median family income for 1999 in the Greater Portland Municipal District that contains the Town of Frye Island was $47,400.  Under state guidelines, it is assumed that a family can not afford more than 30% of its income for rental housing, and no more than 28% for home ownership costs including mortgage and utility costs.  Figure 7 shows the affordable housing costs for the three income groups.

 

Figure 7:  Affordable Housing costs

Family Income Group

Annual Income

Affordable Monthly Ren8

Affordable Selling Price

Very low

up to $23,700

up to $595

up to $52,140

Low

$23,700 to $37,920

up to $950

up to $83,425

Moderate

$37,920 to $71,100

up to $1780

up to $156,420

 

 

Figure 8 shows the distribution of the market value of the existing homes in the Town.
 

Figure 8:  Market Value of Frye Island Cottages

 

The distribution of affordable selling prices is given in Figure 9.

Figure 9:  Distribution of Affordable Housing Prices

Family Income Group

Annual Income

Number of Affordable Homes

Percentage

Very Low

up to $23,700

25

6.6

Low

$23,700 to $37,920

150

39.9

Moderate

$37,920 to $71,100

176

46.8

 

This would indicate that there is a substantial inventory of affordable homes in the Town if they were available for sale.  However, as noted previously, all of these homes are accessible only for the months of May through October and not for year around occupancy.  The meaning of affordable housing in this context is misleading.  It is doubtful that very many families falling in the lower two income groups could consider a second home, and even the moderate income group families would find it difficult to afford a second home.

 

Affordable rentals are an even more difficult situation.   In 1999, approximately 38 cottages were rented through the most active real estate office handling Frye Island properties.  In 2000, this same real estate office had 34 rental properties.  The average rental was $3916 per month.  Inland rentals were somewhat less expensive but the average was $3080 per month. Waterfront rentals would have been significantly more than the average.  These rental costs are set by the owners and depend on demand and the economy.  It is obvious that none of the rentals satisfy the definition of affordable for any income group.  Given the small inventory of rentals and the recreational use of these homes, it is unlikely this situation will change over the next 5, or even 20 years.

 

The relevant land use ordinances as of October 2000 do not allow mobile homes but this is expected to be corrected at the July 2002 Town meeting. However, the deed covenants (see Section 5.5) that pertain to every lot, except for those few not contained in the properties transferred from Leisure Living to Frye Island, Inc., do not permit mobile homes.  This is a matter of a contract between buyer and seller and has nothing to do with the provision in the ordinances for an area for mobile homes.

 

The State requires that towns “seek to achieve that at least 10% of the new housing units constructed in the municipality in the 5 years after plan adoption be affordable housing”.  However, the State does not require that this criterion be met for second homes serving only part of a year and primarily for recreational or retirement purposes.  Over the next 5 years, it is possible that homes will be built in the Town that satisfy the State definition of affordable but these homes will not be affordable when considered as second homes.

 

In discussions with the Portland Council of Government it would appear there are no regional affordable housing plans.  The Town of Frye Island must continue to monitor any changes in regional plans

 

1.5  Natural Resources   

              1.5.1   Water Resources

The Town of Frye Island is ever mindful of the importance of groundwater and surface water quality.  The Town relies on water from Sebago Lake as its source of drinking water, as does the Portland Water District (PWD) who serves 10 Greater Portland communities.  Also impacted are the six shoreland towns surrounding the Lake.  This section will present an overview of the Town of Frye Island’s water resources and their related management and use.

 

Water Resource Management

 

The 2001 PWD “Sebago Lake State of the Lake Report” sets the standard to be maintained by any user or neighbor to the Lake.  The following is quoted from the report.

 

“The lake is revered for its cleanliness.  The quality of the trillion gallons of water in Sebago Lake is outstanding.  This fact is demonstrated by almost all scientific measures of water quality – transparency, nutrient levels, dissolved oxygen, and the amount of attached and floating algae, among others.  But one does not need to be a scientist to see that the lake is unusually clean – any first time visitor to the lake will immediately notice that you can see the bottom in 20 or 30 feet of water.  This is true of few other lakes in Maine or anywhere in the country.”

 

The PWD Report also included data on water quality based on scientific measurement using Secchi Disk Transparency and the Carlsen Index to calculate the Trophic State Index (TSI).  The results classify the Lake as “oligotropic” with transparency greater than 7 meters (actual 8-12 meters) and TSI less than 40 (actual for 1990-2000 ranged from a low of 21 to a high of 40).  TSI is a calculation of the productivity of a lake using total phosphorus concentration, chlorophyll a concentration, or the Secchi readings.  For the noted 10 year period, phosphorus readings ranged from 21 to 32, chlorophyll from 33 to 40 and Secchi 25 to 31.   All the readings average below 40 indicating an Oligotropic lake. “Oligotropic” means the lake has few nutrients and thus low algae production potential.  It also reflects undeveloped watersheds and that PWD controls in lake watersheds such as Frye Island must be working.

 

There is one area of concern in the Lakes health as related to aquatic plants.  The variety and density can change from lake to lake and place to place within a lake.  The appearance of non-native plants can have a detrimental impact by out-competing native plants and spreading rapidly to choke shallow areas.  There are 11 plants identified as potentially harmful to Maine lakes.  One, a “variable leaf watermilfoil (variable milfoil)” has been identified in the Lake.  A 2000 survey identified 15 locations of the rooted plant.  At Frye Island, the only reported sighting was of plant “floating fragments” in the waters off Cocktail Beach.  Efforts should be made to educate Islanders about the plant and encourage their involvement in plant identification and control.

 

The people of Frye Island treasure Sebago Lake.  The general sentiment is: “We drink it, we swim and fish in it, we boat on it, we feast our eyes on its pristine beauty and we must take steps to protect it.”  In 1989, in conjunction with a court case involving the PWD, the Island commissioned its own environmental impact analysis for phosphorus and nitrate export into the lake. (See Map 7, Town of Frye Island, Phosphorus Loading).  Literature about water resource protection is available free at the Town Offices.   There is a volunteer Watershed Committee.  The Town Garden Club sponsors speakers from entities, to include the Portland Water District (PWD), who talk about ways to protect the lake by stabilizing its banks and maintaining vegetative buffer zone along shorelines and stream banks. But to insure that a continuing Island wide effort is maintained, an “official” Town of Frye Island Conservation Commission should be considered.

 

Occasionally, the question arises regarding “housing developments” on the Island.  In the 1960’s the Leisure Living development was platted as “Sebago Shores” and deemed by Standish to be a development.  Issues arose regarding lot size and no development site plan was ever approved by Standish.  Before this was resolved the demise of Leisure Living occurred and the Island was transferred to FII.  The FII property has not been treated as a development, but as an island surveyed into lots.  Hence, there are currently no “housing developments” in the Town, but if any were developed they would now have to conform to the Town of Frye Island Subdivision Ordinance, as well as PWD and DEP review.  Routinely, each home built on the Island must meet the approval of the Town CEO, the DEP and the PWD.

 

In assessing the Island’s water resources, consideration must be given to watersheds and their related impacts.  The 2001 PWD Report states:  “The Lake Sebago watershed comprises all, or parts, of 23 towns and covers 231,00 acres (346 square miles).  The 6 towns bordering the Lake and Frye Island account for 86,440 acres, ranging from 862 acres in Frye Island to 20,452 acres in Naples.  However, when new construction building permits for 2000 are analyzed, Frye Island issued 9.2 per 1000 acres and the 6 mainland towns averaged only 1.55 per 1000 acres.  This tends to explain the attention PWD devotes to Island construction activity.

 

The Island watersheds were evaluated as part of the 1989 Frye Island Phosphorus Study.  The study identified and addressed the development (existing and potential) in 20 watersheds. (See Map 9 Frye Island Watershed Boundaries, Portland Water District.)  Construction in any of the watersheds requires a permit from PWD in accordance with a court order.  Normally PWD’s jurisdiction around the Lake extends only 200 feet inland along the shoreline.  However, by the 1974 court order ALL of Frye Island is subject to PWD permitting authority.  The Island’s topography, soils and wetlands maps when considered with the watersheds (See Maps Section 5.13) portray the runoff potential to the Lake.

 

As detailed in the Community History (See Section 5.3.1, {Development 1964-1989}), {Growth 1989-1995}) and in Appendix 5.6, Court Findings and Background, Portland Water District vs. Leisure Living Communities Inc. the number of septic systems to be allowed on Frye Island was challenged in court.  As a result of this action, the Island was limited to 750 lots, each with a septic system.  The initial finding was made in 1974.  Subsequently, PWD reopened the issue in the 1980s in an attempt to reduce the limit to approximately 600 systems.  After phosphorus and nitrate studies were each done by FII and PWD a “Consent Agreement” was negotiated and approved by the Court in 1990.  (Copies of the PWD, Robert G. Gerber INC. and FII, Normandeau Associates Inc. studies are on file in the Town Office.)  The Consent Agreement reaffirmed the 750 limit, pending mitigation through construction of a detention pond at the intersection of Birch Road and Leisure Lane.  This construction was promptly completed and the current Island septic system limit remains at 750.  A unique aspect of the initial Court decision is that either party may petition the court at any time, as the case remains open.  In conjunction with this settlement, during Island occupancy, May-October, PWD provides an inspector weekly on the Island to monitor compliance with lake watershed regulations.  All new home, or Town, construction requires a permit from PWD and septic system equivalents are assessed against the 750 system limit.

 

Beginning in 2001 for area disturbances such as playgrounds and golf course additions, PWD began accepting “remedial actions” such as conservation areas and detention ponds versus septic system equivalents.  Thus, PWD continues to monitor all activities on the Island for compliance with environmental and water resource protection considering runoff, wetlands, (See Wetlands, Map 3) and phosphorus loading (See Phosphorus Loading, Map 7).  In some respects this process appears more stringent for the Island than the Lake’s six shoreland communities, however it is the Town’s contribution to maintaining “Sebago Lake as one of Maine’s most impressive and important natural resources.”

 

There are areas on the island where the groundwater table is generally within three feet of the surface and areas of swampy and organic soils.  The Zoning Map ( Map 5) shows the identified flood plain that encircles the island and several small ponds and streams.  At the July 2000 Town Meeting, voters adopted a Flood Plain Management Ordinance tailored to FEMA standards.  On the Frye Island Shoreland Zoning Map (Map 6), stream protection district, resource protection districts and the upland edges of wetlands are also marked.

There are a limited number of inland bodies of water and streams on the Island.  Some are detention ponds or hazards on the golf course.  Others are natural wetlands.  The mix and location of these resources are shown on the Town of Frye Island Wetlands Map (Map 3).

 

There are no water wells in use on Frye Island.  There may have been in the past, but after interviewing homeowners, real estate agents and former Town Managers, the conclusion is that the lake is the only source of drinking water for the Island.   In the early 1990’s, Goodwin Drilling was hired to see if ground water could be a viable source of drinking water for the Island.  Several sites were drilled to a depth of 300 feet but could not produce enough water to serve as a viable source of potable water.  According to State geologists, there is no known aquifer under Frye Island.

 

The Town funds efforts to protect Sebago Lake from septic and hazardous waste.  It assumes the cost of ferrying trucks from the mainland to pump out homeowners’ septic tanks.  To validate the value of this approach, consideration should be given to an ordinance requiring pump out every 6 years and proof to the Town office of compliance.  If approved this may also require re-negotiation of the existing PWD Municipal Septage Agreement from the present annual limit of 25,000 gallons per year.  In 2000, 23,388 gallons were accepted from Frye Island.  This agreement complies with a State requirement.   Free and readily available lavatory facilities are provided at the Marina for sanitary waste from boaters.  Future consideration should be given to a pump out facility at the marina for marine toilets. The Town also promotes and pays the fees associated with hazardous household waste disposal for all homeowners who participate in an annual regional (Casco, Naples, Raymond) collection effort.  There are concrete self contained bunkers for paint cans, etc at the town waste transfer station.  Another concrete self contained bunker exists in the Public Works Area to guard against contamination.

 

All but three Island homes use septic systems for wastewater disposal. One property on the south end of the Island and a double lot with two houses on the east side, which were not part of the original Leisure Living development, have outhouses

 

Storm water runoff from roads is diverted into shallow ditches and culverts, which eventually connect to natural streams. Natural plant and tree growth help with water control.  The areas of concern are where trees and brush have been cleared and water is allowed to run toward the lake over non-wooded areas.   Road maintenance (See Section 1.8.2 Roads) also focuses on improved ditching, culvert placement and maintenance.  This will minimize improper diversion of runoff.

 

Town ferry crews are trained to respond quickly and effectively to any ferry related hazardous leakage into the lake.  During the summer of 2000, they were called upon and demonstrated their proficiency in this type of emergency by responding to a diesel fuel leak from one of the ferries. 

 

Town Water Supply

 

Untreated water is pumped out of the lake on the east side of the Island for exclusive delivery to a nine hole golf course situated in the middle of the Island and surrounded by buffer areas consisting of undeveloped land and homes.  These buffer zones minimize the golf course’s pesticide and nutrient impact on the lake.  Course treatment is generally limited to use of fungicides and fertilizer on the greens.  Better documentation of this program seems warranted.  However numerous water hazards on the course serve as detention ponds.

 

The Town of Frye Island, except for the southeast corner of the Island, is presently served by a filtered surface water supply utilizing Sebago Lake as its source.  This system operates from late April to November and is considered a non-transient, non-community public water supply under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Regulations.  The system serves approximately 400 seasonal homes, municipal facilities, the golf course pro shop and lounge, and the Frye’s Leap Store/Café and is intended to serve a maximum of 750 dwellings if the island were developed to capacity.  (See also Section 1.9.1.2 Water, in Section 1.9 Public Facilities and Services.)

 

On July 25,2001 the Town was notified of modifications to the State Act to improve public water supply protection.  Included in the notice was a map reflecting the required Source Water Protection Area (SWPA) at the Town pump station.  This is shown on the Shoreland Zoning Map (Map 6).  The act also stipulates that the SWPA will be treated as an abutter under definitions set forth in Town ordinances.  The act also addresses controls over underground fuel storage tanks and septic systems, existing or contemplated, for the impacted area.  Town related ordinances will be modified in 2002.

 

In the spring and fall, there are approximately 200 residents drawing on the system. During July and August, the population could swell to between 2000 to 2500 people.  Every spring the system is purged and recharged.  Every fall, when the island closes, the system is drained and winterized.

 

In 1993, a series of pressurized bag filters were installed to meet the filtration requirement of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Water is pumped from the lake by one of two 10 hp pumps to the Public Works garage where the filtration system is located.  Two pre- filters using coarse bags and four filters with fine bags comprise the system.  After filtration, sodium hypochlorite is added and the treated water flows to a 54,430 gallon steel standpipe.  After treatment, the water is pumped to homes through surface and shallow plastic pipe.  During 2000, the system delivered an average of 72,275 gallons of treated water per day with a maximum day, on 31 August, of 130,890 gallons.

 

In the fall of 2000, the Town hired Pine Tree Engineering to evaluate the water system, with a goal of upgrading the treatment and storage system and capacity to meet changing water quality standards.  An additional goal was to also insure a more cost effective and lower maintenance operation.  As of June 2001 draft reports have been received and remain under consideration.   

 

          1.5.2      Natural Critical Resources

 

As an island the Town of Frye Island is in effect a natural critical resource.  In the Town Survey, 95% of respondents agreed that scenic and natural areas should be protected and preserved.  79% considered the protection of natural resources “most important” another 19% think it is “important”.  49% valued the island’s rural character as “most important” with another 43% rating it “important”.  55% of the answers supported the establishment of a “Land Trust” to buy or receive land to protect it.  Another 32% indicated that it would “maybe” be a good idea.  As already outlined under Water Resources, there is a need for a Town Conservation Committee that could have as one of its tasks the management of a “Frye Island Land Trust”.  The following aspects highlight the Island as a critical resource.

 

Marina Conservation Area

The 13 acres of land bordering the Marina on the south side of the island have been conserved with a Conservation Easement.  (See Map 1, Land Use) as part of the DEP approval of the Frye Island Marina.  A comprehensive environmental impact study of the south end of the island was completed and filed with the State Department of Environmental Protection in preparation for the permit which allowed the construction of the Marina.

 

Streams, Wetlands, Soils and Shorelands 

The integrity of wetlands and streams is protected on a case by case basis by Town Ordinances and related field inspections.  At Map 3 is the Frye Island Wetlands Map W/Legend.  Major wetlands and streams are shown.  The need for continuing watershed management is further enhanced by reviewing the Island Topography (See Map 2) and Soil Types (See Map 4 W/Legend). There is continuing coordination between the Portland Water District, DEP and Town CEO in the permitting and inspection process for each lot as it is developed to control runoff as well as the phosphorus impact on the Lake (See Map 7, Potential Phosphorus Hotspots).  They provide additional oversight on the construction and maintenance of any Town facilities that might affect the watersheds on the Island and thus the water quality of the Lake.  However, additional and continuing effort is warranted as build-out on the Island continues.

 

Soils on Frye Island vary from sandy loam to exposed bedrock.  The Soils Type Map (See Map 4) displays the Islands soils.  Included with the map is a synopsis of soils data for the Island as extracted from the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation, Soil Survey Data For Growth Management, Cumberland County Maine dated March 2000.  Using this source, the map has been annotated to reflect areas with slopes greater than 15 percent and soils which “may” or “don’t support” installation of septic systems according to the Maine State Plumbing Code Criteria.  Any soil type not colored is considered as septic “permitted”.  In addition to soils type impact on septic disposal, the Code also prohibits subsurface disposal systems on slopes exceeding 20 percent.  This overlay can then be considered in assessing the Towns future land use. However, it is recognized that field perc. tests and other onsite conditions will be the final determining factors for land use.

 

Shoreland protection is another continuing concern.  The Island’s development has been from the shore inland.  Presently, there remains little vacant shoreland except at the south tip of the Island. (See Land Use Map 1).  The current Island Shoreland Zoning Map (See Map 6) displays resource protection districts, shoreland development overlay districts and stream protection districts.  Beach front damage occurs due to the high speed operation of motorized water craft close to shore.  Beginning in the early 1990s, high lake levels with westerly winds have caused beach front damage particularly along a section of the Island’s southwestern bluffs and the Island’s Beach 6.  At the southwestern bluffs, approximately 500 feet of shoreline has eroded up to 3-6 feet exposing a major clay layer.  The exposed layer is now a continuing source of high turbidity and negative impact on the Lake’s water quality.  In 1997 an application for a 319 DEP fund grant was submitted on this area and not funded.

 

The Lake level is controlled by the Eel Weir Dam as managed by the S. D. Warren Co. that is owned by South Africa Pulp and Paper Company.  Because the dam is used to generate hydroelectric power, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) licenses operation of the dam.  Beginning in the 1990s, FERC began receiving comments on lake level operations due to high, as well as low, water complaints.  Key participants in this dispute are the Friends of Sebago Lake to which a number of Islanders belong.  The result has been the 1997 development, in coordination with State DEP, of a lake level management plan, which set target date elevations of 265.17 feet above MSL for 1 August and 262.5 +/-.5 feet MSL for 1 November.  To reduce winter storm bank erosion, the lake is to be lowered to 261.0 feet MSL, two times in every nine year period.  The theory is that this should build back shorelines that may have eroded during high water years.  At Appendix 5.6 is the 1997 State Department of Conservation, “Summary of Sebago Lake Shoreline Change Studies, 1990-1997” which includes Frye Island as one of the problem sites.  It provides insights and recommendations and was completed before the 1997 Lake Management Plan was implemented.  But in 2000, due to continuing public comments and in an attempt to mitigate the impact of weather events from August to November, FERC lowered the Fall Management Lake Levels (ranges).  The periodic Lake lowering to 261 feet MSL was exercised in the fall of 2001 and there was no positive effect on the Frye Island western bluffs problem.  In fact, the 1999 Fall/Winter impacts were severe and the exposed clay layer is now a continuing problem throughout the year.  By letter 23 September 2000, the Friends of Sebago Lake challenged the 2000 FERC action and requested a “State of Emergency” be declared for many beaches and shorelines of Sebago Lake.  That letter included the following statement for Frye Island’s southwestern bluffs.

 

“Along southwestern Frye Island cohesive embankments are rapidly eroding into the lake causing almost continuous clay pluming. One stretch of property with an eight foot high phosphate rich clay bank suffered a three foot loss of land this past year.  This property has been permanently damaged.  These embankments before 1989 were stable with sand protective berms, and had 6 inch oak trees growing on the bluff face.  The damage and shoreline reconfiguration is accelerating.”

 

The debate continues as to the cause.  Is it a lake level problem, weather problem or combination of both?  Irrespective, it is a Town, PWD, State Department of Conservation, DEP and property owners’ problem that merits attention to facilitate corrective action.

 

Scenic Areas and Vistas

Island residents and their guests have access to 15 strategically placed beaches and waterfront recreation areas, which ring the Island.  The most prevalent interest seems to focus on sunrise and sunsets.  Western beaches and waterfronts are the common gathering spots for a view of the western mountains, to include Mt. Washington, as the sunsets.  Moon lit and star filled nights are also considered a special treat in the Island environment.

 

Wildlife and Endangered Species

To date, no animals on the Maine Endangered Species List, obtained from the State, have been identified on the Island.  The deer population, water fowl and other wildlife who entertain home owners on the south and south west end of the Island are valued by islanders as part of the attractive natural setting which enhances Frye Island’s charming rural character.  They live untended and unhampered.  An occasional moose swims over to graze in island ponds.  Locally, it is considered a praiseworthy deed to capture one of these visitors on film.  Bird life is abundant on the Island including water birds, song birds and raptors.  The thrill of Loon calls is always a delight.  Raccoons, squirrels, and the occasional ferret are also Island inhabitants.  But construction efforts by beavers do pose the occasional problem.  However, with the help of the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife staff, they are humanely relocated.

 

Lake fishery is a major attraction to Islanders as “Sebago Lake is famous for it’s outstanding cold water fisheries.”  In assessing this topic the recommendations in the 1999 Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Sebago Lake Fishery Management Report were considered.  However the PWD, “2001 Sebago Lake State of the Lake Report” provides the latest review of this important resource.  The following are extracts from that report.

·       Sebago Lake is a classic oligotropic lake with excellent water quality.

·       Sebago Lake’s primary fisheries include landlocked salmon, lake trout, brook trout, small mouth bass and large mouth bass.

·       The introduction of lake trout in the early 1970s has added even more opportunity for anglers.  These fish have demonstrated their ability to grow and reproduce well in the Lake.

·       From 1988-2000 the total catch of legal lake trout has been increasing while the total catch for landlocked salmon has declined.

·       Average weight of legal lake trout caught during season has declined from 5.1 pounds in 1988 to 3.4 pounds in 2000.  However, during this period the salmon weight has remained fairly constant at about 2.4 pounds.

·       The opposing trends in total catch for the two species illustrate an interaction dynamic occurring between the lake trout and landlocked salmon.  For example, the lake trout seem to reproduce well in the Lake habitat.  But the salmon is much more dependent on ecological factors such as water quality of spawning tributaries, access to spawning areas, and predation as they travel to and from the spawning areas.  (Frye Island has no streams that would provide such habitat, but makes its contribution to the Lake fishery by watershed protection and runoff controls.)

 

            Unique Natural Areas

The 1978 state Critical Areas Program, which no longer exists, included a Frye Island 10 acre conservation area in which Tupelo Trees grow. It is inland on Birch Road on the western side of the Island.  (See Land Use Map, Map 5.6.1)  Although Tupelo trees are no longer considered rare in Maine or included in the state Natural Areas program, it is believed the area merits retention as green space around a key Island detention pond.  This will ultimately rest with the landowner (FII) and their willingness to donate the land to the Town or establish their own conservation area.  In addition to this Island area an “exceptional natural habitat” area was confirmed in November 2000 by the State Department of Conservation.  It is located on the mainland ferry landing property (Raymond, ME)“…in the woods on either side of the small utility line, which is on the southeast side of the lane into the ferry service and adjacent to Raymond Cape Road” and “supports the rare plant nodding pogonia (Triphora trianthophora).”  It was also noted that although the Maine Natural Areas Program relies on voluntary stewardship, retention of forest in the vicinity of the plant is important.  For planning purposes, the Town should coordinate with the Town of Raymond on protecting this plant.

 

According to local informants, the Maine 1947 Forest Fires included Frye Island and did considerable damage to Island woods and wildlife.  As a result, the natural environment of the island is one of a young woodland with slim trees.  As shown on the Frye Island Soil Types Map and Legend (See Map 4) there is not much arable soil on the island.  Nor is there timber of a commercial value.

 

            Identified and Potential Threat to the Natural Critical Resources

 

Proper management of the Island as a natural resource is of primary concern.  As will be presented in Section 1.7 Existing Land Use and Section 3.11 Future Land Use, natural resource management and protection should play a key role in the Island Town’s efforts to maintain it’s desired Rustic, Rural and Recreational environment.  Increased construction with no view toward environmental resource protection is viewed the paramount threat to the 1000 acre island.  A true inventory of the Island’s environment is warranted to map all critical resources.  This should include natural and historic features.  Areas to be protected and those not usable as building lots should be identified and steps taken to set them aside.  Once accomplished, the remaining "buildable" property should be assessed against the existing PWD limit of 750 cottages with septic systems.  This will result in the drafting of needed ordinances and the details of the Future Land use Plan.

 

Existing Measures to Protect and Preserve Noted Natural Critical Resources

 

When considering the primary threat to the Island’s natural resources as increased construction coupled with inadequate resource management, land use planning is the key issue and it is currently controlled by Town Ordinances.  Another existing land use control is exercised through FII who owns all property not held by individual owners.  Their prudent action to insure sale of their lots only when buildable, (Must meet PWD criteria.) and to recover non-buildable lots from private owners have proven successful.  In 2000 FII initiated a major inventory of all their Island properties in an attempt to define the land use potential of these holdings.

 

Land Trusts can take several shapes, including land for preservation, historic preservation, trail/recreation development, agricultural preservation, etc.  Generally, a trust accepts fee ownership, or some form of a conservation easement, for a tract of land that meets the trust’s tailored pre-set criteria.  Assuming it is set up correctly, the donations of fee ownership, or a conservation easement can be tax deductible, based on the value of the land or easement as donated.  Thus a land trust is a good mechanism for a property owner (FII or private) to dispose of un-buildable (low value) or even buildable (high value) land. But equally, it could be donated to a municipality.  It is recognized there may be some prejudice against municipal ownership.  However, FII and the Town should consider a Land Trust administered by FII, a private entity or the Town with the ultimate goal of Island land and environment management and protection. 

A new option is through the Land for Maine’s Future Board.  The Board will consider proposals for grants to preserve lands.  A Proposal Workbook, dated July 1, 2001 should be obtained and considered in the Town's future actions on land conservation.  The Board'’ web address is http://www.state.me.us/spo/lmf/index.1.htm.

 

1.6  Agriculture and Forest Resources

Agriculture

 

The existing soil conditions on Frye Island are primarily comprised of sand, clay and rock. (See Map 4 Frye Island Soil Types w/soils legend.)  This soil coupled with the fact the Island is basically fully platted for cottage lots negates commercial agriculture in the Town.  There are, however, an increasing number of home gardens.

 

Despite the lack of arable soil, there are a few limited areas of the Island, owned by FII, that possess soil types that may be conducive to gardening.  Should there be sufficient interest, FII could be approached to transfer selected areas to the Town for community garden plots.

 

Forest Lands

 

The Island’s forest resources have not been specifically identified on the Town Land Use Map (See Map 1).  The Island’s forest areas are a valuable natural resource from an environmental, aesthetic point of view but have no commercial value due to age, limited amount of marketable timber and cost to harvest.

 

Forests occupy many tracts of land on Frye Island and are composed mainly of young soft woods including Balsam fir, white pine, spruce, hemlock and hard woods including maples, beech, birch and oak.  There is also a 10 acre, locally protected area containing tupelo trees.  It should be retained in conservation as it is adjacent a major detention pond.

 

Town forests provide ideal habitat for plants and animals and serve important environmental functions such as protecting soils, filtering water and supplying oxygen.  And they add to the scenic and recreational value of the Island.

 

The Town, in conjunction with FII, may wish to plan now to reserve land for recreational and other municipal uses, before valuable tracts of unused land are bought or land values increase to the point where a municipal purchase would become prohibitive.  Where land is deemed nonbuildable due to slope, wetlands or non acceptable for septic systems, transfer to a Town Land Trust should be considered.  As previously noted in other sections and on the Land Use Map September 2001 (Map 1), FII also maintains a 13 acre conservation easement, including a detention pond, adjacent to the Long Beach Marina.  A land use ordinance should be considered to control tree removal to limit environmental as well as aesthetic impacts.  Road buffers are a good example for consideration.

 

1.7  Existing Land Use

1.7.1      Current

The Town of Frye Island Land Use Map (Section 5.13 Map1) details the uses of all of the Island land.  Volunteers checked most of the lots during the summer of 1999.  Input and corrections were solicited from Islanders at the July 1, 2000 Town Meeting, the July 7, 2001 Town Meeting, and during the summers of 2000 and 2001 at the Town Office.

 

The 2000 Land Use Map dated , updated in August and September 2001, shows the following land uses in the Town:

 

Year                                                    2000                2001

 

Cottages                                              383                  388

Foundations                                          16                    18

Private Lots                                         341                  332

Private Lots with Septic                          7                    10

Total Cottages and Building lots         747                  748

 

The following lots cannot be built on because of Deed Restrictions (Privacy Lots) or the State required merger of non-conforming lots (Next to Lots)

 

Next to Lots                                           73                    69

Privacy Lots                                          11                    13

Total not to be built                              84                    82

Total Cottages and Private Lots          831                  830

 

Frye Island Inc. owned lots

            Non designated                        454                  442

            Ferry Landing                              2                      2

            Conservation Easement             23                    33

            Critical Area (trees)                  11                    11

            Municipal Storage                       6                      6

            Recycle Area                              9                      9

            Lots with private septics             6                      8

Total FII owned lots                           511                  511

 

Owned by Town of Frye Island                                      1

 

Total Frye Island Lots                        1342                1342

 

Some of the changes from 2000 to 2001 were a result of zoning changes and a better understanding of the Maine State Law requiring merger of non-conforming lots.

 

It is possible that the Cottage count is low for several reasons.

  1. There has been increased building during 2000 and 2001 and not all new cottages have been counted.
  2. Some people live in foundations or accessory buildings while their house is built.
  3. Several lots, which were not part of the platted subdivision, may have more than one dwelling on them.
  4. In some cases, tax bills, for more than one property, have been combined.  It is possible that some cottages were missed.

 

We have used a cottage count of 400 for the year 2000.  This reflects those families living in partially constructed houses, and new houses being built during the summer.

 

While the above figures indicate that the Town will be under the 750 limit if all private lots are built on, they do not take into account three areas:

1.     There are 6 septic systems for current Town Buildings

2.     Undeveloped land may be subdivided, adding to the number of private lots.

3.     Some potential recreational development may be counted as a septic system, as was the expansion of the golf course parking lot.  However, the PWD has recently allowed mitigation and conservation easements to be used, instead.

Therefore, building in the Town needs to be monitored in view of the 750 septic limit discussed elsewhere.

 

1.8  Transportation

1.8.0      Introduction

The transportation net to and of the Town of Frye Island includes the regional and local elements of roads and a ferry.  The mainland, regional road net includes US Rt. 302 and from it, the Raymond Cape Road of the Town of Raymond, which runs to the Town of Frye Island mainland ferry landing at Rubbs Cove.  The Island roads total approximately 17 miles and are the local element of the Town’s transportation net.  While access to the Island is possible by private boat, it is not an appropriate transportation element in the Town Comprehensive Plan but is addressed under recreation and Town facilities. However, the ferry system, currently owned by FII and operated and maintained by the Town, is the most critical element as it provides the key access to and from the island community and warrants extensive attention in this Plan.  The element of transportation will be addressed in three (3) subsections, 1.8.1 Ferry System, 1.8.2 Roads, and 1.8.3 Warranted Actions. One unique aspect of Town transportation warrants highlighting in this Introduction.  It is related to  the possibility of Island year around inhabitants with children who might need conveyance to school.  There is currently no plan for year around occupancy of the Town; in fact it is discouraged.  However, the law that established the Town (See Section 5.1) and the Town Charter (Article IV, Section 4 in Section 5.2) make it clear that families on the island with children enrolled in the schools of neighboring towns will be responsible for transportation between the Island and the mainland point of pickup/drop off.  Should the need arise it is deemed an administrative matter and at thus is not addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.

 

The Town staff involved in transportation are the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Ferry Department.  The ferry crew aspect is self-evident. The DPW has a unique requirement in addition to their responsibility of maintaining the Island roads.  They are responsible for the safety of the ferries during the winter months by snow plowing the mainland ferry landing and insuring the ferry boats bubbler system is functioning for hull protection.  Additional staff details are in Section 1.9.6.1 Town Staffing.

 

1.8.1      Ferry System:

            Background:

Beginning in 1964, during the development of Frye Island by Leisure Living Communities, an old Casco Bay Lines ferry was used as the link from the mainland to the Island.  As Island development progressed, a new ferry was procured in 1968 from Blount Marine in Rhode Island.  It was called Leisure Lady I and later renamed the Ellie Corliss in honor of a long term Island maintenance man.  In 1970, a second ferry was purchased from Blount Marine and named Leisure Lady II.  Both ferries remain in operation today.  When the Island was transferred to FII in February 1976, the real property included the ferry system. (See Historical Background, Section 5.3.1)  From 1976 to the present the ferry system (facilities and equipment) has been leased by FII to MSC and now the Town, which staffs, operates and maintains the system.  Ferry operations have always had a goal of becoming self supporting.  Though not achieved, a reserve fund exists and is subsidized from tax revenues.  The legislation creating the Town (See Section 5.1) included language transferring any remaining MSC assets to the Town and dissolved the MSC.  The MSC liabilities including the FII lease (See Section 5.8) were also transferred to the Town.  As FII is assessing its real property assets, including the ferry system, for possible transfer to the Town a revised lease may result.  The ferry system transfer warrants serious consideration and action at appropriate FII and Town meetings.

 

A key element in transfer of the ferries to the Town is Insurance and Liability. For the ferries, hull insurance issued by Clark Associates Portland, Maine as an Ocean Marine Policy is $73,000 for the Ellie Corliss and $83,000 for the Leisure Lady II.  The basis for the difference is unclear but may be due to initial construction costs.  A joint  (Town and FII) liability coverage on both boats is maintained at $1,000,000.   Although Maine municipalities are limited in their liability to $400,000 based on the Maine Tort Claim Act, FII and the Town both carry $3,000,000 general liability coverage. This potentially opens the Town up to a higher liability level and is a point warranting future assessment.

 

 

Operations:

 

Staffing and Training:  

The ferries are staffed with four full time crews, which insure three full time shifts of operation.  Each crew includes a captain and a mate.  Crew qualifications are not extensive.  Emphasis is placed on the Captain as the responsible individual.  His job description includes the following.

“Qualifications: Mature, responsible with good interpersonal skills.  Previous nautical skill desirable.

Licensing Requirement:  State of Maine Commercial Boat operators License or Federal Operators License- U. S. Coast Guard.”

For the Mate there is no license requirement.  His Qualifications are shown as:  “Mature, responsible with good interpersonal skill.  Must work well under pressure and use sound judgment. Previous nautical experience helpful.”  His primary duties are dock operations and ferry loading and unloading.  Historically, training has been “on the job” utilizing the Frye Island Ferry Handbook that is updated annually by the Department Director. It includes Ferry Policy and Guidelines; Personnel Policy; Job Descriptions; and the related seasonal operating schedule.  While this has been adequate with the seasonal return of experienced people, an increase in ferry usage and the need to replace or add crews warrant a more structured training program.  A review of the existing Handbook reveals the need for a better approach to maintenance and related training as well as periodic safety and ferry emergency drills.

 

Ferry boats: 

Both boats are over 30 years old and of a similar design aimed at nine (9) cars and a 40 ton operating capacity.  The boats are powered by twin John Deere diesel engines, which were all replaced in the 1990s.  Examples of recent routine repairs are the 1999 starboard transmission rebuild including oil cooler unit for the Ellie Corliss and a new starboard engine water pump port and rudder repair for the Leisure Lady II.  The current design allows only a minimum number of walk-on passengers.  There are no lifeboats although 50 personal flotation devices (PFD) are carried on each boat in a box on the starboard side of the deck.  As these are inland water vessels, annual registration and any safety inspection is the responsibility of the State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW).  The U S Coast Guard has no responsibility, as Sebago Lake is a closed inland system.  IFW uses USCG inspection standards.

 

Ferry landings: 

The ferry system includes two landings (mainland and Island) with ramps operated with gantry counterweights using electrical chain-falls.  Mechanical chain-fall operation is possible in a power outage.  The distance between the two landings is approximately .5 mile. This is the shortest distance between the mainland and the Island and requires approximately 20 minutes for a round trip.  Any use restriction is primarily related to Lake level and weather conditions.  Late season levels have precluded heavy equipment load operations.

 

The current mainland landing was rebuilt the winter/spring of 1985-86.  It is located in the Town of Raymond, in Rubbs Cove off the Raymond Cape Road, Extended.  It is designed to accommodate both ferries for all months of the year and is the winter storage site for both ferries. An air bubbler system is available for winter operation to protect the boat hulls from ice damage.  During the winter the Public Works Director, who lives near the mainland landing, is responsible for site access and surveillance to include snow removal. The ferry office (an old house trailer) with limited parking is located at the landing.  As the traffic to the Island increases so will congestion at the ferry landing to include unsafe traffic backups out to the public road.  This problem merits review and correction.

 

The current Island landing was constructed the winter/spring of 1989-90 and is located at the east-end of Sunset road adjacent to the Town Office complex and general store.  In 1999 due to ice damage, an underwater repair was required to the main horizontal support beam so as to stabilize the gantry, vertical load bearing structure.  This area already suffers from major congestion for parking and ferry access.  It is especially bad on “high Season” Saturdays when cabin rentals change hands.  The situation warrants attention.

 

Policy and Procedures: 

As already described, the Ferry Department Director annually updates and issues The Frye Island Ferry Handbook.  This document is the basis for the Captains and Mates Manuals, which detail for them the policy, training and maintenance procedures for ferry system operations.  These manuals also dictate scheduling and loading/unloading procedures.  Extracts are taken from the manuals and published in an annual Ferry Schedule/Calendar available to all ferry users. (See the 2001 Schedule/Calendar, Section 5.9).  The Handbook is also the reference for ferry information available on the Frye Island web page at http://www.fryeisland.com/ferry.htm.

 

Fees, Scheduling and Usage:

The Town Charter stipulates that the cost of ferry tickets be established by the Executive Committee of the Board of Island Trustees; (See Section 5.2, Article VIII, Section 1). For the tax years 2000 and 2001, the Blue tickets for property owners in good standing (all town taxes paid) are $7.00 each. All other vehicles, contingent on the number of axles are charged $16.00 per Red ticket.  Contractors pay additional fees depending on the nature of their vehicle.  There are delivery and service exceptions for use of the ferry, one example is the transport of the septic system service vehicles.  There is no charge for these vehicles, as it encourages property owners to maintain their septic systems and reduces the possibility of pollution.  Walk-on passengers are charged $5.00.  At the end of 2000, with that year’s ferry ticket increase to include one dollar per ticket to the ferry reserve, that fund grew by over $24,000 to $65,000.

 

Seasonal operations are normally from the end of April to the end of October.  However the period, last weekend in June through the September Labor Day weekend is deemed “high season”. Thus ferry operations are scheduled accordingly as noted in the 2001 Schedule/Calendar.  The calendar lists the daily departure times for the first and last ferry from the mainland.  “Routine season” trips are scheduled on the hour and half-hour at 30 minute intervals.  If one run is insufficient to transport all vehicles waiting to cross, the ferry shuttles. That is, it comes back to pickup those left behind without waiting for the thirty-minute mark.  During the “high season” and high visit weekends a second ferry is added and runs are on the quarter hour. 

 

Load configuration is a continuing safety concern especially as the ferries age.  The following related policies are quoted for ease of reference from the Ferry Policy & Guidelines.

 

 

“Weight & Size Limitations

1. Cement trucks = Limit one per trip.  Maximum of 4.5 yards of concrete.

2.  Dump trucks = Limit two per trip.  Maximum of 7 yards sand, gravel or stone.

3.      No more than two of the above type vehicles may be on the ferry at any one time (only one of which may be a concrete truck.)

4.      General weight limit all vehicles = 40 tons.

5.      Eighteen wheel tractor-trailers = Gross total weight limit of 40 tons.  A special fare of $80.00 may be applicable for any vehicle requiring special loading due to size and weight (mass).

 

Oversized Loads

Vehicles which are larger than a standard body pick-up or truck are not permitted use of the ferry unless prior clearance per trip has been granted and for a commercial operator a special fee of $45.00 plus a ticket has been paid: Fridays after 5:00 P.M., Saturdays, Sundays, & holidays during the “high season” beginning on the date designated in the current year ferry schedule and enforced up to and including Labor Day.  Number of trips per season may be limited.  Exception:  Homeowners can bring oversized vehicles over to the Island during times when both boats are operating or at the direction of the Captain.”

 

Normal Ferry usage varies during the season with the most severe during the “high season” when there are a significant number of renters and golfers.  Weekend and holidays are the worst times.  A major impact in recent years has been new-construction traffic.  Hence, oversized and mixed loads concerns have been heightened and are expected to continue based on the population estimates found in Section 1.2.  In an effort to project ferry traffic, use records for 1998 – 2000 have been assessed considering tickets collected on the ferries.  It is recognized that this assessment only addresses the traffic going to the Island.  Return traffic data though not addressed impacts total ferry use and related congestion.  Such details are being included in the 2001 season record keeping.  Except for the exceptions, three types of tickets are used: Walk-on, Blue tickets for Island property owners and Red tickets for all others.  There is also a No Fare category of users which include Public Utilities trucks, septic pump-out trucks, vendors supplying goods and services to Town operations, Island and store employees going to work and all security, fire and rescue vehicles.  Unfortunately, ticket numbers do not reflect type of vehicle as the number of axles defines how many tickets must be used for an oversized vehicle. This type of data is also being collected in the 2001 season.  The One-way Ferry Usage Data for 1998-2000 are shown in Figure 10 and provide a reasonable indication of usage change from 1998 –2000

 

Figure 10:  1998 - 2000 Ferry Usage Ticket Data

 Year/month

Walk-on

Blue

Red

1998 - April

1

279

43

May

22

1,679

570

June

28

2,040

817

July

155

4,094

1739

August

124

3,624

1714

September

54

1,976

854

October/November

12

1,695

493

1998 Totals

396

15,387

6,306

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1999 - April

2

462

131

May

25

1,953

741

June

40

2,382

1,081

July

147

4,571

1,532

August

119

3,827

1,355

September

32

2,073

956

October/November

1

1,742

756

1999 Totals

366

17,010

6,552

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000 - April

0

360

74

May

18

2,114

888

June

55

2,943

907

July

123

4,302

1,515

August

131

4,056

1,785

September

29

2,163

1,316

October

8

1,769

850

2000 Totals

364

17,707

7,335

An assessment of the data produces the following conclusions.

·        Ferry traffic backup:  The written records give no indication of backup of vehicles awaiting transport on either the mainland or the Island.  These data are required to assess system capacity, the need for operational changes or acquisition of an additional ferry.  On rainy days, weekends and holidays there are periods of backup and congestion at both landings.  

·        Usage Data:  Red ticket usage reflects a 17.9% increase from 1998 through 2000 and a 12% increase for 1999 through 2000.  But, Red ticket usage increase for 1998 through 1999 was only 3.9%.  The year 2000 increase appears attributable to more cottage renters and the significant increase in cottage construction initiated that year.  July and August are clearly the “high season”.  Walk-on traffic is basically stable year to year.  However, Blue ticket usage was up 10.5% from 1998 through 1999.  The year 2000 Blue tickets reflect a 15.1% increase from 1998 but only a 4.1% increase from 1999.  The total 2000 growth was 15.2% from 1998 and 6.2% from 1999.  This could indicate a plateau had been reached in 2000.  Analysis of 2001 data may clarify this aspect.

·        Although not detailed in Figure 11, some holiday ticket data were analyzed.  The 4 July weekend normally reflects the highest usage with over 1100-1300 tickets in a 4 – 5 day period.  Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends normally averages 700- 800 tickets and Columbus Day is 500-600 tickets for a similar period.  These periods would appear to include some congestion and backups at the ferry landings.  

·        The anticipated usage for the over 30-year-old ferries can be expected to increase as the Town grows and thus place additional stress on the system and it’s operating equipment.  More detailed usage surveys appear warranted to assess full ferry operations and traffic congestion.

 

Emergency Operations:

Having addressed Normal ferry operations, it is appropriate to highlight Emergency operations.  There are two types.  Island Emergencies and Ferry Emergencies.   The former applies to emergency runs for security, medical and or fire emergencies.  Procedures exist that give priority to such needs and all Normal operation is suspended until the emergency is resolved.  Additional discussion of such operations is found in Section 1.9.3 Fire, Emergency Rescue and Police Protection.  Ferry Emergencies apply to a ferry being disabled and requiring emergency assistance and /or passenger evacuation.  While this is normally viewed as unlikely, increased use of the fleet warrants training and preparation for such an occurrence.  As both ferries have dual engines, a single engine loss can normally be managed except in high seas.  Competent assessment of lake and weather conditions combined with prudent load management are critical skills required from ferry crews to insure safe operations.  In an event where all steerage is lost, radio communications for assistance is to be made to the Town office, Island Fire Department, Raymond Rescue and an on-call Ferry Captain (for second ferry assistance).  A drill of this procedure should be developed and exercised once or twice during the season to insure timely response can be achieved.

 

Maintenance and Inspections:

FII, MSC and Town records are limited with regard to ferry maintenance and inspections.  Daily maintenance is left to the crew as described in the Captain’s Manual under “Start-up and Shut-down Procedure.”  While results are to be recorded into the daily log, this is limited to engine oil and water fluid checks, cold and hot.  These include crankcase engine oil, marine gear oil, water in engine expansion tanks and “periodically” battery fluid levels.  Safety equipment checks are listed in the Captain’s Manual but not included in the “Start-up and Shut-down Procedure.”  Daily boat maintenance seems limited to housekeeping, i.e. “maintain the deck in neat order; clear of spills and debris”.  No mention is made of daily dock/ramp maintenance except that during operations mate is to “…carefully observe conditions of all safety chains and cables, as well as ramp apron while loading and unloading.”

 

A check with the Ferry Department Director reveals, “Periodic Maintenance is performed every 250 hours of running time for each ferry.  This routine maintenance includes oil and filter changes on the engines, air and coolant filters, and fuel filter replacements.  The boats are switched in a rotation throughout the season to distribute the running hours evenly.”  Indications are that “annually” sludge and oil film is pumped from boat bilges.  While it might be assumed that a competent crew will routinely check bilges, electrical connections, steerage, etc., there is no documentation unless an entry is made in a daily journal (?).  Thus, a more detailed maintenance program, including boats, docks, and safety equipment, warrants development and implementation, especially considering the age of the boats and anticipated increased usage.

 

Inspections are a key aspect in ferry maintenance because of the age of equipment and usage.  Records indicate that some inspections have occurred on a routine and/or requested basis.  Routinely, the boats are inspected by the State Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department using US Coast Guard standards.  The inspections on a periodic basis with one anticipated in 2001.  In March/April 2000, the Ocean Marine Insurance Policy carrier completed a survey of both boats.  The results were satisfactory with six minor recommendations (4 Leisure Lady II and 2 Ellie Corliss.)  All recommendations were implemented.  The most detailed inspection dates from 22 November 1999 when Associated Marine Surveyors, Inc. did thickness tests (audiogauge) of selected areas of the Ellie Corliss structure while afloat.  As the first boat acquired, the Ellie Corliss was tested, and, because the results were good, a similar survey of Leisure Lady II was not scheduled by the Town.  The report included the following key comments:

“The vessel’s structure remains in good structural condition with only two (2) small areas of any significant wastage noted.  Surrounding areas support no need for any renewals at this time.  The visible portions of the vessel’s exterior underwater body appear to require attention (cleaning and refinishing.)”

The report recommendations were:

1.  Renew the deteriorated hatch gaskets for the two (2) forward compartments. 

2.      Reconnect/service/provide vessel’s bilge pumping system where discontinued/broken/unusable.  Reinstall strum boxes. 

3.      Apply interior cosmetics as required. 

4.  Dry dock vessel for survey of vessel’s underwater body and running gear.”

 

With the increased usage experienced in 2000 and the FII asset transfer potential, increased “heavy maintenance” of the boats again becomes an issue.  On 28 April 2001, a representative of Blount Barker Marine (the boats’ manufacturer) inspected both boats in the water.  The representative has been a Blount employee since the boats were built and was in an excellent position to assess their condition.  The following is a summary of his verbal report and recommendations.

           

Results:

 

Both boats are in very good shape.  No signs of any significant deterioration were noted.  The decks have been kept up and maintained in a good manner.  The inside of the hulls are in good shape with no signs of corrosion.  There were no visible signs of deterioration in the welds visibly inspected.  A takeout railway for hull maintenance makes sense and can easily be designed and constructed.  Blount may still have copies of the boat designs and construction drawings.  If available, copies will be provided the Town.

Overall, the boats are structurally sound and can accommodate heavy and mixed loads safely up to the design capacity.

Recommendations:

1.The interior of both boat hulls should be pumped (winter water accumulation. This was accomplished at season opening.), scraped and painted where flaking was noted.

2. To satisfy a lingering structural concern another round of ultrasounding of both boat hulls should be scheduled.

 

Boat Maintenance Facility:

At present there is no Frye Island ferry boat maintenance facility.  Over the years it has become increasingly apparent that a “takeout railway” for boat maintenance was needed.  A hull inspection of the Ellie Corliss in 1999 was limited to above the waterline.  The report noted the desirability of boat removal for inspection and maintenance.  This capital improvement warrants prompt attention and should be considered jointly by the Town with FII in their Assets Assessment.

 

               Future Ferry Considerations and Fiscal Capacity

Future Considerations:

The ferry service is one of the most critical and stressed services that the Town provides and is leased from FII. It requires critical continuing attention for maintenance and improvement of operations. This situation is expected to deteriorate even with a modest Town growth. (The growth comes from two sources: new home construction and more intense use (more renting) of existing cottages.  Maintenance is basically an operational and fiscal problem with hull ultrasounding a priority item. The current top capital item is a takeout railway.  With the limited space at the mainland landing, an Island site appears best.  The improvement of operations is more complex. It warrants an operations assessment to more clearly define appropriate actions.  These would seem to range from adding second boat runs and thus another crew up to the extreme of adding a third ferry and additional landings.  A greater capacity ferry might be a better consideration contingent on lake water levels.  This could facilitate high season operations with current boats used at lower water levels to include capacity restrictions.  In any event, a ferry replacement will in time be needed and a strong increase in the ferry reserve fund must be maintained.

 

Fiscal Capacity

The ferry reserve (as per the 2001 budget) is approximately $65,000. One dollar from the cost of each ferry ticket goes to this dedicated reserve. During the 2000 season, reserve income was over $24,000.  While this reserve might be adequate for performing minor heavy maintenance or a limited capital project, it currently falls short for a capital project such as the takeout railway while retaining an emergency repair capability.  Discussions with Blount Marine indicate the cost of replacing an existing ferry can range up to $700,000 for a new boat or $500.000 for a used boat if an acceptable one were available.  Assuming FII chooses to transfer the ferry system to the Town, fiscal preparations must be made.  The Town must establish a sound program for building up the ferry reserve while also investigating conservative investments and it’s capacity to obtain substantial loans and issuance of municipal bonds.

 

1.8.2      Roads

            Mainland Roads

Mainland road access to Frye Island is from US Route 302, 4.3 miles down the Town of Raymond, Cape Road to the Town’s Ferry Landing.  “302 Corridor and You” is a project of the Lakes Region Development Council concerning transportation and economic development matters in the corridor.  The project’s first phase is focusing on projects such as safety improvements, turning lanes, intersections, merging improvements, etc.  Of significance and worthy of support by the Town of Frye Island would be turning movements to Cape Road and Hawthorne Road off Rt. 302.  Involvement and coordination with this 302 Corridor Committee should be maintained.

 

Likewise, coordination with the Town of Raymond should continue over maintenance of the 4.3 miles of Cape Road.  Support for continued efforts to obtain State maintenance is warranted.  The current State position is that there is insufficient year around traffic on this town way to achieve “collector” status.  By letter dated December 4, 2000, the MDOT specifically stated, “our review determined this road functions primarily as a local road for the residential population of Raymond and Frye Island…..the review of any road is based on present year round usage not seasonal or future usage.  Use by Frye Island resident/visitors is nonexistent based on the fact there are no year round residents on the Island.” 

 

Irrespective, Frye Island support to Raymond should be maintained to secure state maintenance of the Cape Road.

 

            Island Roads

Background:

The Town of Frye Island maintains approximately 17 miles of roads on the Island. These roads are an asset of the Frye Island Inc. (FII), (See Section 2, Article VIII of the Town Charter, Section 5.2).  FII in July 1999 granted an easement interest in the roads to the Town.  The Town then voted to accept the easement and established the roads as Public Easements.  (See Section 5.10, 1999 Town Warrant on the Public Easement)  In addition, there is the mainland ferry landing access road, which is considered a private access road in Raymond as owned by FII.  However, it is maintained by the Town as part of the leased ferry landing.  The Island roads which receive the most traffic are Ferry Access, Sunset Road, Leisure Lane, High Point, Ridge, and Birch roads. For locations see Land Use Map (Map1).

 

The Town of Standish never accepted any of the Island roads as town roads while Frye Island belonged to Standish. Therefore, Island roads have never been brought up to the standards for normal public ways.  Some minor roads are much narrower than major roads, but they can all accommodate two-way traffic. No Island roads are paved. The only exception is the mainland ferry access road.

 

Roads, Lot Numbers and Fire Lanes:

Except for a few small areas, the entire Island was divided into lots when the Island was first opened for development in 1964. The lot numbering is an island wide system with numbers progressing along the shoreline and then inland based on proximity to the shoreline.  Lots in ownership before the developer’s action have been integrated with 500 series numbers.  However, lot numbers have now been combined with road names and, with a few exceptions, satisfy emergency 911 requirements. In compliance with state fire lane marking requirements and to aid in responding to fire and other emergency calls, the Fire Department has posted one or more Fire Lane designators on each road. (See  Section 5.11, Frye Island Street Directory and Fire Lane Designations.)

 

Legal Aspects including Liability:

All Island named roads shown on the Land Use Map (Map1) are assets of FII. The Town could not legally maintain private roads even though they are leased to the Town.  Therefore, as previously noted, FII offered and the Town accepted the roads as “Public Easements”.

A public easement is defined in 23 MRSA 3021 as “an easement held by a municipality for purposes of public access to land, or water, not otherwise connected to a public way.”  However, by 23 MRSA 3022 “…the municipality does not have the obligation to maintain or repair a public easement.  A municipality’s legislative body may authorize the repair and maintenance of public easements, but is not required to do so.  If maintenance is authorized, the standards set are discretionary and left to the legislative body.  Thus for Frye Island, the roads can be maintained to the same standards as before Frye Island became a Town.  From a liability standpoint, the Town has no liability for “defects” in public easements per 23 MRSA 754.  But, they can be held liable for claims resulting from negligence during construction, maintenance and repair and/or negligent operation of Town vehicles and equipment. The town liability for accidents on Island Roads is capped by the state law at $400,000.  The Town and FII each carry $3,000,000 in general liability insurance.  This may warrant review for the Town.  The liability related to accidents on the Mainland ferry access road is uncertain because of its status as part of the leased ferry system from a private party (FII).  However, in the ongoing FII assets review, it appears to be in the Town’s best interest to retain the Public Easement approach.  But, the establishment of specific Town road standards should be initiated.

 

Special Provisions:  Through the Town Charter, (Section 5.2, Article VIII, Section 3), and town ordinances the use of golf carts is expressly permitted on Town roads. A similar provision for All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) was denied by the Cumberland County Sheriff Office based on state law.  There is also a provision in Maine Law that allows registration of cars, or pickup trucks, as Island Vehicles.  Such vehicles can be registered only for island use. They do not require inspections but must be island registered and be insured.  Golf carts fall in this category and must have safety devices for on-road travel.  The Town of Frye Island has implemented such a program.

 

 

Speed Limits:

In 1964, the Island developer posted a speed limit of 20 mile per hour. This speed limit applied to the entire Island and remained in effect until the 1999 transfer of control of the roads to the Town. In 1999, the Town requested the State Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine and set speed limits on Town roads.  Representatives of DOT toured the Island in September of 2000 and inspected all major roads.  By letter dated 21 November 2000, Town speed limits were set at 20MPH for all major roads. (See Section 5.12, Town Speed Limits).  This, along with the Public Easement designation allows appropriate traffic law enforcement. 

 

Traffic Congestion:

During peak use periods (weekends and holidays), road traffic needs to be controlled to the speed limit and cautious driving encouraged due to walkers, bikers and golf carts. The places in the Town that routinely experience congested traffic are the two ferry landings.  The mainland ferry landing is often congested because of lack of parking spaces and travelers awaiting the ferry.  Golfers also complicate the parking problem as they will meet at the landing and consolidate travel to one vehicle. There is only a small area off the access road reserved for employee parking. Thus, the only available parking spaces are on the soft shoulders of the access road. Too often parked cars violate the rule: “Vehicles parked on the mainland side access road must be completely off the blacktop.” This practice creates safety hazards and more congestion.  The access road is very short and occasionally the line of cars waiting for the ferry may back up all the way to and onto the Cape Road.  This constitutes a traffic violation as vehicles are prohibited from parking on a public road. At the island-side landing, congestion is complicated by ferry traffic and a concentration of facilities including the Town Office, Store and Restaurant, Post Office, Fire Station # 2, Boat Ramp. This area becomes a real safety hazard when all parking spaces are taken and a long line of vehicles (often more than two-ferry loads) is waiting for the ferry.  For weekends, Saturdays are the worst days when renters change over.  For weekdays, early morning departures and arrivals, plus afternoon contractor departures are the peak times.  This area warrants first priority for more parking spaces.

 

Maintenance:

As already discussed, maintenance of the Public Easement roads is at the Town’s discretion.  But, the island dirt roads require periodic maintenance.  This should be done based on an approved set of standards considering runoff and erosion control.  The practice of using Best Management Practices (BMPs) during maintenance and construction should be a priority.  Likewise the non-use of herbicides and defoliants should be maintained.  The Island is opened to the public in spring only after roads are firm enough to bear the traffic and have been brought up to good repair. During the season, some roads get severely damaged by rainwater runoff.  Road maintenance costs are reflected in the budget as material costs with labor accounted for in the total personnel budget.  In 1999, $15,179 was spent on crushed stone and culvert material and in 2000 the budget was approximately $20,000.  In 2001, the budget was $23,200.  Since becoming a Town, Frye Island has received state aid in the amount of $5,000 in 2000 and $11,000 in 2001.   These moneys are included in the noted totals for years 2000 and 2001

 

With the continuing emphasis on watershed protection and runoff control for the Lake’s protection, Town road maintenance is a priority matter.  Ditches and other drainage improvements warrant continuing careful attention.  As already emphasized, use of BMPs deserves special attention.  DPW personnel should receive adequate training and the appropriate materials to employ these techniques.

 

Future Road Considerations and Fiscal Capacity

 

Future Considerations:

On the mainland, the Town should continue to be involved in the Route 302 Corridor project.  Likewise, joint efforts should continue with the Town of Raymond to secure State maintenance of the Cape Road.  The major Island road concerns for the future are twofold: solving present day problems and anticipating the impact of Town growth on road, parking and related construction and maintenance. The first category includes solving the traffic congestion at the ferry landings and upgrading roads to reduce erosion due to water runoff.  There is also a limited potential for new road construction if there is development at the south end of the Island.  The second category might result from any major changes in or location of ferry landings.  In any event, adequate equipment and personnel, to meet changing needs will depend on the Town’s fiscal capacity.  There may also be a benefit in using outsourcing contracts where timely effort isn’t possible with the Town DPW.

 

Fiscal Capacity:

The fiscal capacity for routine road maintenance must rest with the municipal budget process and increased taxes or some reasonable fiscal relief from existing commitments.  However, any new road construction or major upgrades such as parking facilities warrant inclusion in a Capital Improvements Plan but must compete with other priorities.

 

1.8.3      Warranted Transportation Actions

Based on the forgoing sections the following summary of Warranted Transportation Actions is presented.

 

            Ferry System:

 

·        Ferry operations should be assessed considering peak periods of operation and how to improve scheduling, second boat usage, load mixing and need for a new (larger or additional) boat.

 

·        Ferry crew training should be assessed and, as appropriate, updated to include operations, maintenance and emergency skills.

 

·        A more complete periodic boat and landing system maintenance program should be developed and implemented.  Commercial aspects should also be considered.

 

·        Boats interior maintenance is lacking and requires prompt attention.  This should become part of the periodic maintenance plan.

 

·        Ultrasounding of both boat hulls should be scheduled for late spring and fall 2002.

 

·        A boat take-out railway should be considered, designed and constructed at a site on the Island by 2002.  Both boats should be pulled and hull maintenance performed as soon as this facility is available.

 

·        The fiscal capacity of the ferry system to achieve a self supporting status should be addressed when considering ferry system long term needs and the potential of Town traffic increase.

 

Roads

 

·        The Town should continue it’s involvement in the regional “302 Corridor and You” project.

 

·        The Town should continue a joint effort with the Town of Raymond regarding State maintenance of the Cape Road.

 

·        A survey and design should be initiated for the new roads in the vacant parcel at the south end of the Island.

 

·        Survey and design solutions for traffic management at both ferry landings.  Consider construction of additional parking at both locations.

 

·        Develop a long range Town road maintenance plan to include design standards, phased upgrading and fiscal estimates.  Potential contract maintenance and construction projects should be identified.

 

·        Insure PWD personnel have adequate equipment and training to include BMPs. Consider use of contracts to supplement Town capabilities.

 

1.9   Public Facilities and Services

The Town is unique in that it has virtually no owned real  assets (excluding the Central Fire station, rest rooms at the marina and one lot adjacent the new ballfield park) that are necessary to provide the essential public services to its inhabitants.  The Town has obtained its roads as a public easement  from  Frye Island Incorporated (FII), from whom the Town also leases  the ferries, water system,  Public Works building,  Community Center,  Town Administration Building, and certain recreational amenities – beaches, tennis courts, pool and Cabana.  Certain other, primarily recreational, amenities are owned and operated by FII for the private use of corporate stockholders, who are town landowners, and their guests.  These include a public golf course; a  marina and a boat tie up area.  The current 1991 FII lease (See Section 5.8) was assumed, by the Town, from the Municipal Services Corporation, in accordance with the legislation that created the town in 1998.  This lease may be revised as a result of the outcome of the ongoing FII assets Review.  In 2000 the FII initiated a major review of all its assets with the goal of determining what, if any, should be transferred/sold to the Town.  Where appropriate such assets will be highlighted in the text of this section.

 

1.9.1.     Utilities

        1.9.1.1.  Electricity

Central Maine Power Company (CMP) serves the island Town with 3-phase power, via an underwater cable. This arrives at the island just north of the ferry landing. At landfall, the power goes overhead in three directions.  To the south, three-phase power is carried to the water system pump house. From the pump house, single-phase power serves the southern end of the island.  The second and third legs of the distribution lines are single-phase and go from the landfall site to the middle and northern parts of the island.

As for capacity, there are currently approximately 200 KVA still available. Individual 10KVA transformers placed for each to serve up to three homes distribute power to island homes.  This translates to a capacity for approximately 60 new homes, depending on the spread or fill-in of new construction.   If the new homes are spread out and new transformers are required, there could be a reduction in the overall number of new homes that could be served before power capacity to the island must be increased.  However, CMP annually monitors the usage on the Island - in July - and as capacity is approached, they will upgrade the service to provide for the additional need.  With increasing construction on the island, available power capacity impact should also be monitored by the Town, through the utilities.  This is significant due to the potential impact on municipal facilities as well as the need for additional services to currently unserved areas..

 

1.9.1.2.  Water

 

Sebago Lake is a regional water supply including the Town of Frye Island.  A discussion of this natural resource was previously presented in Section 1.5.1, Water Resources.

 

The Town water system, which is leased from FII, includes a bag-filtration system, supply intake and pumps, distribution pumps, a 60,000 – gallon storage tank, with 54,500 gallons usable storage and approximately 12 miles of distribution lines, generally located near or above ground level.  The system is purged and recharged every spring and is drained every fall.  Daily testing is done to insure all Federal and State water quality standards are maintained.  A capital improvement program for the water system envisions  an upgrade from the current bag-filtration system and construction of an additional  standpipe for storage.  Enhancement and improved maintenance  of distribution lines remain a continuing operational necessity.

 

As a trend in increased average day usage was noted in 2000 (See Figure 11.), the storage issue takes on more importance in regard to meeting water quality standards through chlorine contact-time with the stored treated water.    An engineering study with Pine Tree Engineering is currently underway to determine a more cost-effective approach to treatment and to address the need for additional storage.  Costs of options under consideration range from $190,000 to $390,000.

Figure 11:  Water Usage

 

1997

1998

1999 Note 2

2000

PEAK GALLONS PER DAY Note 1

   161,000

193,000

144,760

130,890

AVERAGE GALLONS PER DAY

85,000

101,000

70,808

72,276

 

TOTAL GALLONS PER YEAR

15,719,000

20,136,000

14,558,636

13,515,618

 

 

Note 1:  In 1998 peak usage was caused by a blowout in a 3 inch line at 3:00 AM that was not discovered until 9:15 AM.

 

Note 2:  In 1999 system pressure was lowered and the number of pressure relief valves were increased resulting in reduction in the number of leaks and blowouts.

 

While the data in Figure 11 indicate a reduction in overall water usage during the  4 year period, it is felt that without the 1999 changes to the water system (See Note 2) , there would have been a significant increase in total water consumption.  As previously noted there is an increase in annual Average Gallons Per Day consumption noted from 1999 to 2000.  This is  attributed to new construction, increased usage of existing homes, and possibly watering of new lawns and gardens.  This is supported by an analysis of the Towns daily water production records for 2000.

 

The 2000 analysis confirms “high-season” as July and August and that weekends and holidays are the peak use periods.  August is the peak month with an average of 106,484 gallons/day followed by July at 101,978 gallons /day.  This is almost double the existing system storage capacity and raises the issue of adequate chlorine contact time.  For the remaining months of the Town’s 2000 occupancy, consumption averaged only 53,928 gallons/day, which  “appears” safely within the contact-time capability of the existing storage standpipe.  However, this must be tempered by peak day usage during that period.  A peak day analysis shows it tends to occur on weekends and holidays with Sundays a dominant day.  For example: Sunday 13 August 2000 was the year’s peak day at 130,890 gallons and 2.4 times the system storage capacity.  Additional examples in descending order were Monday 3 July (4 July weekend) at 126,610 gallons; Sunday 3 September (Labor Day weekend) at 113,222 gallons; Sunday 25 June at 102,330 gallons; Monday 29 May (Memorial Day weekend) at 86,360 gallons and Sunday 8 October (Columbus Day weekend) at 78,100 gallons.  The storage contact time issue warrants continuing attention.

 

The water system is one of the key FII assets under consideration for transfer to the Town.  Since FII received the system from Leisure Living Communities in 1974, it has been fully funded, maintained and operated by the MSC and now the Town.  The transfer should be seriously considered.

 

 

        1.9.1.3.  Sewerage

There is no central sewage treatment facility in the Town.  All sewerage is processed in individual septic systems.  The Portland Water District’s (PWD) standard for mainland homes is 180 gallons of septage per day for a two bedroom home with a family of four.  However, the PWD standard for similar homes on Frye Island is 120 gallons per day.  This assumes lower usage for the Island homes and potentially smaller septic systems.  This aspect warrants clarification with PWD.  According to PWD records there are 352 assorted septic tanks on the Island.

 

The Town maintains a Municipal Septage Agreement with Portland Water District (PWD) for up to 25,000 gallons per year of septage effluent originating from Island residential or commercial sources.  For 2000, PWD reports 23,833 gallons of septage were accepted from Frye Island.  They suggest septic tanks at year around homes occupied by four people be pumped every 3 – 5 years.  Similar seasonal homes on the Island would appear to warrant pump out every 5 – 6 years. 

 

The state plumbing code is adhered to regarding appropriate soils for such systems.  Further, there are additional stringent phosphorous controls in place as dictated by the Portland Water District stemming from related court orders.  Additional details are in Section 5.3.1, Historical Background and  Section 1.5.1, Water Resources.  See also Section 5.6 for the Court findings and decisions on Island septic system limits.  To facilitate maintenance of individual septic systems a Town ordinance for mandatory periodic maintenance warrants consideration.

 

        1.9.1.4.  Telephone

Telephone service is provided by Maine Telephone via an underwater cable to the Island with overhead distribution within the town.  Capacity of the cable and associated overhead grid is 575 circuits.  The number of telephone circuits used by the Town has grown from 254 in 1994  to 358 in 2000, leaving a 217 reserve for future growth.  Should more circuits be required, a new cable would be laid from the mainland to the Island.

 

        1.9.1.5.  Mail Service

Mail service is provided by the US Post Office in Raymond, Maine.  Mail is delivered to and picked up, from the Island once a day, 6 days a week. The Town has provided, at Town expense, a postal mailbox facility for residents. The building housing the mail facility is leased from FII and will be considered for transfer to the Town in the ongoing assets review.  Access to the facility and the individual mailboxes is by individual key. Commercial parcel deliverers are also able to leave packages for town residences in the facility.  In addition, the Town provides mail slots in the post office for local distribution of information.  As the mailboxes are assigned based on individual requests, they represent a source for determining the number of full-time seasonal residents in the Town.  An annual survey of box users warrants consideration.

 

1.9.2.     Solid Waste Management and Disposal

 

Solid waste management is a Department of Public Works activity which includes weekly roadside pickup (Sundays during low season.  Saturday and Sunday during high season.) with a 20 cu. yard compactor truck and operation of a recycling center for returnable paper, cardboard, demolition debris, white and brown goods, glass, plastics, and metal.  Household solid waste is transported to the Maine Energy Recovery Company (MERC) facility in Biddeford, ME. under a three-year contract, which was renewed for five years effective July 1, 2001.  Tipping fees have risen  from $48 per ton in 2000 to $76 per ton in 2001, see figures 12 and 13.  Before accepting the 2001 contract, other options were investigated without success due to the seasonal impact of Town waste.  Dumpsters are rented from Pine Tree Waste Recycling, Windham, ME. and waste is removed at cost, with no revenue for recyclables.  Contract construction debris must be removed from the Island at the owner’s expense.  In assessing the decrease in Pine Tree costs versus tonnage for 2000 against 1999 figures no explanation was found.  Possibly the number of trips were less despite the increase in tonnage.  The company charges to haul, but not for disposal.

 

Figure 12:  Cost of Sold Waste Disposal

 

MERC

Pine Tree

Total

% Change

1998

$4,754

$8,145

$12,899

 

1999

$5,372

$16,795

$22,167

+72%

2000

$6,031

$11,229

$17,260

-22%

 

Figure 13:  Solid Waste Tonnage

 

MERC

Pine Tree Demo

Pine Tree Metal

Pine Tree Recycling

Total

% Change

1998

115

33

9

7

164

 

1999

118

51

8.5

3.5

181

+10%

2000

127

62

12

6

207

+14%

 

 

1.9.3      Fire, Emergency Rescue and Police Protection

        Introduction

One of the basic tenets of government is the need to provide for the safety and well being of its citizens.  During the move by the citizens of Frye Island to secede from the Town of Standish, the lack of public safety services was emphasized.  Since becoming the Town of Frye Island, the citizens have been active in filling this void.  The Community Survey clearly identified that the residents  recognized public safety as a critical issue.  The primary funding source for fire, rescue and emergency medical services is the Town budget.  The budgeted funds are supplemented by  grants and donations of money and equipment by citizens of Maine and the Town.

 

        Fire Department:

            Organization

The Frye Island Volunteer Fire Department is a private, not for profit corporation, that was formed by a group of island residents with the support of the governing body of the Town, at the time (7-1-98) that Frye Island seceded from the Town of Standish.  There are no paid professionals on the staff.  The Department is augmented by a backup agreement with the Town of Raymond to include emergency medical response and a contract for emergency dispatch services.  The Department had its beginning in an earlier and more informal effort by island residents to provide  basic fire response while awaiting the arrival of an organized fire department from off the Island.  As public safety, and specifically fire safety, was one of the driving forces in Frye Island becoming a town, the formation of an organized fire department was the necessary follow-up to becoming a municipality.  The need was quickly supported in the 1999 season when the Department responded to 11 incidents, 7 fire related and 4 emergency medical calls.  During the 2000 season the Department responded to 22 calls, 6 fire related, 11 emergency medical and 5 water, or police, assists.

 

            Facilities:

 

Frye Island has two (2) fire stations.  A small one vehicle garage (Station 2) is leased from FII and located at the Island ferry landing. This is the same building which houses the Town postal facility. It was the fire barn for the previous effort at fire protection, and is still used to house a fire vehicle and equipment.  A modern, Town owned, 40 feet by 60 feet Central Station  was built on land leased from FII in 1998 by members of the Department with the help of  Town residents.  Many residents contributed time and talent to construct the fire barn, while many more such as Craig and Cami Rosen who donated $7,000 for the concrete floor, donated items or money.  This building, which contains three (3) vehicle bays, office, bathroom, storage and an unfinished second floor classroom and kitchen, is used to house fire vehicles, equipment, protective clothing and department records.  It is located very near  the center of the Island with road access in every direction.  Since Station 2 at the ferry landing is owned by FII, as is the land under the Town owned Central Station, these properties are to be addressed for transfer to the Town in the ongoing FII assets study.  Such a transfer is desirable.

 

            Vehicles:

 

The  Department operates five vehicles. Two fire engines are owned by the Town.  The other vehicles are on loan to the  Department by the State and a private citizen.  The five vehicles are:

 

1.  Engine 6, a 1969 Howe/International Fleetstar 2010A.  It has a 1000 GPM front mounted Hale pump and a 2000 gallon poly tank.  This vehicle is owned by the Town.

 

2.  Utility 2, a 1977 Dodge 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive Power Wagon.  This vehicle is on loan to the department by the State of Maine Bureau of Forestry.

 

3.  Tanker 1, a 1953 Reo 2-1/2 ton 4 wheel drive 6X6.  It has a 250 GPM side mounted pump and a 1,200 gallon metal tank.  This vehicle is on loan to the Department by Brian Hogan, a private citizen and collector.

 

4.  Engine 4, a 1968 Mack CF600.  It has a 1250 GPM front mounted Hale pump and a 700 gallon poly tank.  This vehicle was acquired in 2000. The vehicle is on loan to the Department by collector Brian Hogan.

 

5.  Engine 5, a 1969 FWD (Four Wheel Drive) diesel.  It has a 1000 GPM Darle pump and an 800 gallon poly tank.  This is the latest acquisition by the Town.  It was purchased from Hudson MA in July 2001 and will be outfitted as funds permit.

 

Support Equipment:

 

Presently, the Department has 13 portable radios, working through a repeater, to provide notification to its members when an alarm is received and for communications on scene.  Providing water at a fire scene is a critical element of fire suppression.  In addition to the water carried on the fire trucks, there are several ways in which additional water is obtained.  There are three dry hydrants, one at the mainland ferry landing, a second at the Island ferry landing and the third at the intersection of Leisure Lane and Birch Road near Quail Circle.  There is a need to place an additional dry hydrant at the north end of the island.  While the residential water system is not adequate for fire fighting, there could be an additional source obtained by putting a valve on the water storage tank located in the center of the island adjacent to the fire barn.  Also, the trucks can go to the Marina ramp at the south end of the island and draft water.  However, an additional dry hydrant at that location will facilitate operations.  The department has three (3) portable pumps; a large trailer mounted pump, a floating pump that can be hand carried to any water source and  another hand carried portable pump that can be attached to a small truck mounted water tank. This third unit can be used in conjunction with a foam injector, which is available for wild fire suppression.  The department has other basic equipment, such as hoses, protective clothing, tools and ladders.  However, much of this, except for a limited supply of forestry gear, is old and requires ongoing repairs and replacement as the annual budget permits.

 

Personnel:

 

At present, there are thirteen (13) volunteer fire fighters and four (4) fire police.  Of these, fourteen (14) are full time seasonal residents {ten (10) firefighters and four (4) fire police}.  The others are weekend and vacation residents.  Alarms are dispatched under a contract with the Town of Raymond Fire and Rescue Dispatch.  Twelve (12) members are CPR and defibulater trained.  First Responder Training is scheduled for September 2001.  The  Department recognizes the need to add additional members and maintains a continuing recruitment effort.

 

        Police Protection

The town does not have a police department.  Before there was a Town of Frye Island the Island Municipal Services Corporation contracted with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department for police patrol services using summer reserve officers.  Since becoming a town the Board of Selectmen have continued that contract on an annual renewal basis..  These contracted patrol units work various hours during the season and have had Town provided overnight accommodations available to facilitate off duty emergency calls. 

 

For 2001, the cost for two (2) part time deputies was projected to be $16,500. A third shift deputy was requested, but was not available.  This was an increased cost over previous years and would have negated availability of overnight accommodations.  The contract also stipulated the service would be limited to two shifts daily from May 26 through October 9.  However, should a designated deputy terminate employment and a trained, part time replacement not be available, the Town would have to bear the additional cost of a full time employee.  Also, all vehicle maintenance and operational costs for the Sheriff’s vehicle would be born by the Town.  Finally, if dedicated coverage did not exist, the only option would be to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and suffer the response time.  This would be hampered at night if the Island ferry is not running. 

 

Unfortunately, in April 2001 word was received that only one sheriff could be provided to the Town for the 2001 season. The reason: It seems that of the 20 applicant's for summer reserve officers, only 3 passed the testing required (mainly background checks). That resulted in the Cumberland County Sheriff's Dept. providing less coverage to contract towns than in the past.  Naples was reduced from four to one officer and Frye Island from two to one.  This is an unsatisfactory situation for both communities.

 

While the past arrangement had been generally satisfactory, increased activity on the Island and the lack of an overnight rapid response will create an unsatisfactory environment.  Weekends and holidays have proven to be high incident times. One shift coverage will only allow late afternoon to evening daily coverage; no real emergency response and then only coverage five days a week.  This is a major issue to resolve.  However, due to the unsatisfactory situation, the Town, at its July 7, 2001 meeting, voted to establish a position of Town Constable.

        Emergency Rescue Service

Search and rescue is divided into two separate, but related, areas, land and water. In Maine searches for lost or missing persons is by state law, under the authority of the Maine Warden Service.  There are normally three wardens in the Sebago Lake region.  The Frye Island Fire Department assists the warden service by an on-call supply of manpower, vehicles, private boats and communications equipment for emergency search and rescue.  Members of the Fire Department maintain a basic level of training by the warden service in how they may be of assistance.

 

            Emergency Medical Services

 

The Town maintains an agreement with the Town of Raymond to provide this service to the Island.  The town and/or the person in need of this service is billed by the Raymond Rescue Squad.  Members of the Fire Department are also notified of any request for this service.  Presently there are twelve (12) members who have been trained in the use of the Defibrillator and CPR.  Because of the time it takes Raymond Rescue to arrive at the Island it is critical that there be timely response to calls. A system is in place to secure the ferry for transportation of the ambulance to the island, and return to the mainland, so that no time is lost awaiting the ferry’s arrival.  As Department members receive additional “first responder training” they will be better trained and equipped to stabilize an injured person as they await the arrival of the rescue squad.  The  Department has also received instruction, as well as an Island visit, from Life Flight of Maine, which provides helicopter emergency medical transportation to area hospitals. 

 

1.9.4.     Ferry Operations, Servicing, Replacement

Because of the Ferry System’s significant transportation role, a detailed discussion and analysis is included at Section 1.8.1 Ferry System.  The following brief summary is included here for ease of reference.  The Town operates 2 ferry boats between landings located on the southern tip of the Raymond Cape and the northeast corner of the Town in the vicinity of the Town administration building.  The ferries are leased by the Town from FII and are operated on a round trip fee basis and maintained by the Town.  The ferries operate on a single boat schedule during the 3-1/2 month off-season and on a double boat schedule during the 2-1/2 month mid-summer high season.  The ferry system is a FII asset under consideration for transfer to the Town.

 

1.9.5.     Emergency Planning, Communications and Evacuation Planning

        Emergency Planning

The Selectmen have appointed the Town Manager as Director of Emergency Management, and as an Assistant Director, one of the officers in the Town fire department.  In 2000, both met with the Cumberland County Director of Emergency Management.  This meeting initiated the process of Emergency Planning for the Town of Frye Island.  The County Director provided information regarding the role of the town and the many resources available to it.  He also provided a generic evacuation plan. In 2001 a Town Citizens Committee for Emergency Planning will be established and further coordination with Cumberland County and surrounding communities initiated.  As this is a critical element for an island town, it is also emphasized below under Evacuation Planning.     

 

        Communications

At the present time, there are three radio communications systems on Frye Island.  They are the Fire Department, Department of Public Works and the Ferry System.  The Fire Department is capable of monitoring all systems and has all three systems on its radios.  Also, the Fire Department has a repeater system that provides complete radio coverage on the Island and nets with the State and local fire channels.  This provides the needed capability for emergency dispatch operations..  These three Island radio nets include 18 portable radios.  While these radios are used for the day to day business of each department, should an emergency develop on the island, all radios can be on a common frequency.

 

In 1998, Maine voters approved the statewide deployment of an enhanced 911 service.  In fall 2000 the Town initiated the collection of the needed data from Island owners to allow the Town’s participation in the system.  In 2001, the collected material was provided to the State Emergency Services Communications Bureau for system activation.

 

        Evacuation Planning 

At present, there is no Island emergency evacuation plan except for a generic one provided by the Cumberland County Office of Emergency Management.  Many long time residents realize that if a wild fire occurs on the Island, their best chance to find safety would be to go to a beach or other shore line area and enter the water.  Residents with boats could use them to evacuate the Island as well as assist others.  However, many people would think that going to the ferry landing would be the proper solution.  With adequate lead time for events, such as a hurricane, using the ferries to evacuate would serve the Island’s needs. However, once the wind and waves reach a certain degree of strength the ferries will not be able to run.  With other emergencies, the most likely being a wild fire, going to the ferry landing is not practicable and will have a serious negative effect on the ability to fight and contain an island fire.  The ferries will be committed to shuttling fire fighting equipment and personnel to the Island.  It will not be able to load vehicles to get them off the island due to the critical time factor of getting away from the ferry landing to allow the other ferry to berth and unload.  Also, departing vehicles would create congestion at the Island ferry landing, blocking roads and intersections that must be kept clear for emergency vehicle use.  The Citizens Committee for Emergency Planning to be created in 2001, will need to give a high priority to the evacuation plan including: how to evacuate the Island; were the evacuees will be housed and a recovery plan after a disaster.  Interlocal coordination will be paramount.

 

1.9.6.     Town Operations

As previously described the Town operates under a Town Charter, which was adopted in October 1998. The form of government is a Selectmen, Town Meeting, Town Manager.  There is a Planning Board and a Zoning Board of Appeals.  The Selectmen also serve as the Tax Board of Appeals.  By Town Charter, there is also a Board of Island Trustees, which consists of all home owners in the Town.  The Board is represented by an Executive Committee, which includes the three (3) elected Selectmen and four (4) other home owners elected by the BIT.  This Committee acts to review all town business, to include the Town budget, and provides advice to the Town Meeting including warrant actions.

 

        Town Staffing – personnel and costs

The Town management and administrative staff consists of three full-time personnel, (Town Manager, Town Clerk, and the Deputy Town Clerk) and one part-time Office Clerk.   Part time services for Code Enforcement, Tax Assessing and Animal Control are contracted.  During June to September a Recreation Director and Assistant Director are employed.  The Town Ferry Department consists of Eight (8) personnel who operate multiple shifts on the two ferries.  The Town Department of Public Works consists of four (4) personnel to collect solid waste and maintain Town roads and facilities.  The Town contracts for police services with the Cumberland County Sheriff Department, which, as outlined above, has proven to be unsatisfactory for 2001.  Town Fire and Rescue Services are initially provided by Island volunteer personnel backed up by the Town of Raymond.  Staff, duration and budgeted 2001 department costs are shown in Figure 14.

 

        Town Facilities and Equipment

Listings of Town facilities and major equipment items are shown in Figure 15 and Figure 16 respectively.  All Town facilities except the Central Fire Station are leased from FII.  The ongoing FII assets study will determine the potential for transfer of some or all of these facilities to the Town. Currently routine maintenance is normally a Town expense.  The marina, Quail Circle boat tie up area and golf course are owned and operated by FII and likely to be retained by FII. 

Figure 14:  Staffing, Duration, Departmental Cost

Position/Annual duration

2001 Personnel Departmental Budgets (salary and benefits)

Town Management

$80,556

Town Manager     12 months

 

Town Clerk          12 months

 

Deputy Town Clerk  10 months (40hr/wk)

 

Office Clerk   6 months (20hr/wk)

 

 

 

Public Works (PW)

$98,746

PW Director     12 months

 

PW Ass’t. Director  10 months (40hr/wk)

 

PW Laborers (2)   6 months 40hr/wk)

 

 

 

Ferry Service (FS)

$163,730

FS Director    10 months (40hr/wk)

 

FS Captains (3)  6 months (40hr/wk)

 

FS Mates (4)      6months (40hr/wk)

 

 

 

Recreation (REC)

$7200

REC Director      3 months (40hr/wk)

 

REC Ass’t. Director  3 months (24hr/wk)

 

 

 

TOTALS

$350,232

 

 

Figure 15:  Town Facilities

FACILITY

USES

CAPACITY USED %

STATUS

CAPITAL FUND

Admin Bldg.

Town Admin, records; meetings

80

Lease (FII) on island in summer season

Yes, if replacement required

Admin Bldg.

Town Admin, records; meetings

100

Lease off island in winter season

Yes, permanent facility under negotiation.

Old Fire Barn

(Station 2)

1-Fire/Emerg Vehicle

100

FII lease

No

Central Fire Station

4-Fire Vehicles, Training, Equipment & Supplies Storage

80, Kitchen & classroom incomplete.

Own Bldg.

Land FII lease.

None at present

DPW Bldg.

Joint with golf course

100

FII Lease

Yes for water system upgrade.

Ferry Landings

Transportation

95

FII Lease

Yes, Maintenance & upgrade

Water System

Domestic water supply

Varies, 50 - 100

FII Lease

Yes, w/State grant & local $

Community Center

Recreation, church, town meetings

50

FII Lease

Yes, depends on FII transfer.

Swimming Pool

Recreation

20

FII lease

No, Maint.only. FII transfer to be considered.

Tennis Courts

Recreation

40

FII lease

No, Maint.only. FII transfer to be considered

Golf Course

Recreation

30 -75

Private

No, private

Beaches

Recreation

40

FII lease

No, Maint.only.

FII transfer to be considered.

Marina & boat tie up area

Recreation

100

Private

No, private

                                

 

Figure 16:  Major Equipment

ITEM

QUANT.

USE

OWN/LEASE

ADEQUATE?

CAPITAL FUND

Ferry Boats

2

Transportation

Currently lease. Assess for transfer.

Needs assessment

Yes, Major maint & replacement

Fire Engine

2

Emergency

Own

Yes

Yes, LT

Fire Engine

2

Emergency

On loan

Yes

Yes, LT

1950 Road Grader

1

Maintenance

Own

No

Yes, Soon

1986 Back Hoe

1

Maint/constr

Own

Yes

Yes, LT

1992Compactor Waste Truck

1

Waste Disposal

Own

Yes

Not at present

1982 Pickup truck

1

Emergency

On loan

No

No

Pickup truck

1

Maintenance

Own

Marginal

Yes

1988Dump truck 4.5 CY

1

Maintenance

Own

Marginal

Yes, LT

Brush Chipper

1

Maintenance

Own

Yes

No

1987 Road rake

1

Road maintenance

Own

Yes

No

 

        Capital Improvements

As noted in previous sections, capital improvements are and will be a continuing issue for the Town.  At present and in the short term the focus seems to be in three areas.  First is the water system due to the quality and quantity related needs of the Town.  Next, and as a parallel requirement, the 30 plus, year old ferries must be assessed and consideration given to a “take-out maintenance facility”.  Contingent upon the resulting evaluations and maintenance, ferry replacement is expected to be a long-term capital issue.  A ferry reserve fund was established in 1999 to facilitate this action.  The third priority appears to be the road system. Town road maintenance equipment, particularly the road grader, are old and barely adequate to do the minimum job required.  Condition of roads was a major item in the town survey.  More reliable, larger equipment are a near term capital need.  However, operational funds for periodic contract maintenance may also be a viable option.  The final outcome of the ongoing FII assets review including Town buildings, will undoubtedly have an additional impact on the Town LT Capital Investment Plan.

 

        Records Management

A review of available Town records identified a need for improved file management and over time the development of a reasonable electronic statistical database to facilitate analysis of a variety of Town operations.  Such a database might incorporate statistics from the inception of the Leisure Living era, but at least from the inception of the Municipal Services Corporation, the first taxing authority to manage the Island community.

        Record and Equipment Storage

Record storage is currently only provided in the Town administrative office.   Storage areas are not secure and are susceptible to damage from fire or other major disasters or intentional actions.  Space for storage is very limited.  Computer records are similarly susceptible to loss and/or damage.  The Town currently has no secure storage of computer records, nor a comprehensive backup mechanism.  Storage of paper records during the winter months is equally problematic.  Storage during this “off-island” period changes from year to year depending on where the winter office is located and what storage facilities are available.  Improved records management and security is warranted during the on island season.  But, to provide for adequate long term storage and security, a permanent off island storage space is desirable.

 

Secure, permanent records storage space should be included in the Town design in establishing the permanent, off island, winter office.  Beginning in 2000, negotiations were initiated for such an office with an occupancy goal of fall 2003. Depending on negotiations, a minimal use of capital funds is anticipated.

 

1.9.7      Commercial Services

There are indications that the capital and operating costs associated with improvements to, or expansion of, existing town services over the next several years will be significant.  These, plus the costs associated with recapitalization of much of the aging and/or inadequate Town facilities and equipment may be higher than the tax base will support.  Because of these potential costs, and because the Town only operates most of the facilities and equipment on a seasonal basis, it may be feasible and more cost-effective to convert some town services to commercial contracts  rather than continuing to perform those services with Town assets.

 

1.9.8      Education

Background.

As a seasonal town, Frye Island has no school of its own.  There are no children living in the town during the school year.  When the Town was established 1 July 1998, the creating legislation contained the following language, "...Town of Frye Island....remains in the School Administrative District 6...unless or until such time as it withdraws from the school administrative district in accordance with applicable State law".  While this language clearly anticipated a future when the Town may leave SAD#6, the intention of the Town has always been, to support State and regional education as well as provide schooling for any year around Island residents that might occur.

 

Fiscal Considerations.

Though not the only issue with SAD#6 affiliation, cost allocation is a key concern.  In 1998, the Town’s assessment for education was $320,000.  It must be recognized that the SAD budget year is July – June and the Town fiscal year is calendar, January – December.  Thus the Town costs are a combination of two SAD budget years.  In calendar 2000, the Town’s assessment was$486,908, a 52.2% increase in the two years since Frye Island became a town.  For calendar 2001 the SAD#6 allocation to the Town was $544,603 and another 11.8% increase.  For the first half of 2002 the Town’s assessment will be $291,735.  Assuming at least another 5% increase for the SAD 02-03 budget the Towns total for 2002 could be over $600,000 or a 87% increase since becoming a Town.  Assuming a 2002 Town budget equal to 2001 the SAD share would approach 44%.  These significant increases are driven by SAD capital investments and operating costs.  But of equal impact is the growing valuation of Frye Island as assigned by the State and upon which Frye Island SAD assessments are made.  For example our local valuation for 2001 was $31,323,786 while the SAD 2001-2002 Town valuation is $45,450,000.  For 2001-2002 SAD valuations Frye Island increased 6.32% versus the average SAD increase of 5.2% and a  4.38% in Standish.  It should be noted Standish carries over 42% of the cost with 4.21% assigned to Frye Island.  For a Town with no children in the SAD a more reasonable tax formula is justified

 

Withdrawal Initiated.

Driven by growing fiscal concerns and believing the Town formation legislation allowed a withdrawal action from SAD#6, in accordance with State laws, the Town initiated the administrative process in August 2000.  Unfortunately during the process, a challenge led by the Town of Standish claimed the withdrawal language in the secession legislation was contrary to previous Standish and Frye Island agreements and that the Island had agreed to remain in SAD#6.  Despite Town best efforts to include proceeding with the drafting and submission of a proposed withdrawal agreement to the State Department of Education on 6 April 2001, emergency legislation was pushed through the State Legislature “To Clarify the Act of Separation of Frye Island from the Town of Standish.”  Signed by the Governor 11 April 2001, it deleted the previous withdrawal language and enacted the following language, which for Frye Island changes the SAD withdrawal process from an administrative process to a legislative authorization and negated the proposed withdrawal plan submitted on 6 April.

 

            “Sec. 2. P&SL 1997, c. 41, Pt. A, 9 is enacted to read:

9.   Authorization required.  Notwithstanding any withdrawal proceedings initiated or completed pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 1405 prior to the effective date of this section, or any subsequent action taken by the Town of Frye Island, the Town of Frye Island is a part of and may not withdraw from School Administrative District 6 or its successor unless such withdrawal is first authorized by further amendment to this chapter.”

               

 

Continuing Effort.

 

In light of the new legislation that restricts Frye Island's ability to leave the voluntary SAD#6 association, the Town's fiscal capacity to address its own capital needs will diminish as the SAD#6 share of the local budget continues to grow. The Town of Frye Island is continuing its effort to seek a more fair educational program for the Town while supporting State and local education programs.  Efforts will continue to actively investigate all options to secure this goal.

 

1.10  Historic and Archeological Resources

1.10.1    Historic Resources

The Comprehensive Plan committee recommends Island volunteers complete a survey for historic objects.  There are no known historic buildings or visible remains of historic buildings.  A number of stone walls, and part of a stone wall lining of a dug well, appear to date from the use of the island for farming in the nineteenth century.

 

The oldest existing structures are believed to date from 1949 or the early 1950's.  The "Rec Hall" chimney stands on the site of the largest building from that era, a recreation building which was part of the Frye's Island Sailing Camp.  Except for the tall chimney, this building was completely destroyed by a fire in 1997.

 

1.10.2    Archaeological Resources

                 Historic Archaeological Sites

 

Historic archaeological sites include those sites, which relate to the tenant farming.

 

From 1802 to 1846, a number of people owned fractional shares of the island, but it does not appear that the island was divided as a result of any survey, or that there were any permanent buildings for most of that period.

 

Standish Town records refer to a house and barn on the island at least as early as 1846.

These may be the same buildings used by Noah Hooper in the late 1800's.  The house is shown in at least one photograph, standing on or near the Rec Hall site.  The barn, which was partially submerged when the lake level was raised about 1885, was probably near the site of the boat launching ramp, just north of the current ferry landing.

 

Other Standish Town records refer to an 1860 school district of Frye's Island, having 7 students, with the number rising to 10 the following year.  These pupils were presumably the children of farmers resident on the island.  Thus, there may have been more than one farmhouse, owned by renters or tenant farmers.  Frye's Island school expenses were shown in Standish records until 1882.  It appears that the island was not used for any regular farming, or residence, from about 1885 until 1949.

 

According to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, no professional survey for historic archaeological sites has been conducted on Frye Island.  Future fieldwork could focus on sites relating to the earliest non Native American use of the island.  Items which might appear in such a survey could include foundations from the Hooper farmhouse, which may exist on, or near, the Rec Hall site, foundations from the barn which was near the water's edge before the lake level was raised, and the stone walls which still exist in a number of areas.  A mapping effort to show such walls may provide clues where other buildings may have existed.

 

                 Prehistoric Archaeological Sites

 

These sites relate to non Native American activities on the Island.  The Maine Historic Preservation Commission has identified two prehistoric archaeological sites in Frye Island, on the east shore. See Map 10.  The Historic Commission will not release more specific information concerning the locations of these sites.

 

Reports of various pre-revolutionary fights, or fears of attacks by Native Americans, and Captain Joseph Frye's leap from the Images rock formation in the winter of 1748-1749, suggest that Sebago Lake was on a route frequently used by them.  Because the eastern shore of Frye Island provided excellent protection for an overnight stay by groups traveling from the Songo River to the Presumpscot River, it seems likely that many artifacts may still exist.  However, any sites, which were used actively, and were within 5 feet elevation from the water, would now be submerged at least part of the time.

 

An archaeological survey of the shoreline that might contain archaeological sites may be accomplished by others in 2000 or 2001, during relicensing studies for the Eel Weir Dam.

 

1.10.3    Threats to Historic and Archaeological Resources

One threat to these resources is that their significance, or even their existence, is largely unknown.  Development, redevelopment, or failure to maintain these sites can diminish or destroy historic and archaeological resources.  However, widespread knowledge of archaeological sites can increase the likelihood that they will be disturbed or vandalized.

 

Because the known, or suspected, historic resources may have no significant relationship to current or likely future uses or activities in Frye Island, it is questionable if they will play a role in determining or affecting the town character.  However, State guidelines call for municipalities to establish a mechanism for review of all construction or other ground disturbing activity within prehistoric archaeological sensitive and historic sensitive areas.  Frye Island's two prehistoric areas warrant review and appropriate coordination with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission as to area sensitivity.  See Map10.  Special attention is warranted for the noted undeveloped southeastern shoreland.

 

1.11  Recreation  

1.11.0    Introduction

The recreation facilities and sites are privately owned by Frye Island, Inc. (FII). Some of these recreation facilities have been leased to the Town of Frye Island, and are operated and maintained by the Town.  The Town Recreation Facilities include tennis courts, pool and cabana, basketball court, community center, two boat launching sites, walking trails, and some open recreational areas that could be developed.  The other FII privately owned & operated recreational facilities include many beaches, two marinas, and a golf course. Currently, an analysis is underway to consider transfer of some, or all, of these assets from FII to the Town.

 

These facilities provide several types of recreation opportunities and points of access to Sebago Lake.  The list below names and describes the recreational facilities and the type of activities available at each site.

 

1.11.1    Recreation

Golf Course: This nine-hole golf course, owned & operated by FII, is available to both members and the public.  A special arrangement of the gold & silver tees allow players to play 18 holes of golf with a different setting for each hole. The clubhouse has a deck and contains a pro shop and a bar with tables and chairs.  There is acreage reserved for an additional nine holes to be developed, if and when feasible.

 

Tennis Courts: There are two locations with two playable courts at each.  Located at the Community Center and adjacent the swimming pool, the courts are surrounded by high fences and have asphalt surfaces.  A pair of north courts have not been maintained for tennis and were used by children for biking, skate boarding, and roller-blading.  This area is now being converted to the new multi-purpose ball field.  There is also an abandoned court near the old Recreation Center site.

 

Ball field/Park: As noted under Tennis Courts a multi-purpose ball field is replacing the North Tennis Courts.  Joint Town and FII plans and financial arrangements have been completed.  The Planning Board approved the project June 30, 2001  Land use and watershed management technical aspects were considered and approved, by the Planning Board and PWD.  Construction was initiated in July.

 

Community Center: This large two-story building has two meeting rooms, game room, lounge, library and kitchen.  A recreational director is available during the peak season.  Arts and crafts class, educational talks, Book Club, Garden Club and tennis lessons are available on site.  There is a paved basketball court, picnic area, an equipped playground for small children, two of the four Island tennis courts, plus a large parking area.  An annual Frye Island Road Race and Walk starts and finishes at this location.  Also, dances, dinner dances and community meetings are held here.

 

Lancaster Loop Recreational Area:  This site has an in-ground swimming pool and cabana with dressing rooms and restrooms.  Two of the four Island tennis courts are located at this facility.

 

1.11.2    Public Access to Lake Sebago

There are two marinas on Frye Island owned & operated by FII.  Slips at the two marinas are for the use by Frye Island lot owners; an annual usage fee is charged for the use of a slip. People renting cottages on Frye Island can rent a slip by the day, or week.

 

Long Beach Marina is located on the south side of the Island.  Presently, there are sixty-eight (68) slips with floating docks. There is room for expansion to one hundred twenty (120) boat slips and docks.  A boat launch ramp is located on the lagoon.  There are two parking areas and restrooms located on this site.

 

Quail Circle Boat Moorage is located on the west side of the Island.  There are eighty- (80) boat tie up sites in place, without docks, and without room for expansion. Docks and tie up arrangements are provided by the users at their own cost.

 

Ferry Landing Launch Ramp:  On the Island side of the ferry run there is a boat launch ramp.

 

1.11.3    Beaches

There are no public beaches on Frye Island. All of the beaches, though leased to the Town, are owned by FII, and the use is restricted to Frye Island property owners and their guests.  There are thirteen (13) numbered beaches with some parking. (See Land Use Map 1.)  Also, Long Beach is located on the south side of the Island.  There are two other FII beaches.  One is located at the Old Rec Hall recreation area and another on a recreation area on the southwest side of the Island between Lot 300 and Lot 1986.  Beach 13 may be closed due to its proximity to the Town water intake pump station

 

1.11.4    Access To Open Space

The Island Roads are unpaved and used for walking, jogging and bicycle riding.  Walking paths are located on the undeveloped golf course area but are not connected to other areas and thus could be improved and utilized more frequently.

 

The Timbers Recreation Area: This large area is centrally located on the northern portion of the Island.  Formerly, this included a horse barn with bridle paths on the periphery, which extended behind lots on both sides of Beach View Drive.  These pathways could be developed into walking trails.  Recently the area was cited as a conservation area for the new ballfield park.

 

The Old Rec Hall Recreation Area:  This valuable resource has not been developed since the 1997 fire that burned the Rec Hall to the ground.  The beach is used regularly and a path is maintained from the center of the area.  A high fence surrounds a site where two clay tennis courts previously existed.  Periodically, Country Fairs are held at this location and they attract large numbers of Islanders.  A plan should be designed to improve this resource.

 

Beach View Road Recreation Area:  At the junction of Beach View Road and Leisure Lane, there are two corner lots designated as recreation areas.  Unfortunately, one of the lots (westerly side) has a septic system on it.

 

Twin View Circle Recreational Area:  This wooded area is located below the northern side of the T shaped road pattern.  It is currently undeveloped.  A small portion is next to the undeveloped area of the golf course.

 

Bulk Land:  Frye Island, Inc. owns 200+ acres of bulk land that could be made available for walking trails or other recreational purposes.

 

Refer to the Land Use Map (Map 1) for the location of the areas listed above

 

1.12  Fiscal Capacity 

Every municipal government has operating and capital expenses incurred to provide municipal services.  The fiscal capacity of the local government to meet or expand these services, acquire new or replace existing facilities and equipment depends on many factors.  Chief among those factors are revenues, expenditures, assessed valuation, tax rate, fund balance and acquisition policy. To give insight into the Towns capacity since it’s formation, attached at Section 5.14 are copies of the Towns Statement of Revenues and Expenditures for fiscal years 1998-2000.  It must be remembered the Towns fiscal year is calendar.  Therefore, for 1998 the statement only covers the first six months of the Towns existence. (1July-31 December).  For 2001 the Appendix includes a summary of the approved budget and estimated expenditures.

 

The Citizen Survey has highlighted the needs and desires of Town property owners.  However, as noted in Section 5.3.2, the fiscal capacity of the Town rests solely with property tax revenues and a continuing effort to reduce the existing tax rate.  The current rate at $32.50/$1000 is believed to be the highest in the State.  The following paragraphs summarize aspects impacting the Town current fiscal capacity.

 

Real estate valuation went from $12 million in 1987 to an estimated $31.3 million in 2000.  Reevaluation should be done in the next few years, as it was last done in 1983.  The cost of such an appraisal effort is not available.  Three hundred and ninety cottages plus 8 building permits was the construction status in 1999.  !0 permits were issues each year in 2000 and 2001.  Frye Island Inc. buildings would also be reassessed.

 

Initially, 1334 lots were laid out by the Island developer.  Including all land on the Island, there are 1342 lots.  At present 831 are privately owned and 511 remain with Frye Island, Inc.  Not all the privately owned lots are buildable, and about two dozen may be taken over by the Town or acquired by  Frye Island, Inc. for back taxes.

 

Ferry revenue was $159,000 in 1997 and $207,00 in 1999 with over 20,000 trips per season.  Both ferries should be pulled out and thoroughly scraped and examined at a cost of approximately $300,000.  The current ferries were purchased in 1968 and 1970.  Current replacement cost is unknown. Estimates range from $500,00 to $700,000 per ferry.

 

The water system has 12 miles of pipes and a 60,000-gallon stand-pipe storage tank besides filtration equipment.  Although the tank is fairly new, the pipes and filtration system will need extensive overhaul.  At present, and engineering study is underway to assess the system.  Previous indications were that the filtration system could require overhaul within five years at a cost estimated to be $390,000.  The distribution system was estimated at an additional ten year life with a replacement cost of approximately $300,000.

 

There are 16.66 miles of roads with limited gravel surfaces.  In time due to age and serviceability, the Department of Public Works will need to replace a backhoe ($45,000), pickup ($25,000), a fifty (50) year old road grader and a 1988 dump truck. Limited road maintenance fund grants are provided by the state.

 

The Community Center is used approximately 60 hours a week in high season.  Limited maintenance is routinely accomplished.  An assessment of the building appears warranted as to its future service life.  Dependent on the outcome major annual improvements may need to be budgeted.  Perhaps additional fee-paid use should be considered.

 

A winter office, by State law, must be maintained within 25 miles of the Town.  Currently office space is rented each winter and negotiations are under way for a permanent office in Raymond.  Since a mainland lot is already owned at the ferry landing, another winter office option might be at the landing, with space for ferry crews during the Island’s open season.  However this land could also competes for a ferry land maintenance area but must meet Raymond zoning requirements.  Analysis and a priority decision with cost analyses are warranted.

 

While maintaining support to the State and local education system, the Town should initiate steps to achieve a more fiscally responsible posture that might result in a more stable schools budget by 2006 Thus the Towns capital needs will depend on revenues from new construction taxes and reevaluation of existing property.  However, the capacity to support the education of children in Maine and any year around Town occupant must be maintained.

 

The fire department has acquired much at no cost to the Town, but since there are five vehicles, ranging in age from 1953 to 1977, and only two are owned by the fire department, there is a large potential capital need.  Three of the current vehicles are on long-term loan with the department paying the cost of only limited maintenance.  A cash reserve for new equipment is warranted.

 

No allowances for boating or golfing needs are needed from the Town, as both are deemed self-sufficient.

 

Currently, the Town’s only debt service is related to SAD#6 and it enjoys a cash reserve in excess of $300,000.  The 2001 budget was again balanced at $1,374,746 with no change in tax rate.  However, the future depends on new capital expenses and a more reasonable allocation of the Town’s school budget.


Continue to Next Section