2018-01-05 / Community News

News Briefs

Parking changed on section of Gorham Road

The town council has made changes to where people can park along a stretch of Gorham Road in front of Nonesuch River Brewing Company after receiving recommendation from the police department to alter parking in that area due to vehicles parking along the shoulders of the road.

Parking on the street has been allowed, but police say restaurant patrons parking on the shoulders of the road by the brewery has been a safety concern due to the speed of traffic and poor lighting.

Abutters of the brewery said the parked cars make it difficult to enter/exit their driveways.

To strike a balance between police/resident concerns and the business’ desire to keep the parking, the councilors, at their Dec. 20 meeting, opted to prohibit parking on the northside (restaurant side) of Gorham Road between 183 and 209 Gorham Road, as well as the southside of the street in front of 200 Gorham Road.

Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina, who made the motion to include the parking restriction at 200 Gorham Road, said “the site lines are difficult at best” getting into and out of the driveway at that home.

Councilor Katy Foley said the restriction “makes sense in this case,” but she was concerned about making special arrangements for individual residents.

Vice Chairman Chris Caiazzo said the council’s action does not mean the town is advocating for parking on the street in that area, but rather restricting how it is to be done.

“We’ve put a lot of time and energy putting together this compromise. I think it’s a good one,” Caiazzo said.

This topic has also been one the transportation committee has been looking into. In late November, the committee endorsed the version of the parking restriction that existed at the time, but recommended the town look into improving pedestrian and motorist safety in this area by installing additional street lighting and a sign that alerts motorists to watch for pedestrians.

The committee felt adding a crosswalk in the area, a topic that had been brought up in earlier council discussions, would, according to a memo Town Engineer Angela Blanchette sent out on behalf of the transportation committee “provide a false sense of security” and cause motorists to only look for pedestrians in the crosswalk, not the jaywalkers that are bound to cross the road outside the crosswalk.

Town Manager Tom Hall said the town is taking inventory of municipal street lights as it works to convert them to LED lighting. Some lights are being taken away in some areas, while some places are going to see more lighting.

“This area is an area of focus and I assure you the lighting issue will be addressed through the town-wide effort,” he told councilors.

Additional traffic calming improvements may be coming to that section of Gorham Road as part of the Gorham Road Complete Streets project.

“Ultimately the committee viewed the proposed parking restriction as a temporary measure until Gorham Road can fully be improved, at which time on-street parking design, traffic calming measures, sidewalks, bike lanes and other amenities can be explored,” Blanchette wrote.

Council Chairman Bill Donovan said if councilors need to revisit the parking restriction before then, they will.

“If it’s determined we should do something else, we will do something else,” he said.

PD earns money for role in 2012 drug bust

The Scarborough Police Department received a boost in funds last month in the form of $1,695 in asset forfeiture money from a 2012 drug case at It’s A Good Motel at 341 Route 1.

According to a memo from Police Chief Robbie Moulton, “during the month of October in 2012, our task officer assigned to (Drug Enforcement Agency) developed information involving heroin and crack cocaine possibly being sold out of a room at the It’s A Good Motel.”

A confidential informant from Old Orchard Beach was used to purchase crack cocaine from the suspected female drug dealer, Star-Asia Kelley at the motel.

“After the successful monitored drug purchase surveillance was maintained while applying for a search warrant and more suspected drug deals were observed by this same female selling to individuals who would meet her on Enterprise Drive where she would walk back and forth,” Moulton wrote. “Officers from Scarborough Special Enforcement, along with a patrol officer and DEA agent, then intercepted the suspected female drug dealer after observing her make yet another sale to an unknown female. The vehicle was pulled over in the Irving gas station on Route 1.”

After searching Kelley’s room, police found 5.7 grams of heroin (a $1,300 street value), 12 grams of crack cocaine ($1,750 value), two cellular phones and $1,695 in cash from the sale of the heroin and crack cocaine.

Town Manager Tom Hall said the funds will go into the police department’s asset forfeiture account, which is can be used to supplement department operations.

Funds for transportation improvements set up

Often times developers are directed by planning board members to incorporate sidewalks and other transportation improvements as part of their development, but with the Gateway Commons project instead of a mandate, the board negotiated a $10,000 payment toward transit. That money will be placed in the Multi-Modal Reserve Account, a fund set up last month by the council

“They didn’t know what they wanted, the applicant wasn’t sure, so they simply agreed to make payment,” Town Manager Tom Hall said. “The question is what do we do with these funds, to put them in a safe spot, a dedicated spot, so they are available to be put into use when the time is deemed right.”

The reserve account will be used, when the time comes, for transportation, sidewalk and other improvements and will operate like the town’s affordable housing account, a collection of money from developers to be used for future affordable housing projects and units in town.

Vice Chairman Chris Caiazzo said he appreciated the intent and was “all for it,” but wanted to see how the money could be used better defined.

“The intent,” Hall said, “was to have it specific for non-vehicular. I suppose in the broadest sense, multi-modal does include vehicles as well.”

Hall said since the council formed the account, it controls how the money can be spent.

“Any use of the funds comes back to you, so whether it is this or a future one can decide if a use is appropriate,” he said.

The account is designed to be flexible, unlike accounts for traffic impact fees, whose use is clearly defined for specific areas.

That being said, Hall said it would be wise to use the multi-modal reserve account funds “as closely intended purpose as possible.”

Compiled by Staff Writer Michael Kelley. He can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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