August 19, 2008
Hearing Set for Hall’s Pond Proposals
By M. Dirk Langeveld
PARIS - Several proposed restrictions for Hall's Pond will be up for a public hearing Wednesday.The hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Paris Town Office.
While the 50-acre pond is used for recreational activities, it is also a source of drinking water in Paris and Hebron. There are 35 to 38 hookups in the two towns for water use. The Hebron Water Co. has an easement on the pond, located in Paris, from Hebron Academy.
"What we're really trying to do is watershed protection," said Lew Williams, general manager and facilities operator for the company.
A study group has recommended banning ice fishing shacks and allowing only hand-launched boats on the pond. Boats with gasoline- powered motors would be prohibited, although boats powered by electric motors would still be permitted.
The ban on ice fishing shacks would not prohibit ice fishing in general, but seeks to cut down on littering from within the shacks and the possibility of shacks falling through the ice.
The prohibition of trailer-launched boats would aim to prevent the transfer of invasive species into Hall's Pond. To that end, the group has proposed a gate across the current boat launch. Keys to the gate would be given to Paris emergency services, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the water company.
Other proposed changes include the addition of four to six parking spaces, a seasonal floating dock, and the re-establishment of a portable toilet location.
Williams and a representative from Maine Rural Water are expected to be present at the hearing.
Bodily contact with Hall's Pond is not allowed, and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in 2004 prohibited the use of passenger vehicles such as cars and trucks on the pond during winter. A proposed extension of the ban to ATVs, snowmobiles, and motorboats failed to pass the Legislature in 2005.
Originally published by Staff Writer.
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