August 23, 2008

Changes Possible for Hall’s Pond

By M. Dirk Langeveld

PARIS - The question of having more restrictions to protect Hall's Pond from pollution will go to selectmen, it was decided after a public hearing this week.

Lew Williams, general manager and facilities operator for the Hebron Water Co., said Thursday that the presentation given on Wednesday was similar to one presented to selectmen in January. Williams and Susan Breau-Kelley of the Maine Rural Water Association were present to answer questions.

Hall's Pond is a popular fishing area in Paris, but is also the only public water source for Hebron. Between 35 and 38 residences in Paris and Hebron receive water from the pond; the remaining Hebron residences get water from private wells.

The water company has an easement on the 50-acre pond from Hebron Academy. Williams said the company also has an agreement with the Paris Utility District to supply the Paris residences, unless the district extends a water line to the area.

A study group has recommended that ice fishing shacks and gasoline-powered boats be banned from the pond to prevent pollution, although boats with electric motors will be permitted. Boats would also be hand-launched to prevent the possibility of trailers bringing invasive plant species into the pond.

The existing boat ramp would be blocked with a locked gate, and keys would be given to organizations including the town's police and fire departments, the water company, and the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Other changes include the installation of a seasonal floating dock, additional parking spaces, and a portable toilet.

Cars and trucks are prohibited from driving on the pond's ice during the winter. Body contact with the water, such as swimming or entering the water without waders, is also prohibited.

Attendees at the meeting included selectmen, the town's highway foreman, property owners near the pond, representatives from Norway- Paris Fish and Game, and the headmaster of Hebron Academy.

Williams said one recommendation was that the town and water company work together to seek grants to assist in improvements.

"That's been really the thing that we've both wanted but didn't know how the other felt about it," Williams said. "For me, that was a very, very positive comment."

Williams said the hearing also discussed a separate issue regarding the possible improvement of Hall's Pond Road to prevent culverts from draining into the pond.

Williams said the changes, if approved by the town, would likely go into effect next spring.

Paris Town Manager Sharon Jackson said selectmen will discuss whether any changes need to be made to the proposal before it goes to a town vote. She said the matter will likely appear with other proposed ordinances on a November referendum ballot.

Originally published by Staff Writer.

(c) 2008 Sun-Journal Lewiston, Me.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.