Category Archives: News

GNG hires two soccer coaches, adds volleyball

Wil Kramlich, Sun Journal

Kyle Fletcher (boys) and Marcy Francoeur (girls) are young but experienced; Volleyball has been approved as a club sport this season.

The upcoming fall sports season will see a sea of change at Gray-New Gloucester High School.

Not only is the football team one of 10 teams in the state to participate in the first year of Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned 8-man football, but both the boys and girls soccer teams have new coaches after veteran coaches moved on, and a new sport could make its debut at the school. Keep reading

Select Board seeks input on by-laws, policies

Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal

Selectmen agreed Monday night more work and clarification are needed before they update the town’s Boards and Committees Bylaws and a Liaison Policy.

Six residents Monday night urged the board to get input from the public and from committees impacted by the newest versions of the documents. Keep reading

Land Management Planning Committee continues work on solar arrays, gets update on marinas and docks

Joanne Cole

Primed with a revised draft ordinance, the Land Management Planning Committee continued discussing large-scale solar arrays at its July 24 meeting.  The committee is focusing on ground-mounted projects (not rooftop installations) while a voter-approved six-month moratorium is in place.  This meeting addressed possible requirements for planning board review, fencing, setbacks, and removal of abandoned arrays.  In other business, town planner Scott Hastings updated the committee on his research concerning marinas under New Gloucester’s ordinances.  His conclusion is likely to cheer residents concerned about development pressures on Sabbathday Lake: commercial marinas are not allowed.

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Patti’s Aug. 2 “Inside New Gloucester” Column


Saxophonist Steve Schran of New Gloucester, general manager of New England Jazz Band, performs atop Hacker’s Hill in Casco. The July 28 concert was a successful fundraiser for the Raymond Arts Alliance. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Discount passes

New Gloucester Parks and Recreation has Funtown/Splashtown tickets for $30 each and Aquaboggan tickets for $17 available now at the Town Office, 385 Intervale Road.

Friends of the New Gloucester Public Library have arranged for passes to Maine Wildlife Park, Poland Spring, Shaker Village and the Children’s Museum. Also, the library is the place to sign out pickleball equipment for use at Rowe Station Park, as well as canoes and kayaks for use at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to https://www.pressherald.com/2019/08/02/inside-new-gloucester-35/

Comprehensive Plan Update Committee starts written plan review

| by Anne Maurice |

Scott Hastings, Town Planner, began the committee’s July meeting with an introduction of the first drafted chapter of the Comprehensive Plan which covers population and housing.  The population data shows a steady progression of growth over the last decade.  Hastings stated that New Gloucester does have available land to meet the population projections.  However, New Gloucester has a lot of land in conservation programs and the potential available land for housing is not necessarily of the same high quality as in the past.

The discussion moved towards housing and Hastings reported that in 2015, the Town had 263 vacant housing stock with about half being seasonal.  Ben Tettlebaum, committee member, asked about short-term rentals and Airbnb.  There are no official records on Airbnb activity in town.  Members want to include some data and projections in the Plan. 

Hastings mentioned that state guidelines for Comprehensive Plans require the inclusion of affordable housing needs.  The Committee discussed how to maintain the town’s rural character while including areas for affordable housing and increased density.

Tettlebaum and Julie Fralich, committee member, both want to include sustainable energy and building solutions in the Plan.  Larger housing stock conversion to multiple-family housing was brought up as a solution for more housing and a means to repurpose large dwellings in light of smaller family sizes.  Fire/Rescue Chief Toby Martin cautioned about converting large, older type dwellings which will  need sprinkler systems and possibly other safety considerations.

Once again the conversation turned to senior housing.  What level of housing is needed?  Do we need assisted living facilities?  How many services will be needed by seniors?  All these questions will need to be discussed at a future meeting.

Hastings will now take the Committee’s comments and suggestions, revise the chapter and resend it to the Committee for further review.  The next meeting is scheduled for August  8 at the New Gloucester Meeting House when the Committee will review another draft chapter, possibly on transportation or agriculture.  For more information and to sign up for ongoing email updates on the comprehensive plan work contact the Town Planner, Scott Hastings at shastings@newgloucester.com or (207)926-4126 ext 4.

Video of full July 11 meeting is available here. Materials and videos for this and other meetings can be found on the NG website: newgloucester.com.

Legislative update from Senator Ned Claxton

I hope you have been able to beat the heat recently! Lately I’ve volunteered in the community, attended the Opioid Summit in Augusta, visited the Auburn Farmers’  Market and planned future events to get out and meet with constituents. I’ve been enjoying spending more time back home, meeting people and thinking of what we can do next to improve our state. Keep reading

New Gloucester Community Fair Returns!

Peter Bragdon, Chair

After a several-year break, the fair returns on Saturday 8/17 from 9-3 at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds on Bald Hill Rd.

We have food trucks! Chose among Mexican food, waffles, sandwiches, fried dough and ice cream.   Bringing you great music throughout the day will be two local bands, ‘Bald Hill’ and ‘Cosmic’

We have over 20 vendors and several demonstrations planned. We are giving away different prizes all day, including bikes.  You can also visit with some animals including an emu, goat and alpaca, and mini-horses.

There’s a lot more to the day including a car show, touch a truck, balloon animals and a magician.   Keep an eye out for more details.

Mark your calendar! We hope to see you there.  We are also looking for volunteers for the event. Contact me at prbragdon@gmail.com.

Economic Development Committee continues to refine goals

Gina Sawin

At its monthly meeting on July 8, the New Gloucester Economic Development Committee continued to focus on refining a set of Economic Development Goals to share with the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee. During the past year, the Committee has gathered input during a series of public forums, has examined the results of surveys of residents and businesses, and has met with the Gray-New Gloucester Economic Development Committee.

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Patti’s July 19 “Inside New Gloucester” Column


Open Farm Day at Shaker Village is an annual free event for the whole family. Featured events are tractor-pulled wagon rides, craft demos, live music, and barn tours by Brother Arnold. Neighboring farms also will be selling their goods. Courtesy photo by Peg Becksvoort

Open Farm Day

More than 150 farms throughout Maine join in a one-day celebration of agriculture and farming on Sunday, July 28. From noon to 4 p.m., see Scottish highland cattle, a flock of more than 40 sheep, bees, barn cats, apple orchards and herb and vegetable gardens at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road.

Featured free activities include guided tours of the 1830 barns by Brother Arnold, tractor-drawn wagon rides, a honey bee display and hives, tours of the Shakers’ historic herb gardens and traditional craft demonstrations. Barbecue lunch plates are available for sale. Live bluegrass music will be performed by Albert Price and the Pseudonyms.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/19/inside-new-gloucester-july-19/

Improved Access to Chandler Mill Pond Draws Anglers and Paddlers

Mark and Cooper Power of New Gloucester paddle out

Joanne Cole — Chandler Mill Pond, formerly known as Lily Pond, is seeing increased use this summer, thanks to improved parking and public access, a project Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife completed late last fall.  With a new paved path to the water, the project is one of the first “designed from the ground up” specifically for ADA accessibility, according to Diano Circo, chief planner and director of water access at IF&W.  Circo explained, “We get lots of calls asking, ‘Where can I go to get to the water to fish or kayak’” with mobility challenges.  “This is one of the few places in southern Maine for access to an undeveloped pond.“   

A recent weekend afternoon revealed a full parking lot and a mix of enthusiasts enjoying the pond, located between Snow Hill Road and Chandler Mill Road and bounded by the turnpike.  A family of four with inflatable and sit-top kayaks paddled in leisurely circles by the far shore.  Meanwhile, a solo fisherman from the lakes region pulled his Jon boat ashore, explaining that he was fleeing the crowds at Sebago.  He’d heard good things about the fishing here, he said, but had seen only “the world’s smallest bass.”  A New Gloucester duo emerged with keeper largemouth bass but no trout.  Two more anglers were out on the water trying their luck. 

According to IF&W regional biologist Jim Pellerin, rainbow trout are in there for someone to catch.  Pellerin said the pond is stocked annually in spring with 300 or so 11-12” rainbow trout from the Casco hatchery.  IF&W does periodic sampling to monitor stocks in the lakes and ponds it oversees, although Chandler Mill Pond hasn’t been checked recently, he said.

The elusive trout also turn out to be key players in the funding of the Chandler Mill Pond improvements.  According to IF&W planner Circo, 75 percent of the $100,000 project cost came from the feds, specifically a U.S. Fish and Wildlife sport fish restoration project that uses revenue from a federal tax on angler sporting gear.  The remaining 25 percent came from dedicated Maine sources, such as fees for the Maine sportsman license plate and the fraction of the gas tax attributable to watercraft. 

The new access path as seen from the shore

Besides the goal of making the pond a more pleasant, accessible place, Circo said the project aimed to reduce environmental impacts by moving parking away from the water and closer to the road.  Boat access is now hand-carry only, and a beefy bollard reinforces the message by blocking vehicles from the paved path.  Walking trails crisscross the surrounding woods.       

The Chandler Mill Pond project had its genesis in preservation work with the Royal River Conservation Trust and culminated in Chandler Brothers’ transfer of the 117-acre parcel to IF&W in 2016.  With the support of the New Gloucester Select Board, RRCT sought to rename the pond to recognize the Chandler family’s extraordinary stewardship.  In May 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey changed the official designation from Lily Pond to Chandler Mill Pond.  For maps, the history of Chandler Mill pond and this project, and more, visit the Royal River Conservation Trust website

Kaitlyn and Alex Considine of New Gloucester head back to the car
— photos: Joanne Cole