WINSLOW — The use of fireworks is banned for the next 90 days beginning Monday evening.

The Town Council voted to approve a moratorium on the use of fireworks in light of recent drought conditions in the area. The moratorium was originally proposed as an ordinance and would have required two readings to go into action, but councilors voted unanimously during a Town Council meeting to also waive a second reading, declaring the dry conditions an “emergency situation.”

“Being a dairy farmer, I see how dry the conditions are,” said Councilor Steve Russell, who sponsored the ordinance. “This is the driest summer I’ve had since ’02.”

Councilor Ken Fletcher agreed, saying the moratorium was a “commonsense approach.”

Town Manager Michael Heavener proposed waiving the second reading as an option for the Town Council and said he would draft a letter to publish in the newspaper to make the public aware.

Police Chief Shawn O’Leary said he thought it was a “great idea” and that he was glad someone thought of it.

The Town Council also voted unanimously to appoint Amanda McCaslin, of Winslow, as the new director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The selection committee tasked with finding a new director voted unanimously to recommend McCaslin to the Town Council for the job after interviewing four candidates, according to Town Manager Michael Heavener.

“We all got excited about what she’s going to bring to the town, to the parks and rec department,” Heavener said during the meeting. “I’m impressed, and I think she’s going to do a great job.”

McCaslin most recently worked as a family caretaker in Winslow. Previously, she’s worked as a case manager at the Maine Center for Integrated Rehab in Fairfield and as intake coordinator at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. She also volunteers for Winslow sports teams and in the Winslow Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, according to the resume she submitted to the town.

In other business, the town voted to approve a change in personal rules and regulations for town employees that would provide benefits such as paid holidays, sick time and vacation. The change will affect three part-time employees who work 30 to 34 hours per week. A public hearing was held on the ordinance changes prior to the vote, during which there was no comment. The motion was approved 7-0.

The town also will pay Cory Dow more than $16,000 in a settlement to avoid future legal fees. Dow had accused the town of poisoning his well, saying runoff from an uncovered pile of road salt at the Winslow Public Works garage caused the spikes in sodium measured in the water. He paid $10,000 to connect to a public water line.

The Town Council voted to approve the payment, 7-0. The money will come form the town’s contingency account.

Councilors discussed rezoning 259 China Road from a high density residential district to a mixed-used district, which would allow a business to be on the property. In a letter submitted by Dan LaPointe, who owns the property, he says that a retail operator has expressed interest in building a store on the lot.

Elery Keene, chairman of the planning board, said the board recommends the change as the lot abuts other lots that are in the mixed use district. He said he thought a business might improve the area.

An amendment was made to the ordinance to notify the abutters of the change before the next reading. The ordinance was approved 7-0, and will be read a second time with a space for public hearing so nearby property owners can speak to the council at the next meeting.

The Town Council also unanimously agreed to grant The Pointe Afta, a restaurant on 252 China Road, a liquor license.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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