Friends Of Scouts 132 Responds To Lottery

By Gwen Clark

 When the weather starts getting warm and voluntary road tolls appear, there are those that avoid them like the plague and those who drop in what they can.  At last weeks city council meeting a letter was read by City Councilor Alan Dwelley that was penned and signed from a fellow Councilor Tom Parks and presented as representative for the Friends of Scouts 132.  This was the group that lost out of having a voluntary road toll in Calais for the up coming year via a lottery drawing due to the city ordinance that only allows a total of ten tolls per year in their community.   There were eleven applications submitted and two groups had requested tolls for two days (separate dates) for the year.  It had been decided at a previous meeting by all but one councilor to hold a lottery drawing in order to establish what groups would be eligible  and also that each selected group would be limited to one date for the toll.  

A review of the city voluntary road toll ordinance, which is two pages in length states that eligible organizations are as follows:   “Permission to conduct Voluntary Road Tolls with the City shall be granted only to (A) organizations based within the City of Calais which are exempt organizations under the Internal Revenue Code and which carry on programs benefiting residents of Calais, (B) to organizations associated with city departments for extension of their work or (C) to organizations connected to the schools for the support of academic and athletic programs.  Preference may be granted to those groups who have historically been granted permission in the past.”  The list of organizations that applied for voluntary toad tolls were: the St. Croix #1 Firehouse Committee; Calais Fire/EMS Association, Calais Little League, Calais Lions Club, PAWS Bravehearts, International Festival Committee, Calais Lioness, Friends of Scouts 132, Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition, Calais Rotary and the Sunrise Snowmobile Club.  It was the Friends of Scouts 132 who were not chosen to hold a road toll via the lottery.

The letter that was read by Councilor Dwelley last Thursday evening at the City Council Meeting stated:   Dear Citizens of Calais; Friends of Scouts 132 would like to thank everyone  for their support and words of encouragement in regards to this year’s road toll lottery.  Although it is appreciated, there were eleven deserving groups that had applied and all equally worthy.  If any one of them were to be cut from the group, there would have been valid arguments for not letting them go.  We as a  Board for the Friends of Scouts 132 feel it was a fair  way to decide the outcome and this year it just didn’t go our way.  We’ve been fortunate enough  to have had the road toll for a few years,  to a city that has been very gracious in finding us land  for our new home, constructing  our meeting house and we thank everyone who has donated the time, equipment and labor into building the project.  We’ll continue to have other projects to help move the project forward and appreciate the communities continued backing.  We’re very grateful for what we’ve received and just ask that in support of us, you don’t cut down  on other groups that help make this  a great place to live.  Best regards,  W. Thomas Parks, President of Friends of Scouts 132,  Mark Norman, Vice President, and Heather Smale, Treasurer.”   

Dwelley further stated:   “And I’d just like to say that a lot of council members have donated time, labor and equipment to making the new Scout Hall possible up there and it was the council who donated  the land for that building.”  Some of the organizations listed also receive funding from the City of Calais for example the International Festival Committee which gains $1200 per year  and the CDRC who recently received money for their insurance this year.  Some of those organizations listed are also included in the city’s budget.  Some communities require the applying organization to list what the monies earned from the voluntary road toll would be used for such as:  playground equipment purchase, scholarships for students or youth for higher education or summer camps, equipment needed for the organization to function; bats, helmets, etc., to pay for the electricity in their facility, and so on.  This may be something for consideration by the City Council in the future.”