March 20, 2013

Maine panel rejects six of nine sign requests

Legislators table two others, including a name change for Big Moose Mountain, and amend one.

From staff reports

AUGUSTA – Requests for individual highway signs in locations from York County to northern Penobscot County were voted down by a legislative committee Wednesday, making their approval unlikely.

The Legislature's Transportation Committee voted against endorsing six of the nine sign bills submitted.

The committee opposed bills to allow signs directing motorists to Berwick Academy in York County, Lee Academy in Penobscot County, an Underground Railroad memorial in Brewer and the Katahdin Trail in Piscataquis County.

It also rejected signs to mark a point near midway between the equator and North Pole and a bill to exempt snowmobile clubs from some sign requirements.

The committee also voted to amend a bill that would have allowed signs on the Maine Turnpike directing drivers to the Oxford Casino. The change allows the Department of Transportation to review certain sign requests and allow the committee to revive the bill if it wishes, according to committee clerk Darlene Simoneau.

A bill to change the name of Big Moose Mountain in Piscataquis County to Red Eagle Mountain, then alter a sign referring to it, was tabled until next year, Simoneau said.

Another bill, proposing to allow signs on Interstate 295 directing drivers to Harpswell, was tabled indefinitely.

Ericka Dodge, spokeswoman for Senate Democrats, said it was tabled because the Department of Transportation has no jurisdiction to erect signs on that stretch of road. That jurisdiction belongs to the federal government.


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