CAPE ELIZABETH (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Maybe the third time's the charm?
Despite two failed referendums, the town of Cape Elizabeth is once again considering charging parking fees at Fort Williams Park.
One option the town council is discussing is pay and display meters, which would charge people, per hour, to park — funds that could help offset the cost of maintaining Fort Williams.
The idea of charging people is not new: The town has tried twice before, through referendums in 2006 and 2010; both times, the proposals were overwhelmingly voted down.
Maureen Rafferty of Scarborough understands why the town wants to charge people, but she hopes they don't.
"It's a beautiful slice of history, beautiful grounds," she said. "It's nice. It's for everybody. I think it will keep some people away."
The town council started talking about charging fees again in February. And recently, the chair of the park committee urged councilors to think about implementing fees without input from the voters.
Dan Fee who grew up in Cape says "I would think everyone should have a say, especially residents. Everybody gets to visit the Fort and gets to enjoy it, but as a resident, it's kind of your pride and joy."
Fee’s sister, Kathy Jesseman is on the fence about the fees.
"The park needs to be maintained," she said. "It needs to be upkept, equipment put in. For people it's a very fine line to draw to charge or not charge."
The town manager said if the town implements fees it could bring in about $400,000 in the first year.