HANSON – Camp Kiwanee is working to restore and return a camp store, to sell snacks and drinks, and possibly town and/or Kiwanee merchandise beginning next summer.
Camp Kiwanee Commission Chair Frank Milisi and Town Aministrator Lisa Green will also work on determining the legal ramifications of selling merchandise at the store as the board voted to support the project with that caveat at its Tuesday, Jan. 23 meeting. The board approved a motion to approve the store once the questions cleared up.
The location is an elongated strcuture between the lodge and the camp fire house, Milisi said.
“We have [the] budget to fix it up as a store,” Milisi said. “We have the idea of selling pre-packaged snacks there during the summertime and also stuff for camping – wood, mosquito repellant – [and] we have the idea of selling some Camp Kiwanee merchandise up there – sweatshirts, hats, some of the bumper stickers that the hikers throw on their stuff.”
The commission is also discussing the option of having the store open when weddings are booked at the camp.
He said that, while it would not be full-fledged this year, it would be used for small things during when Cranberry Cove opens up, including the sale of passes.
“It’ll bring some revenue into the camp,” he said. “We’re working with the Board of Health already to get their blessing on going ahead and doing that.”
They have also spoken with the building inspector and contacted a contractor to do any structural improvements needed, including any necessary electrical upgrades for putting in refrigerators.
“We’re excited for it and kind of want the Select Board’s blessing to move ahead with that,” he said. He also said he was not sure if a business license was necessary.
Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett raised the need to look into regulations that may pertain to the sale of town and/or camp merchandise.
“You’re going to need to talk about the town selling merchandise,” she suggested. “We don’t want to run afoul. … You may need a friends group.”
Milisi said he knows other towns with shacks at beach areas that do sell things, but he did not know the specifics of their arrangements.
“I’m sure we can get there,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “You’re just going to have to be thoughtful and make sure we don’t have any pitfalls.”
The board voted to approve and sign the annual partnership agreement with the Lakeville Animal Shelter to house dogs taken in by the Hanson animal control officer. This year, includes an assessment fee of $250 to help fund improvements to the shelter as required following inspections by the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources.
“Basically, this is an agreement to get us through the next year,” said Town Administrator Lisa Green noting the assessment would be paid out of the animal control budget line. “This will hold us over until we’re able to, hopefully, open up our own shelter.”
Green said the town had not been assessed a fee in prior years. Dog owners pay a $25 per day boarding fee when they retrieve their dogs from the Lakeville shelter. A $20 drop-off fee had not been billed to the town, Green said, in response to a question from Weeks about language in the agreement. She said it is unclear whether the animal control officer has been paying that out-of-pocket.
“He has not come to us for reimbursement,” she said.
“He also said he hasn’t been dropping a lot of dogs off there,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “He said he’s essentially been our shelter.”
Weeks said he asked because the Lakeville Shelter’s fee structure opens up opportunities for Hanson to explore, such as a $50 late fee, immunization fees and “a lot more than just $250.”
“It doesn’t spell out necessarily who pays what, but … there are opportunities here where we can kind of adopt some of this stuff and apply it to ours, if we don’t already have some of this.”
Board member Ed Heal also suggested that more information be obtained about the fees and who is expected to pay them.
“It would be good to have some numbers,” he said. “How many dogs are we sending to Lakeville in the past five years and how long are they there for and who’s paying the fees. Do we have anything [on that]?”
Weeks said even if Hanson Animal Control Officer Joe Kenney is paying the fees out of his own pocket, “I still don’t feel right about that.”
“Whether he’s paying it, or he’s keeping the animal, neither of these options are long-term sustainable,” FitzGerald-Kemmett agreed.
Weeks said that, going forward, there should be some kind of an escape clause to prevent the town being billed for being absolved of financial responsibility of Lakeville does not send a bill in a timely manner.