The Orono Town Council last week approved a new ordinance banning jumping off the Main Street bridge over the Stillwater River, as well as the railroad bridge/trestle over the river.
The ordinance was discussed this fall by councilors, after there were incidents of people jumping into the river this summer. That raised currents about jumpers being caught in the current or striking objects in the water, or being a distraction to passing motorists.
Despite those issues, people could do little about it, as bridge jumping was not specifically banned under town ordinance. Last week’s passage of the bridge jumping ban closes that loophole.
Those violating the proposed ordinance can be subject to a fine of $250, plus the cost of any emergency response to the violator and/or members of the public that are injured or endangered as a result of the violator’s actions.
Town officials indicated signs will go up in the areas of the bridge and trestle, most likely in the spring, informing the public of the jumping ban.