Town meeting, school budget news

Rockport is bustling: Planning, zoning boards consider new business applications

Posted:  Monday, May 6, 2013 - 8:15am

ROCKPORT — The Rockport Planning Board will meet Wednesday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. (note time change), at the Opera House (televised on Public Access Channel 22). Prior to the meeting, there will be a site walk at 1126 Commercial St. to better act on an application for a change of use plan. Old business includes a site plan review of Pen Bay Medical Center’s proposal to construct a hospice building on a parcel located at 6 Glen Cove Drive. Action was not taken at previous meetings because of a wide array of traffic concerns expressed by Rockport Police Chief Mark Kelly.

Stephanie Kumble keeps an eye on Rockport municipal news in her regular, column here.

The second item, also a continuation, is the site plan review for a change of use from residential to commercial to accommodate a renewal energy business on a developed parcel located at 1126 Commercial Street.

Other items include an application for a site plan review pre-application meeting to operate a tradesmen’s shop located at Park Street. And, there will be discussion of the future Planning Board, post-June 30 when three members’ terms expire.

Zoning Board looks at day care, tradesmen's shop
The Zoning Board of appeals will also meet Wednesday, May 8, at 7:15 p.m. (note time change) at the Opera House (televised on Public Access Channel 22). New business items include an application for a special exception review to operate a day care facility at a family home at 5 Bella’s Way and an application for a special exception review to operate a tradesmen’s shop on Park Sreet, Aurora Sails and Canvas.

Other business will include the future of the Zoning Board of appeals roster after June 30, 2013 when the terms expire for three current members.

Farewell, Tom Ford
Rockport residents will bid farewell in May to Tom Ford, current Planning and Development Director. Tom’s tenure has seen ever increasing issue/law complexities along with continuing growth in a diverse community with diverse regulations. Yet, throughout the changes, often stressful, Tom has always maintained his calm, even-handed professional manner which was welcomed by anyone who dealt with him. Thanks so much Tom for your dedicated service and enjoy the next phase of your life!

Welcome, Bill Najpauer
Rockport residents will welcome Bill Najpauer as the town’s new Planning and Development Director, May 20. Bill was most recently Waldoboro’s Planning and Development Director. Luckily, as with other department head changes, there will be an overlap between Bill’s start and Tom’s departure.

Did you forget to pay property taxes....
Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw reminds folks that the second half of your 2012-13 town taxes were due this past April 16. (Some folks think they’re not due until June!). Interest charges began on April 17 and will continue to accrue until you pay the now past due taxes.

....And your harbor fees?
May 1 was the deadline for paying harbor related fees for moorings, tie-offs and for dinghy rack space. Fee levels are assessed on two levels: residents or non-residents. In addition to the fees, a $1/foot of length of the boat is applied. A late charge of $50/month will be assessed for fees not paid by May 1.  

Emergency Medical Services
The process of resolving delivery of emergency medical services not only to Rockport, but also to Camden, Hope and Lincolnville continues. This process began when during the 2013-14 budget process, the four towns currently served by Camden First Aid received sharp increased subsidy requests (Rockport from $24,000 to $129,000).

Because of the sharp increases in requests, towns decided to solicit proposals (bids) for the services. Three companies submitted bids to all four towns:  Camden First Aid Association, Delta Ambulance and Northeast Mobile Health Services. In addition, Sterling Ambulance of Union submitted a bid only to Hope.

The bids represent an amazing range of proposed fees for all four towns. Camden First Aid @ $407,000; Delta Ambulance @ $552,640 (for the first year); Northeast Health @$28,000. Town officials stress that cost will not be the only consideration. Officials from the four towns met last week to hear from a state emergency medical services official about what should be looked for in coverage. Stay tuned.  

School Budget meetings
These meetings for voters registered in the SAD 28 towns (Rockport/Camden) and the CSD towns (Rockport, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, Appleton), are set for Tuesday, May 28, at Camden Hills Regional High School in the Strom Auditorium. The SAD 28 meeting is at 6 p.m. followed by the CSD meeting at 7 p.m. Remember, even though you will vote on the overall, total referendums at the town’s June 11 election, these are “the vote” meetings - the chance to vote your choice, yay or nay on specific line items.  

Town Meeting heads up
Town Meeting will be held Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday June 12. Candidate nomination papers were turned in and verified by Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw (another of her duties!), for all the elected town office positions to be voted on at the June 11 Election (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). All but one of the candidates are incumbents, with no seat contested. Positions/folks filing papers include:  Select Board, one position/Tracy Murphy (incumbent); SAD 28/CSD Board, one position/Gretchen Richards incumbent; Library Committee, two positions/Kathy Monroe (incumbent) and Stephanie Kumble; Budget Committee, three positions/Jan Rosenbaum, Sharon Stone, John Viehman (all incumbents).

Library Director Molly Larson will once again organize a “Meet & Greet the Candidates” to give Rockport residents an opportunity to learn more about the candidates as well as some of the issues that will face elected candidates. Candidates are encouraged to get in touch with Molly to help plan the event. Time, date, location to be announced.     

Citizens for Value In Education (VIE) continues the excellent community service we’ve come to expect with the first fall meeting to be held tonight, Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Opera House. Guest speaker will be Ken Vencile, CSD science teacher and 2011 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Meetings are open to all and you are encouraged to attend to learn more about our schools.

Warrant articles for Rockport’s Two-part Annual town Meeting were recently recently revised/approved by the Select Board. Six of the nine articles pertain to proposed changes to land use ordinances (definitions, general performance standards, as well as high elevation performance  standards). Other proposed changes are to the Rockport Zoning Map to reclassify zoning districts for the Rte. 1 corridor adjacent to Camden as well as an increase in building footprint size there.


Stephanie Kumble can be reached at