ROCKLAND – In the past two weeks, representatives of the police department attended a forum regarding possible medical marijuana ordinances, as well as prepared for an upcoming pedestrian safety forum. Emergency plans for schools were updated. An AIO Food Pantry food drive is active. The fire department acquired a new vehicle and continued repairs on another. The library is working toward extending hours, and fiber optics for City buildings are in consideration.
Read the entire Rockland City Manager’s Report below.
OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER
Signed Engineering Contracts with Wright Pierce for the following projects
o Update our CSO Master Plan
o South Main Street Sewer Separation Project
o City Wide Sewer Rehabilitation of Pipes and Man Hole
Met with individuals from LCI to discuss extending Fiber Lines in the City for Municipal Buildings, Residential Neighborhoods and Commercial/ Industrial Areas. Extending Fiber to more places in the City will hopefully attract business.
The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of DOT stopped in to discuss the Fish Pier Project as we are seeking DOT funds. The end result was we are in the queue to receive about $200,000 towards the $1M project. We are currently seeking other grants to help pay for the cost.
Met with Mid Coast Economic Development District (MCEDD) to discuss grants and projects that they may be able to assist the City with.
Ann Morris stopped by talk about the last standing lime kiln within the City. In 1855 the City had 136 lime kilns along the three miles of Rockland Harbor. Today the last one standing is known as the Spear Kiln and can be seen from the road at the end of Main Street where EL Spear lumber yard use to be. Ann is looking to move the kiln from its current location to Harbor Park and have it restored. Another exciting project for the future of Rockland.
OFFICE OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Broadband. Met with LCI (Lincolnville Communications) Inc to better understand where there is fiber in Rockland and the advantages it offers for businesses which can access it.
Comprehensive Plan and MRPC. Met with Anne Krieg to learn more about the Comprehensive Plan project status, and the services provided by Midcoast Regional Planning Commission.
Harbor Efficiency. Met with the Harbormaster and sat in on a Harbor Management Commission meeting to learn about a concept advanced by Yachting Solutions for improving the inner harbor, including City owned property.
Harbor Projects/MDOT. Met with MaineDOT staff about the capital investment needs at the fish pier, and availability of grant funds. Prepared for a subsequent meeting and tour for MaineDOT’s Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. Shared information on inner harbor concept advanced by Yachting Solutions and inquired about the potential availability of funding if, after stakeholder and Council consideration, the City wishes to pursue it.
Heart and Soul.Scheduled a meeting to learn more about the Heart and Soul project.
Midcoast Economic Development District.Met with MCEDD to learn about the range of services offered, regional work underway, and the responsibilities of Rockland’s appointees to the MCEDD Board.
REDAC. Agreed to look into options for simplifying weatherization and home rehab program guidelines and streamlining administration to help inform a REDAC discussion on Dec 21.
Rock Harbor. Visited Rock Harbor to learn more about their operation and needs, and to discuss the process for accessing funds from a recent CDBG grant.
Tillson District.Learned more about planning work undertaken in 2011 for redevelopment of the Tillson Avenue area, to consider whether there are opportunities to harvest past ideas for future consideration.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE
D/C Young oversaw police department operations for the parade of lights.
Chief Boucher attended a Medical Marijuana workshop at City hall to review the respective ordinances addressing Medical marijuana in Second Reading.
We are in the process of completing the final installment of mandatory training for all officers and mandated by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for 2017.
D/C Young is in the processes of working with Rockland Fire, the Knox County Emergency Management Agency and RSU 13 to update emergency plans of all schools in Rockland.
Chief Boucher worked with a vendor supplying software and hardware for a grant funded effort to start the upgrade to the County Law Enforcement records management system.
D/C Young collaborated with a representative from Carfax regarding a new investigative tool that can be provided to Rockland PD at no cost.
D/C Young conducted an audit of the departments training account in order to asses training needs for department members and costs associated with those needs in order to prepare for the second half of FY18.
Met with department Supervisors and Field Training Officers for an update on the department’s two current trainees. We are extremely pleased to report that Officer Anne Griffith has successfully completed her field training and will be assigned to her own shift beginning next week. It is extremely important to note that the departments’ field training program is very rigorous with an attrition rate of approximately 50%. Completing our field training is no easy task and we congratulate Officer Griffith on her accomplishment.
Criminal Investigation Division –
Assisted the Patrol Division with drafting and executing search warrants for the investigation of a serious personal injury accident.
Assisted the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking in Rockland.
Worked with O.S.H.A on a death investigation.
Continued working on active criminal investigations in Rockland.
Patrol Division –
Because of staffing levels, officers were able to walk foot patrol on Main St. and interact with some business owners and pedestrians.
Officers shut down Main St. for the annual parade of lights.
Officers conducted alcohol compliance checks at establishments that serve alcohol. One establishment was not in compliance and administrative action was taken.
Assisted with the arrival of Flying Santa and provided Santa a ride to his workshop.
Officers conducted bail compliance checks on Rockland residence that are currently on bail to ensure they were in compliance with the conditions of their bail.
Officers assisted with pedestrian safety at the annual tree lighting ceremony.
Officers conducted targeted traffic enforcement details at various locations throughout the city. The focus of these details was speed enforcement.
Officers responded to 188 calls for service, investigated 5 traffic accidents and conducted 37 motor vehicle stops. As a result, 16 people were either summonsed or arrested for various violations.
OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES DIRECTOR
Ongoing City Wide trash pickup.
Removed banners and flags from Main Street.
Brush and leaf pickup continues.
Finished cutting and removing tree on South Main Street.
Repaired Basin on Park Street at Broadway.
Assisted the volunteers with installing wreaths on Main Street.
Removed some unwanted bushes from General Berry Park.
Picked up waste oil from various spots.
Reviewed and completed dry runs of plow/sand routes.
Investigated water main break.
Ongoing maintenance at the Library.
Worked on outside and inside lights around City Hall.
Replaced some lights not working on wreaths, Main Street.
Did some gravel work on Bog Road.
Installed harbor trail walking path sign.
Put out and picked up barricades for festival of lights parade.
Crack sealed around patch on Park Street.
Cut and removed tree on Clarendon Street and Lincoln Street.
Removed some broken curbing from Tillson Avenue.
Removed old desks from PD.
Ordered the replacement track for the D5M.
Worked on employee evaluations.
Participated in webinar that discussed single use bag bans in various other Maine communities.
Met with some of the students in the Arts in Action program. The students reviewed some of the ideas they have come up with for the educational mural that we are working on at the transfer station. We will be meeting again with the Environmental education person from ecomaine as well as some of the Waste Watchers to help the students with more ideas for the mural.
Presented to Rockland City Council the Woodard & Curran engineering plans to accommodate the single stream recycling physical changes. The second part of the presentation was a review of the communication/education plan with ecomaine. The communication/education plan was a collaborative effort between ecomaine, the Rockland Waste Watcher Group and the City.
Jerry Douglass, formally of Maine Local Roads and who now works for Allstate Paving, came in to give the Public Services Crew an overview of the benefit of pre-wetting of salt as well as situational use of snow and ice pretreatment.
Scheduling trenching and excavation training with Safety Works.
Worked on the planning for the Pedestrian Safety Forum that will be next Wednesday, December 6th at Oceanside East from 6 pm to 8 pm.
OFFICE OF THE LIBRARY DIRECTOR
A note from last Saturday—The Friends of Rockland Public Library hosted the Annual Festival of Trees silent auction, which once again was a roaring success, thanks to the hard work of Friends, and generous donations of lavishly decorated trees from local businesses. The Historic Inns of Rockland held their Holiday Tour the same day, with a suggested donation amount (though admission was free), all of which also went to the Friends in support of the Library.
Kno-Wal-Lin Auxiliary brought a Tree for Warmth; this is the organization’s sixth annual Christmas Trees for Warmth. We invite everyone to help decorate this tree with handmade or store-bought mittens, hats, and scarves, through December 15. The tree looks a bit naked right now, and we truly hope readers of this report and others will pitch in, so there’ll be many items for the Auxiliary to distribute to those in need.
The Food Drive will continue through the end of December. Children and adults are asked to bring in non-perishable foods for the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry in Rockland and help out local neighbors in need. We also have a donation jar for The Diaper Fund and are collecting personal hygiene products for One Less Worry.
We had some difficulty with one of the alarm panels; this was easily resolved by Seacoast Security the next day, but the semi-regular beeping in the interim was fairly annoying to those using the Community Room.
This week, Catinka Knoth’s Adult and Children’s Drawing classes drew Native American motifs and designs.
Training of two new part-time staff members, who will be working on Sundays, continued this week, and we began training a third. We also did a review with one of the Sunday shift leaders, who hasn’t had that role in a few years. Patty King and Jessie Blanchard have been doing the training. Thanks to the Friends of Rockland Public Library and the Rockland Public Library Endowment Association’s funding, we are hoping to re-open on Sundays on January 7!
Area spinner Penelope Olson brought her spinning wheel, bulk wool, and spun wool back, and demonstrated this art, as an adjunct to the “Threads of Our Lives: Maine Folk Fiber Art” travelling exhibit. Penelope was joined in spinning by Lori Schafer of WalkingWoolStudio.
On Tuesday, we presented a Travel Talk: East Coast Trail, to a large and enthusiastic audience.
Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail covers over 180 miles of world-class coastal wilderness hiking.
Triple Crown Hiker Tom Jamrog described and discussed his August 2017 two week thru-hike of this cultural, historic, and little traveled gem.
Faithful reader, Judith Andersen hosted Wednesday Storytime, and read to a gaggle of kids all tumbling in to the Children’s Room together. Among the titles, Is It Hanukkah Yet? by Chris Barash, The Finest Christmas Tree, by John and Ann Hassett, and The Littlest Matryoshka, by Corinne Demas Bliss. During the reading of The Littlest Matryoska, Children’s Librarian Jean Young produced a lovely set of nesting dolls for the children to admire and then play with. The craft table consisted of a variety of holiday crafts.
Mechanical Services made some adjustments, to warm up the building.
Katie Drago hosted, or rather played, Baby Time on Thursday morning.
Jessie and I attended a webinar, by a representative of Gale, to learn about a few Business & Career databases we are looking to purchase.
We received the results of the ergonomic assessment done by a representative from Maine Municipal Association. I have ordered the requisite furnishings to address the recommendations in the report, and requested assistance from Public Service to modify a desk to be in compliance.
The Thursday evening Community Event was One Story: Three Versions Film Series: The Shop Around the Corner. Jimmy Stewart plays a Budapest store clerk who finds himself feuding with his co-worker, played by Margaret Sullavan. Despite their bickering, the two unknowingly become anonymous pen pals and begin to fall in love through their letters. This is the first in a three part-series highlighting The Shop Around the Corner and its two remakes, In the Good Old Summertime and You’ve Got Mail to be shown in December.
Friday, Patty King represented the Rockland Library during the WRFR Love My Library monthly radio show. Staff from Rockland, Rockport, and Camden discussed upcoming events, and generally had a pretty lively time doing so.
On Saturday, Jean hosted the holiday tree decorating and lighting; participants listened to holiday music while decorating the tree and snacking on homemade cookies provided by the Friends of Rockland Library.
Upcoming: Family Code Night--We are inviting local families to attend a groundbreaking computer science education event, Family Code Night! This is a free, fun, family event at which children K-5 and their parents do their first hour of coding, together. Registration is recommended. Also, a Camden Conference Community event--Facing Maine’s Demographic Challenges: The Fate of the Nation’s Oldest State presented by Charles Lawton
OFFICE OF THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
John attended a meeting of the Rockland Planning Board.
John and Bill hosted and attended an IRC meeting at City Hall.
John attended a City Council Meeting.
John and Bill attended the Comprehensive Planning Commission meeting.
Bill has performed six RV inspections.
Bill did a final follow-up at 420 Old County Rd and it was forward to the City Manager for action.
Bill performed a follow-up victualer’s license inspection at 613 Main Street.
John and Bill met with contractors, property, and business owners regarding various proposed projects throughout the city, some of these meetings were in conjunction with the Fire Department and included on-site inspections.
We issued four building permits. We issued a permit for a new fence on Broad Street. We issued a permit for a cellar bulkhead on Old County Road. Additionally, we issued a residential building permit for interior finishes on Linden Street. We also issued a building permit for a new garage on Rocky Hill Avenue.
We continue to be busy with various other permits, inspections, and assisting the public with questions. The following permits were issued by the Code Office:
4 Building Permits
5 Electrical Permits
7 Plumbing Permits
3 Sign Permits
2 Sewer Connection Permits
OFFICE OF THE FINANCE DIRECTOR
The annual budgeting process is underway. Budget templates, along with guidance, will be sent out today. We will be requesting preliminary information be available for compilation by the first week of January.
The storm water separation project $3.0MM BAN is scheduled to close on Monday, December 4th.
An RFP went out to 9 Maine banks, and we received 5 bids. The winning bid was from The First and was 1.58%. Other bids ranged from a high of 2.23% to the next lowest bid of 1.74%. All parties were notified of the results.
The lease financing for our 2017/2018 capital improvement programs is now complete, and funding is available. A new fire department vehicle will be picked up Monday, and additional improvements are scheduled to have it field-ready. Bids on new Police vehicles are due mid next week.
Our annual audit process is still moving along. The auditor’s on-site phase has been completed, and they continue to complete their work back at their office. I spoke with the lead auditor this past week, and she was waiting for a few things, that had been requested previously. She will be following up. We anticipate completion in December or early January.
Payroll continues to be completed by HR as the payroll position is temporarily vacant. October 31st was the closing date for all applicants. Interviews have been set-up with the Personnel Committee for the evening of December 4th. 6 (six) candidates will be interviewed at that time.
The General Fund Account cash balance per the bank: $5.8MM. It reached a peak of $6.3MM this past week.
OFFICE OF THE FIRE CHIEF
Over this preceding two weeks, in addition to the response to 81 Fire and EMS calls, conducting apparatus checks, daily cleaning, routine repairs and maintenance to the fleet and of the quarters, the following occurred:
Chief Whytock attended the local directors meeting for Emergency Management. Storm follow-up and a lessons learned from the wind storm were discussed.
FF Carl Anderson joined a car seat safety discussion and information meeting to inform parents and teachers about the importance of proper seat installations. Just a reminder that Rockland Fire & EMS offers car seat inspections/installations that can be scheduled through FF Anderson. Please call us if you require these services.
An EMS class was held here at the station to discuss the upcoming changes in our EMS protocols.
All personnel will have attended the class and completed the update by 1-1-18.
C-Shift did some needed repairs to Engine 1 over the weekend. A water discharge valve has been leaking and the repair fixed most of the issues associated with the problem. The truck will be monitored closely as future repairs will be needed.
B-shift represented the department in the Festival of Lights parade. It was good to see so many people downtown to ring in the holiday season.
A major car accident tied up the department for a few hours this past week on the south end. Our extrication equipment (Jaws of Life) was used to free the driver from the heavily damaged truck.
We want to remind everyone to make sure their chimneys are cleaned and ready to go for the winter. Fires can easily damage chimneys and spread quickly into the structures. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
Fire & EMS received a $2,000.00 grant to host a confined space class for City employees as well as outside fire departments. This class will not only increase the safety and awareness of employees when working within a confined space, but it will allow Rockland to add more responders to its Confined Space Team.
OFFICE OF THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY DIRECTOR
The lab has completed the end of year sampling and testing for all of the industrial users on the system.
B.O.D. testing is being done every two weeks for North Haven.
Sludge de-watering and processing is has been running eight to nine hours per day to keep up with the loading in the plant.
Repaired a failed pump in the pump station at the Midcoast School of Technology.
Cleaned and tested the level sensors in the wet well at the Ocean Street pump station.
Installed new bulkhead doors over the valve vault for the F.M.C. flowmeter and valves.
Installed a new sump pump in the secondary pump room.
Cleared a blockage from the #1 pump at the Industrial Park pump station.
Installed a new pipe support under the discharge piping for #2 Return Sludge Pump.
Worked with Interstate Septic to pump and clean the wet well at the Waldo Ave. pump station.
Worked on general cleanup of the grounds at the wastewater plant in preparation for winter weather.
Replaced the valve on the outside wash down hose connection at the C.S.O. contact chamber.
Repaired a broken hydraulic hose on the Gravity Belt Thickener.
Worked on repairs to the fence on the west side of the treatment plant.
Made repairs to the #1 pump at the Park St. pump station.
Replaced the backup power supply in the control panel at the Mechanic Street pump station.
Repaired the emergency beacon on the F-250 ford pickup.
Exercised and tested the emergency backup generators.
Repaired a broken fence gate at the Tillson Ave. pump station.
Inspected and approved the sealing of an abandoned sewer pipe by the owner of the property at #12 Water St.
Completed survey and inspection of the sewer manholes on Lawn Ave. and Melrose Circle.
Worked with tech support from CUES Inc. on an issue with data transfer into our G.I.S.
Inspected and approved a new sewer connection on Crescent St. for a property on Lawrence Street.
Inspected and approved a change to the sewer lateral pipe for a property on Crescent Street.
Inspected and approved installation of a new pump station and connection to city sewer for a property on Broadway.