Select Board meeting Feb. 22

Rockport to consider $5.8 million sewer extension contract, financing a $128,950 plow truck

Sun, 02/21/2021 - 5:00pm

    ROCKPORT — The Select Board in Rockport will convene Monday evening, Feb . 22, at 5:30 p.m., via Zoom to review three bids to extend the sewer along Route 1 from the existing line terminus near Sea Light Lane to South Street.

    The board will also consider how it will finance the town’s purchase of a Daigle & Houghton Western Star 4700SF plow truck for the Public Works Department. The board approved the purchase at its Jan. 11 meeting, and Town Manager William Post is suggesting the town finance it through Androscoggin Bank for a total of $202,730, at an interest rate of 1.89% for a seven-year term.

    Additionally, the board will consider selling tax acquired property at 280 Rockland Street (Route 17) to Mark Siegenthaler, of Camden, for $43,250. The town received two bids for the property, with one bidder withdrawing his bid after the bid opening. 

    The public can view the Feb. 21 meeting at  Public comments or questions should be sent to the Town Manager at or can be provided remotely through the livestream of the meeting.

    Sewer extension

    Rockport has working for decades to extend the municipal sewer line along Route 1 from Rockland Village to Pen Bay Medical Center, and the intersection of South Street. Currently, there is a gap in the Route 1 sewer line, with the wastewater from Sea Light Lane north, including the Village, going to Camden for treatment, and the wastewater from Pen Bay Medical Center and the Glen Cove area going south the City of Rockland for treatment.

    The town has accomplished its Route 1 extension goal in phases since 1988, when  the town extended the line from the intersection of Route 90 to Elwood Avenue.

    Extensions to the original system were also made in 1999 to serve Camden Hills Regional High School, on Route 90.

    In 2013, voters approved the extension from Elwood Ave. to Sea Light Lane, the current terminus. Read: Rockport voters to consider extending sewer, changing zoning rules for library, CMP

    Sewer users were told then that their bills would include charges for usage of the system called the “User Fee”, based on the amount of water that used. Additionally, they were advised that there was also a section of the bill called the “Debt Fee” which helped to cover the then payments on current debt.

    Users were also told in 2013: “Within the next few years, much of the original debt to build the sewer will be paid off, and this could lead to a decrease in the debt fee. As the original debt is retired, the Wastewater Commissioners plan to use a portion of the debt fee to build a reserve account which will be used for needed repairs and upgrades to the entire system as it ages.”

    That was still the message in 2019, when a brochure from the town office told users that with more people tapping into the new sewer line, there would be more contributions to the debt service fee, “which should allow us to decrease the fee once the project is complete.”

    Sewer users were also informed that year that the debt fee may be able to be decreased; “however, Camden is looking at expensive upgrades to their treatment plant, which could result in the debt service fee going up slightly, but with more users paying into the debt service, it should be not a significant increase.”

    On Monday, Rockport Select Board members will hear the recommendation of Town Manager William Post to contract with the low bidder Nitram Excavation and General Contractor, Inc. of Benton, $5,846,748 for the pending sewer extension.

    Other bidders include McGee Construction at $6,433,500 and Sargent Corporation, of $7,729,490.

    This bid price includes both the town’s wastewater costs and Maine Water Company costs for its share of the project, said Post, in a pre-meeting memo.

    “After review by Woodard & Curran, the wastewater share of the project amounts to $4,485,428,” he said. “The Town currently has funding in place for up to $5,200,000 for this project. Woodard & Curran recommends the Town award the contract to Nitram Excavation.”

    This latest Route 1 Wastewater Line Extension Project entails laying approximately 8,000 linear feet of gravity sewer line, 7,400 linear feet of sewer force main and 6,400 linear feet of water main.  The project includes construction of two new wastewater pump stations. Read the Select Board packet for the cost breakdown.

    Financing the project will derive from a bond approved by Rockport voters in 2019 for $4.5 million, plus $500,000 from the Route 1 tax increment financing (TIF), and a $200,000 grant from Northern Border Regional Commission.

    The full agenda follows:

    1. Public Input on Non-agenda Items
    2. Public comment should be directed at issues not under discussion on this evening’s agenda. Comment from the public will be welcome at the discretion of the Chair for each agenda item. Further comment will be granted only by permission from the Board. All public comment should be brief and to the point.
    3. Amendments to the Agenda
    4. Consent Agenda

    a. Meeting Minute(s):

    •   January 11, 2021 Meeting Minutes
    •   February 8, 2021 Meeting Minutes
    1. Action Items
      1. Act on Award of Route 1 Wastewater Project
      2. Act on Award of Tax Acquired Property Bid
      3. Act on Votes Necessary for Financing Public Works Truck Purchase
      4. Act on Comprehensive Plan Committee Bylaws
    2. Discussion Items – None
    3. Select Board Liaison Reports
    4. Executive Session

    a. Convene in Executive Session Pursuant to 1 M.R.S 406 (6)(E) to discuss a legal matter

    X. Adjourn
    Future Meetings, Office Closures, Etc.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 – Budget Review Meeting
    Monday, March 1, 2021 – Candidate Nomination Papers Available Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – Budget Review Meeting

    1 Select Board Agenda February 22, 2021

    I. Call Meeting to Order

    II. Town Manager’s Report/Update

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – Select Board Workshop – Consensus Votes Monday, March 8, 2021 – Regular Select Board Meeting

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – Budget Committee Meeting

    Monday, March 22, 2021 – Select Board Budget Workshop 4 :30 Monday, March 22, 2021 – Select Board Meeting 5 :30

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 – Budget Committee Meeting