Meeting tonight

Rockport considers expanding Route 1 sewer, polystyrene ban, bond language for new library

Mon, 08/27/2018 - 8:45am

ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board convenes this evening, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., for a special town meeting and public hearing to consider various ordinance amendments, including revising the existing Route 1 tax increment financing district zone, and banning polystyrene take-out food containers.

Voters may see the amendments on the November warrant, if approved by the board.

The meeting will be held at the Rockport Opera House andwill be streamed live here.

Commercial Street TIF District

Rockport’s Select Board hopes voters will amend the Commercial Street Municipal Development and Tax Increment Financing District that was created in 2000 to expand the zone, and the town’s sewer system.

The TIF district runs along Route 1 and was expanded in 2010.

The proposal is to include roads in additional property parcels  “in the vicinity of where an expanded sewer project is contemplated to be constructed, (2) add an expanded sewer project, including design and engineering costs, to the public projects list, which will give the Town the opportunity to consider undertaking a Route One sewer expansion project at a future town meeting, and (3) extend the term of the District to 30 years through fiscal year 2029-2030.”

In 2000, voters approved placing 223 acres into a tax increment financing district along Route 1 to help fund a sewer expansion project. 

In 2010, voters added another parcel to the district, approximately 8 acres in size.

Now, the Select Board wants to add 137 acres to the TIF district.

The board intends that the expansion will, “help provide new employment opportunities within theTown, provide opportunities for economic development in the Town and surrounding region, improve and broaden the tax base in the Town and improve the economy of the Town and the State of Maine....,” according to the amendment language.


Polystyrene ban

The Rockport Conservation Commission has proposed an ordinance that, if approved by the Select Board, will appear on the November warrant. Camden approved a similar ordinance last week that is to appear before voters in November.

The proposed language follows:

Ban on Use of Expanded Polystyrene Foam for All Takeout Food and Beverage Businesses Ordinance

The Code of Ordinances, Town of Rockport, Maine, is hereby amended to add an additional article as follows:

Ban on the use of Expanded Polystyrene Foam in situations involving takeout food or beverages.

Section 1. Purpose of the Article

  1. The Town has a duty to protect the natural environment; and
  2. Expanded Polystyrene Packaging has a harsh environmental impact on a localand
  3. and global scale, including greenhouse gas emissions, litter, and harm to wildlife;
  4. It is in the best interest of the citizens of Rockport to protect the environment and
  5. natural resources by prohibiting the distribution and use of disposable Expanded Polystyrene cups, plates, bowls, coolers, and food containers and to require the use of food containers made of other materials associated with all takeout foods defined in this section; and
  6. The Town through its policies, programs, and laws supports efforts to reduce the environmental impact of waste by supporting the State waste management hierarchy to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, and landfill.

Section 2. Definitions
As used in this Ordinance the following terms have the following meanings:

Expanded Polystyrene packaging means any containers, including coolers, that are made of expanded polystyrene foam and used to package both food and beverage for both onsite and offsite consumption. It does not include Expanded Polystyrene meat trays or other Polystyrene packaging used to transport raw and/or uncured meat, poultry, and fish from all food stores.

Store means all retail establishments, including but not limited to convenience stores, restaurants, sellers of food merchandise sold to the ultimate consumer for direct use or consumption and not for sale.

Section 3. Violations and Enforcement

The Town Manager and his/her designee(s) shall have the primary responsibility for the enforcement of this Ordinance. For the first six months following the implementation of the Ordinance, the Town Manager shall issue verbal warnings to Stores in violation of the Ordinance. Following this six month period, if the Town Manager and his/her designee(s) determine a violation of this article has occurred, he/she shall issue a written Notice to the Store and request compliance with this Ordinance within ten days of the issuance of the Notice. Subsequent violations after the initial warning Notice shall be subject to the penalties put forth below.

Violations of this Ordinance shall be punishable by fines and reimbursed legal fees as follows:

1. A fine not exceeding $250 for the violation for each year of noncompliance; and

2. Reimbursement of the Town’s legal fees and costs for prosecution of each violation.

Section 4. Permitted Expanded Polystyrene containers

Nothing in this Article shall be construed to prohibit customers from using containers of any type that the customer owns. Customers will not be in violation if they bring their own container of any type to use in carrying away food from the Store.

Section 5. Effective Date
The provisions of this Ordinance shall become effective on January 1, 2019.