Rockport Town Manager Report: New West Rockport fire station planning update; Town meeting Aug. 18

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 3:45pm

From the Rockport Town Manager’s Desk: The primary election originally scheduled for June 9 will be held on July 14. The state has supplied personal protective equipment for election workers in the form of gloves, face coverings, and face shields to the Town. In addition, the state supplied three plexiglass barriers to be used to protect the workers and cleaning and disinfecting supplies.

Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw has developed a plan for election day and a new layout for voting in the Richardson Room. Voters will be asked to enter the Richardson Room through one door and exit through another door. The front entrance to the Town Office will not be open and the office is closed for the day to allow staff to assist with the election.

The number of absentee ballots requested at this point is over 800.

LED Streetlight Project

There has been a delay in receiving the smart control units for the LED streetlights because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The installation was originally planned to begin the week of July 6th but has been delayed until the end of July.

EMS Evaluation Project

A kick-off meeting for this project was held with consultant Kevin McGinnis on July 6 with Camden Town Manager Audra Caler, Tom Judge, and three representatives from Pen Bay Medical Center.

West Rockport Fire Station Project

An initial meeting was held on June 25 in which the stakeholder group met with the architects to discuss the preliminary program list including the spaces and general criteria for each space. The architects are now working on preliminary sketches based on the comments received on each space. These sketches will be presented to the West Rockport Fire Station Building Committee.

Pascal Avenue Sidewalk

The sidewalk along Pascal Avenue is becoming overgrown by shrubs and trees that are impeding pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk causing for unsafe conditions. I will be sending a letter to the property owners along the sidewalk advising them that Public Works will be trimming these shrubs and trees in the near future and allowing the property owners to trim along the edge of their properties before the Town does.

Parking Work Group

The Parking Work Group will meet on July 24th for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Annual Town Meeting press release/information sheet

I am preparing two items to provide information on the annual town meeting for residents: an information sheet that will eb available on July 14th at the election and a press release that will contain much the same information, but will be issued closer to the date of the August 18 referendum.

Harbor Park Work

A crew from the Public Works Department spent several days at the Harbor Park trimming brush and trees, mowing the tall grass along the steep banks, and repairing the paths that lead to Pascal Avenue and Central Street. In addition, Bragg’s Tree Care was hired to remove trees in Harbor Park between the harbor and Pascal Avenue.

Infrastructure Projects

In preparation of the road work on Park Street, Public Works has subcontracted out the replacement of four culverts to Rhino Services. Weather permitting all four will be replaced by July 9th, 2020. Extensive ditching will be done on the Rt. 17 end of Park Street prior to repaving and is anticipated to be completed in the coming weeks. Additionally, there is the possibility that a couple catch basins will need to be added near the church- these are being examined and a determination will be made soon. A stretch of the road, approximately sixty feet long, will need to be completely rebuilt before the road is repaved.

Gurney Street and Mill Street are also being ditched and a culvert on Mill Street needs replacement. When the replacement culvert goes in, it will be upgraded from a 15” to an 18”. Public Works Director Mike Young has been in contact with the Rockland Public Works Director and Rockland has agreed to pay to repave their portion of Gurney Street to allow for the road to be repaved without seams.

South Street has been ditched and a small portion, approximately 200’x 6’, will need to be rebuilt as well as a portion of the intersection of South St. and Beech Hill. Beech Hill has already been ditched and the driveway culverts that needed to be replaced have been. There is a section of road on Beech Hill, about 325 feet long, that will be a full rebuild due to poor base material and the road is collapsing.

We will be meeting with the engineers the week of July 10th to finalize the details for Old Rockland Street and get that project out to bid shortly thereafter.