ROCKPORT — Rockport Town Manager Rick Bates reports on library construction and blasting ledge. He also reported that the town collected $900,000 on mid-year tax payment day, April 15.
This has been a month focused largely on Library issues and getting ready to start construction.
• The construction fence will be going up very soon, possibly as early as late this week. This fence will go around the park and the library site.
o Some of the trees (not all) that are in the way of the fence, will come down prior to that. The small trees along Union Street will be salvaged and moved.
- The lower end of Limerock will be closed off during most of the construction,
- The construction on the stream will begin the week of May 13th this is expected to take
- about two weeks.
- Office trailers will begin to arrive soon after the fence goes up.
- We need to blast out ledge to get the building on the site. We knew this all along.
o We will begin the pre-blast survey over the next few weeks. (this is important)
- ▪ Impacted homeowners are being notified with a “certified, returned receipt
- letter in the mail over the next week. This will be asking to gain access to the property so the blasting company, Maine Drilling and Blasting can create a photographic record of the existing conditions of your property.
- ▪ We had originally discussed doing our own survey however in the end we can just by the photography from Maine Drilling for our records.
• The “blasting “will take place the first week of June. This is not the type of blasting like you see on TV where rocks fly in the air. Maine Drilling is the best company in the State of Maine. They are taking a conservative approach.
o The blasting will take 8-10 days, because they will be doing smaller charges, this produces less of a “bang” rather than having one big bang, to do the whole thing in one charge.
o There is a small amount of ledge to be removed, but we are trying to do it the safest and most conservative way possible.
- Once the blasting is complete, the excavation will begin. Likely on or about, the second week of June. This will likely take about a week.
- This will be followed by forms going in and the foundation being poured. This work will likely be starting on or about the 3rd week of June.
• The goal is to have the building weather tight by November. Construction will move inside for the winter months.
• The exterior masonry, windows etc. will not go in until next spring.
This is not an exhaustive list but will give you an idea as to the tentative schedule of the project.
In addition, I have been working on the Contract for Phi and locating a new construction manager for the project.
Ambulance Review Committee
The ambulance review committee was not able to meet because Lincolnville and Hope did not have representation for the meeting. The 4 town managers are meeting with NEMHS on Thursday, May 9, 2019 in Camden to discuss the proposed contract and we will be scheduling another meeting for the Review Committee soon. Our Contract with North East ends on June 30th so time is of the essence here.
Mid-Coast Solid Waste is in the process of hiring a new manager. We are meeting on Monday May 13, to conduct interviews.
Town Clerk/ Tax Collector
Ballots have been sent to the printer, redemption letters sent out and we collected $900,000 on Tax Day.
Public Works Department
The public works department spent a lot of time repairing washouts from all the rain we had in April. In addition, they did end up plowing snow in April. This is a problem as the sides of the road are so soft. They put in all the floats at the harbor. They have begun doing a lot of ditching and replacing culverts, straightening up road signs and doing general clean up.
We lent a truck to the Town of Union to help during a storm because their’s was destroyed in a fire. We will be installing the new water faucet at the West Rockport Fire Station.
Finally, Mike Young will be taking vacation because he is over his limit of accrued vacation time, so over the next six weeks or so he will be out a lot.
Kerry is working on a method where we can send one bill for time shares, it is an uphill swim but will save us a LOT of work, aggravation and money if he is successful.
Maine Revenue was here last week doing their annual audit.
Our shape inspection did not go as we had hoped. We have a new list of minor things to get fixed and Diane and department heads are working hard to get these all done. She is doing a great job keeping the group on task with this. We are hoping to get this done soon.
Megan said last week that for the first time since November she felt caught up. But then the pre audit started. She and Molli have attended several trainings over the past month.
In addition, she and Molli have been at the forefront of the WW inflow survey. This is a big undertaking to get started and they both have really worked hard on it. Megan is meeting with a Student from the Midcoast school of technology who is interested in being a Summer intern to work on the I&I Study.
We received 40 piling tops from Bar Harbor that we will use to replace the pilings along the headwall with new decorative ones. The purpose of the old pilings was not to hold the wall in place but for the schooners and other working craft to lay along side and not up against the Granite wall. We have been replacing them with ones that were driven into the bottom and they serve no structural purpose. They do however give a sense of the edge of the grass.
We have replaced the hot water tank that failed over the winter. Abbie attended the Maine Healthy beaches training. We have had 2 years of excellent reports from our testing with only one day of over the limits allowed. We are hopeful that we will see the same result this year. Possibly the many small changes we have made is working.
Lots of events at the Library, Titanic, 4 activities for school vacation. Easter Egg hunt. Poetry month. They will be holding a 5K road race on June 23 beginning at 8:30, I know this is true because I saw Ben out training for it.
The Police Department has been busy with calls and put together a drug takeback program. Sargent Moore attended the FBI training and we had 4 officers trained in crime scene processing.