Breaking ground at the Snow Bowl
Camden — Town officials, staff, the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Redevelopment Committee, the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation and members of the engineering design and construction team gathered at the Snow Bowl for the official groundbreaking of a new sanitary system. Calling this project another milestone on the path of redeveloping Ragged Mountain into a year-round recreational area, Camden Select Board Chairman Martin Cates said it was important to him and the other select board members to celebrate this accomplishment and thank the many people who made this phase of the project possible.
Last spring, Snow Bowl staff discovered the sanitary system that serves the Snow Bowl was failing. According to Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Kuller, the septic system was beyond repair and needed to be replaced. The Ragged Mountain Redevelopment plan includes several major projects to improve and expand people’s experience at the Snow Bowl year round, including the need to replace and add capacity to the sanitary system.
“This won’t be the most visible part of the redevelopment project, and it’s not the most exciting part of the project,” Jeff Kuller said. “But I’m sure people will agree it is a necessary part of the redevelopment project.”
In 2007, Camden Select Board formed Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Redevelopment Committee, which is co-chaired by Rick Knowlton and Bob Gordon. The committee’s role is to oversee the design of the project to enhance the existing winter activities and fully use this natural asset by making it a four-season recreational area to be enjoyed by the residents of Camden, nearby communities and visitors to the Midcoast region. Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation, in existence since 1991 to support capital improvements at the facility, has taken responsibility for private fundraising. In November 2008, Camden voters approved an advisory vote to support the concept of issuing a $2 million bond when the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation reaches its goal of raising $4.5 million.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Cates thanked the Redevelopment Committee for their work and for partnering with the town to fund the new sanitary system.
“Camden is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of citizens and staff who have worked tirelessly to make the Ragged Mountain Redevelopment Plan a reality,” Cates said. “Your commitment and energy has gotten us to this point, and we know that by working together, we will get this project done!”
Gartley & Dorsky is the engineering firm that designed the sanitary system. Cates commended Will Gartley and his team for their work, stating “this was a challenging project to design due to the sensitive environment, as well as the terrain and topography.”
The town received bids from five construction companies. Cates said the select board was pleased they had a group of qualified contractors to choose from. The board awarded the bid to Farley & Sons at a price of $199,995 which was $12,000 less than the next bid. Cates told Tom Farley “We appreciate your sharpening your pencil to do this project at a very competitive price.” He thanked the entire construction crew for “an outstanding job on this project” adding, “the select board was glad we could hire a local firm.” The project is on track to be complete by Sept. 30.
Cates applauded the efforts of the Snow Bowl Staff, specifically thanking Kuller, William “Fitzy” Fitzcharles and Beth Ward saying their “dedication and support for this project has been invaluable.”
The Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Foundation’s capital campaign continues to raise funds for chair lifts, snow making equipment, trail development, and other program enhancements. Last month, they raised more than $140,000 at the “Mountain of Possibilities Artisans Auction” hosted by Caroline and Wayne Morong. This was possible due to the generosity of the artists who donated their work and many volunteers. That evening, seven more families and businesses pledged $10,000 each to sponsor a chair on the new lift that will be installed. The foundation is working to identify 100 donors to each sponsor a chair on the new lift. These funds bring the private donations and pledges total to more than $2.7 million toward the $4.5 million goal. Another special effort within the campaign is to raise $500,000 to name the great room in the new lodge in honor of Sara Montgomery, a beloved community member. Recently an anonymous donor announced a matching challenge pledge of up to $400,000. This challenge donation will expire at the end of this year so the foundation is encouraging everyone to make their pledges soon to take advantage of that generous offer. For more information about the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Redevelopment project and capital campaign, go to camdensnowbowl.com/redevelopment.