City Council meets to set priorities; moratorium on buildings over 50 feet on upcoming agenda
Rockland — City Council will consider creating a work plan that would establish priority projects and policies for the council to focus on in fiscal year 2015 during a meeting Monday, Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
As part of the order sponsored by Mayor Larry Pritchett, the council wishes to solicit ideas from both the public and city staff in the development of this work plan. The document also states that the council has not developed an annual work plan for past years and has not engaged in much long-range planning beyond the comprehensive land use plan.
Also on the agenda for the Aug. 4 meeting are a work session concerning the Thorndike Parking Area and agenda-setting for the Monday, Aug. 11 regular City Council meeting.
The council will likely vote Aug. 11 on the final reading of an ordinance setting a moratorium in the city on site plan applications for new or expanded buildings over 50 feet tall in part of the downtown South of Park Street.
The council voted 3-2 to give initial approval to the moratorium in July. Councilors Eric Hebert and Frank Isganitis were opposed to the motion.
In addition, the Harbor Management Commission has recommended the city increase cruise ship fees to $8 per passenger. The present rate is $7 per passenger.
Harbormaster Ed Glaser said Aug. 4 that, should the increase be approved, it would not affect those ships which have already signed up for visits to the city in 2015. They would be charged the present rate. For the rest, it would go into effect in 2015 at the earliest.
The council will also consider in first reading a bond ordinance to fund repairs to Old County Road.
It was noted in this week's city manager report that the city manager's office has fielded citizen concerns about Snow Marine Park, which remains closed due to high E. coli counts. It was most recently tested July 28.
In addition, the city has sent out notices that it will be performing smoke and dye testing on sewer lines throughout the month of August. Smoke and dye from the test is non-toxic. Smoke should not enter a home unless the plumbing is defective or the drain pipes are dried up. The smoke may be visible coming out of vent stacks and roof leaders on houses and from holes in the ground. Residents and business owners are advised to pour a gallon of water into each floor drain or basement sink prior to the start of testing Aug. 5.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast since 1998.