City seeks grant for downtown upgradesSidewalks, lights to be improved
Rockland — The city may seek a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant to improve lighting and sidewalks on downtown side streets, according to Community Development Director John Holden.
A public hearing will be held on this project Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
As part of the grant, the city would be required to provide a $100,000 match, Holden said. However, he argued that money would have been spent by the city anyway on improvements to downtown lighting.
Holden said he has heard from downtown business owners that they would like to see improvements to sidewalks to help their businesses.
The city has been leasing the lights downtown from Central Maine Power. That lease ends in August, and the city plans to gradually take over ownership, installing new LED light fixtures and poles.
In addition, the city hopes to repair, upgrade and install sidewalks along side streets including Oak, Elm, Museum, School, Winter and Tillson. These improvements would not be entirely covered by the grant, but phased in over the course of coming years.
State and federal environmental protection regulators require improvement to sidewalk infrastructure to include work on improving storm water and waste water systems.
The City Council will likely vote to apply for the grant March 10 and the application is due by March 28. The city will hear in April or May if it was successful in receiving the grant.
Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 594-4401 ext. 122.
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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.