In wake of criticism, state agrees to postpone Rockland paving

By Stephen Betts | Apr 11, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — The Maine Department of Transportation will hold off on the planned paving of South Main Street if the city wants a delay after city officials pointed out that Rockland would soon be digging it up to perform a storm water project.

Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said Monday, April 10, that while the department was aware that the city was eventually going to install storm water lines, state officials had not been informed that Rockland had obtained funding for the work.

The state will hold off on the South Main Street paving until after the city completes its project, Talbot said.

DOT announced the change after The Courier-Gazette contacted the department about criticism from city officials over the state agency's planning to go ahead with the paving.

"The Maine DOT is insisting on proceeding with the paving of South Main Street knowing that the city is planning on constructing a major storm water line in what will be a newly paved street. This is an example of government at its worst," Rockland Water Pollution Plant Director Terry Pinto said Monday in an email statement.

"The premature paving of this road will delay the storm sewer project and grossly increase the cost, rendering the paving as a total waste of money. It is absurd that the Maine DEP is insisting the city of Rockland separate its sewers and the Maine DOT is insisting on paving a road that is a key component of the city's separation project," Pinto said.

Acting City Manager Audra Caler Bell also pointed out in her weekly manager's report that the state was going ahead with paving, even though the city would be then doing the storm water separation project.

Talbot said the city had not notified the department even as recently as when paving bids were opened earlier this year that it had received funding for the storm water project.

Crooker Construction was awarded the paving project. The state will be paving Camden Street, with the work expected to begin in a few weeks.

Pinto said the storm water project could begin as early as fall, but may not begin until spring 2018. The work will take 60 days to complete, he said.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Maggie Trout | Apr 13, 2017 10:46

What?  This isn't a matter of a scoop competition, but whether the CG prints the Rockland City Manager Report anymore -  and who are you?



Posted by: Jeanne Luetjen | Apr 13, 2017 07:02

Maggie, I wrote the story on the MDOT plan before any other source, on Monday morning.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Apr 13, 2017 05:48

All good questions. I hope that we receive some answers from Mr. Pinto ASAP. Also, what is the hold up now that we cannot get the job done before another year goes by??



Posted by: Maggie Trout | Apr 12, 2017 20:42

Doesn't the CG print the Rockland (Assistant) City Manager Report?  I only learned of the MDOT attempt from the Pen Bay Pilot's printing of the Rockland report.  Did I miss it here?



Posted by: Maggie Trout | Apr 11, 2017 14:50

Key info via Valerie Wass:  "FINALLY, HOPEFULLY the Maine DOT has forced the cities hand in moving forward with the project.  I am wondering where the funds went for this project way back in 2003.  Below are excerpts from Village Soup regarding the South End sewer project.  NOTICE THE ARTICLE DATES!!!!!!!

 

Village Soup Sept. 17, 2002

Rockland will receive $3.7 million in federal grants and loans to help pay for planned renovations of the city's sewer systems, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe announced Monday.

 


The funds will offset the estimated $5.5 million cost of Rockland's two massive sewer projects: the $1.5 million replacement of the city's three aging sewer pumping stations, and the $4 million separation of sewer and stormwater lines in the south end.

 

Village Soup Jan. 25, 2003
In Rockland, two major sewer projects are concurrently planned: replacement of the three sewage-pumping stations and installation of separate pipes for storm and wastewater in the city's South End.

 

Rodney Lynch, the city's community development director, said it was an honor to receive one of these "highly competitive grants." According to DECD, the agency received requests over $7.6 million this year with only $3.38 million available in the grant program.
Like Warren, Rockland's grant is combination $240,000 grant and $160,000 loan.


Late last year, the city received a $1.5 million grant and a $2.2 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture toward the sewer work.


The South End project has a price tag of $3.95 million, while the pump station replacement carries a cost of $1.5 million.
According to city figures, a total of $2.77 million will be borrowed to pay for both projects: the $2.2 million loan from the USDA, the $160,000 from CDBG, and the city will borrow the remaining $390,000. City voters approved bonding both projects in last November's election."

 



Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Apr 11, 2017 14:17

3.7 million is a lot of money and where did it go????



Posted by: Doug Curtis Jr. | Apr 11, 2017 09:53

OK, Lesson to the people selecting the next manager.  In addition to getting someone with common sense and perhaps a public administration degree, find someone with Intergovernmental Management EXPERIENCE.  They actually have specializations for that in Public Administration.  I hope the state paid for the letters sent out certified  mail to all the property owners along South Main Street and not the city.  We need to fix our roads.  We need to fix our sewers and we need to focus on reducing our property taxes in this city.  Let's focus on bringing in some business and jobs into this community and lets use all the tools in our tool bag to do so.  When you can get federal and state help to do this, you should be all over this.  People in the South End have been disappointed before when the city ran out of money to complete the last project.  We need to demand the same effort from our school administration. 



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Apr 11, 2017 09:39

Maybe it will slow traffic down.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Apr 11, 2017 08:14

FINALLY, HOPEFULLY the Maine DOT has forced the cities hand in moving forward with the project.  I am wondering where the funds went for this project way back in 2003.  Below are excerpts from Village Soup regarding the South End sewer project.  NOTICE THE ARTICLE DATES!!!!!!!

 

Village Soup Sept. 17, 2002

Rockland will receive $3.7 million in federal grants and loans to help pay for planned renovations of the city's sewer systems, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe announced Monday.
The funds will offset the estimated $5.5 million cost of Rockland's two massive sewer projects: the $1.5 million replacement of the city's three aging sewer pumping stations, and the $4 million separation of sewer and stormwater lines in the south end.
Village Soup Jan. 25, 2003

In Rockland, two major sewer projects are concurrently planned: replacement of the three sewage-pumping stations and installation of separate pipes for storm and wastewater in the city's South End.
Rodney Lynch, the city's community development director, said it was an honor to receive one of these "highly competitive grants." According to DECD, the agency received requests over $7.6 million this year with only $3.38 million available in the grant program.
Like Warren, Rockland's grant is combination $240,000 grant and $160,000 loan.
Late last year, the city received a $1.5 million grant and a $2.2 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture toward the sewer work.
The South End project has a price tag of $3.95 million, while the pump station replacement carries a cost of $1.5 million.
According to city figures, a total of $2.77 million will be borrowed to pay for both projects: the $2.2 million loan from the USDA, the $160,000 from CDBG, and the city will borrow the remaining $390,000.
City voters approved bonding both projects in last November's election.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Apr 11, 2017 08:07

That means that the South End roads are going to be a mess for another year.  GREAT!

 



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