New flood zone mapping in Warren
Warren — The Board of Selectmen discussed new Federal Emergency Management Agency proposed flood hazard maps at its Aug. 6 meeting.
FEMA mappers have identified 35 Warren properties with structures in the new flood zone, according to Town Manager Elaine Clark.
One of Clark's priorities is getting the word out about the new maps.
The town has sent letters to the affected owners, but she also encourages anyone who is in the vicinity of a stream, river or pond to go online to look at the maps or to visit the town office to review the Google map that superimposes the new flood zones onto all town properties.
"If flood insurance is needed, the time to buy it is now, since the federal subsidy of rates is being phased out and rates are going to increase," said Clark.
In other business, four paving bids were opened and the low bidder was Pike Industries at $78.89 per ton. The proposed contract has been sent to the company and Clark hopes for a quick turnaround since the specifications require the work to be complete by Sept. 20.
The ambulance billing contract was awarded to T.G. Higgins Business Services, PA, of Winterport. Their fee will be 6.5 percent of amounts collected, according to Clark.
"Before the contract can be executed, the selectmen need to decide how they wish to handle several matters," said Clark. She said they need to identify what can be billed and what cannot be billed,and what 2014 rates will be, among other things.
Clark said these will be discussed and possibly finalized at the Aug. 20 meeting and she will complete the contract at that point.
Warren is seeking applicants for a new Code Enforcement Officer. Current CEO Stan Waltz informed Clark last week that he does not have the time necessary to oversee the town in this capacity.
Waltz serves as CEO for eight towns. He will stay with Warren until a replacement is hired. Clark said the position needs approximately 20 hours per week — five hours during the morning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
"He has been a great CEO but as he says 'things are picking up' and business can't be handled in the 10 hours per week he has available," said Clark. "We hate to see him go."
After hearing that the town's insurer strongly discouraged the building of a tree house in Payson Park, the selectmen voted not to allow it. The Park Committee may go back to the drawing board with a more traditional piece of playground equipment.
The selectmen voted on the tax rate which will be $16.10 — a 20 cent increase due to the school budget increase. The town reduced expenditures to deal with the reduction in state revenue sharing, so the town held the line, according to Clark.
The next Board of Selectmen meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the town office.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 15.