Rockland gives break to festival
Rockland — The Rockland City Council agreed Monday night, Sept. 12 to waive the $12,000 park rental fee owed by the organization that puts on the annual Maine Lobster Festival.
The council voted 4-1 (Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson opposed) to waive the fee.
The city billed the Rockland Festival Corporation for police, emergency medical service, and public works services. The waiver for the use of Harbor and Buoy parks for the week does not waive the service fees.
Dickerson said the donations made by the festival to the community are great but that it would make more sense to have them pay the park use fees and donate an equal amount less to the city.
The council also voted to postpone until Oct. 12 a preliminary vote on a proposed ordinance to prohibit a left turn from North Main Street to Main Street. The vote to postpone was 3-2 with Councilors Dickerson and Eric Hebert opposed to the postponement.
Hebert said he saw no need to impose a prohibition on such a turn.
Councilor William Clayton said the prohibition was needed, more for pedestrian safety than to prevent vehicle crashes.
Councilor Larry Pritchett said he would like to see the reasons for the proposal from the public works director.
Dickerson said she was concerned that the action would result in people using side streets near the intersection and then making left turns from those streets. And, she said, it would increase traffic and create more of a rotary effect on Union and Main streets.
The council also unanimously gave preliminary approval to an ordinance to modify the local preference ordinance for awarding city bids. The change will give preference to bidders from all of Knox County rather than just Rockland if the price is close.
The council gave final approval 3-2 (Councilors Dickerson and Pritchett opposed) to a lease of the former Sea Scouts building at Snow Marine Park to John Conte of Conte's 1894 Restaurant.
The lease would run for a year for $6,000 a year. The tenant will pay for utilities.
The council also voted 4-1 (Dickerson opposed) to name a travel portion of the parking lot between the Main Street business block and the sewage treatment plant as Kimball Lane.
Dickerson said while she did not oppose the name, she wanted to change the way the street naming is being done to more involve the public.
The street is named in honor of Iddo Kimball who built one of the first brick blocks on Main Street (where Moran Insurance is located). He died in 1854.
The council also voted 4-1 (Dickerson opposed) for final approval to issue a quit claim deed to Tom Albertson of Rockport for 16 Payson Lane for $44,500.
The 16 Payson Lane property was taken by the city in March for non-payment of $161 in unpaid sewer fees from 2009.
The property had last been owned by the estate of Rex Everett O'Brien.
The Payson Lane property is assessed by the city at $116,400. The 1,014-square-foot home was erected in 1972.
And the council gave final approval 4-1 (Dickerson opposed) to prohibit people from displaying or selling wares or foods in public parking lots. The city already prohibited such actions on city streets.