Rockport Select Board approves budget, food truck, harbor celebration
Rockport — Rockport Select Board members tackled a full agenda April 14, partially in preparation for a public hearing and final vote on the 2014-15 municipal budget scheduled for April 22, 7 p.m. at Rockport Opera House.
The Rockport Budget Committee voted at their last meeting in favor of moving forward with the proposed $4.8 million municipal budget, but asked select board members to go back and discuss the terms of a lease that would provide the public works department with a new Ford F-350. The question asked was why the town decided to go with a three-year lease instead of two.
According to select board member Geoffrey Parker, he was a proponent of the three-year lease because it lessened the initial blow and spread the payments out over a longer period, but after hearing another perspective, he said he felt a shorter term was worth looking into.
Budget Committee member John Viehman said a two-year lease would be a better option, stating the possible savings in the long run with a shorter term lease would make the most sense.
“It makes sense to take a bit bigger hit in the first two years and be done with it than stretching it out over a three-year term.”
After a brief discussion the board split its vote 2-2, meaning the term of the lease will remain three-years. Selectman Ken McKinley was not present.
Select Board Chairman William Chapman reminded the board and Viehman the issue can be brought up again at the scheduled public hearing April 22, as long as someone on the budget committee that voted in favor of the shorter lease asks for a second look at the issue.
In other business, nomination papers are due by the close of business Friday, April 25, for three-year terms on the select board, budget and library committees and one for a director on the School Administrative District 28 and Five Town Community School District school boards.
Seats up for grabs include those currently held by Chapman and Parker on the select board, David Jackson, Stephanie Kumble and Thomas Murphy on the budget committee, Elizabeth Elwin’s seat on the library committee and Eliza Haselton’s seat on the SAD 28/Five Town CSD board. All are three-year terms. One seat on the library committee is a one-year term to expire in 2015 to replace Barrie Pribyl, who resigned from the committee.
The board also discussed other committee openings on the Camden-Rockport Pathways Committee (one regular, three alternates), Conservation Commission (one vacancy), Harbor Committee (one vacancy), Historic Preservation Committee (four vacancies), investment Committee (two vacancies), Opera House Committee (one vacancy), Ordinance Review Committee (one vacancy), Recreation Committee (two vacancies) and Zoning Board of Appeals (one vacancy).
Anyone interested on serving on one of these committees should see the town clerk for an application.
The board accepted the resignation of Robert Tassi from the Harbor Committee and tabled an application from Gordon Best to be appointed to that committee. Best was the only applicant and by request of the harbor committee chairman asked to extend the application deadline to the May meeting as three more people have come forward and expressed interest in being on the committee.
An application by Ted Skowronski for a seat on the Historical Preservation Committee was approved 4-0 by the board.
Also approved by the board were a special harbor celebration slated for July 5, a permit for a food truck to operate at Harbor Park and the adoption of the National Incident Managements System (NIMS) as Rockport’s all-hazard incident management system.
Fox on the Run, a mobile food truck operated by Lauren Jellison, gained permission from the board to operate the truck near the harbor master's office in Harbor Park and plans to begin operation in June.
Finally, select board member Ken McKinley was appointed by his peers to serve on the joint Camden-Rockport Planning Commission to work with planners on a design for the intersection of Conway Road and Elm, Camden and John streets.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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