Rockport Select Board tackles full agenda
Rockport — There was a full agenda for select board members to address Feb. 10, including approval of grants, a stand-up paddle board race and information about repairs proposed for Mt. Pleasant Street.
A Boating Infrastructure grant for $133,300 and a $53,400 Small Harbor Improvement grant from Maine Department of Transportation were accepted by the board. A Department of Agriculture Project Canopy Tree grant in the amount of $8,370 was also accepted.
The select board approved use of Rockport Harbor for the starting point of the 2014 SUP CUP, a two-day, stand-up paddle boarding race from Rockport to Lincolnville.
William Chapman, chairman of the select board, strayed from the agenda for a moment to recognize a long-time town employee.
“A non-agenda item, we would like to take this opportunity to officially thank our out-going Public Works Director Steve Beveridge,” he said.
Chapman said because of Beveridge's dedication to the town, the select board wanted to present him with a token of esteem: two photos. The photos were of Beveridge driving a plow truck and of him working alongside his public works crew.
Beveridge and Public Works Director Mike Young the impassibility of sections of Mt. Pleasant Street.
Young and Beveridge have identified five major areas in a 2.1-mile stretch that need attention and plan to try to find money in the budget to fix the worst section as soon as possible. The update was spurred by complaints made during recent meetings by residents of the road.
“If you have a dirt road, you will have a mud season,” Beveridge said. “In some places the frost comes out slow and you don’t even notice; others it comes out so fast that the ruts are a foot deep.”
Beveridge explained that because the road is on the side of a mountain, the ledge underneath and the natural springs can cause a section of road to be wet a majority of the time.
Young said his best fiscal estimate to address the five worst areas is around $90,000.
“The best figure to go by to repair a dirt road is about $7,500 per 100 feet,” Young said.
After hearing of the plan, Mt. Pleasant Street resident Jack Lane said he was pleased with the plan and said Young and Beveridge have done “good work.”
“We didn’t envision that you would do it all at once, it is just not doable,” Lane said. “I am glad to hear that you plan to do it one section at a time – one or two more years and you’ll have it licked.”
Town Manager Richard Bates also presented his monthly report and began by acknowledging a letter from a resident thanking Rockport Fire Department for coming to her rescue after a water pipe burst in her home.
Bates said,”The woman was very happy that they came and helped her out and just didn’t say, 'well, this isn’t a fire' and left.”
He also spoke about taking part in the Boston Globe Travel Show and a new town website in the works that will help drive tourism to town.
“The site is designed to show that Rockport is a destination to take a look at,” Bates said. “We want people to turn at the light on Route 1 and come see what we have to offer. Live, learn, work and play are the reasons to come to Rockport.”
Bates said Rockport does not have to replicate what is being done to the north and south in Camden and Rockland, but rather take advantage those resources, while focusing on the strengths of the town.
“We need to find what we do well and capitalize on it,” he said.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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