Rockport selectmen tend to large slate of issues
Rockport — Rockport select board members on Oct. 15 set polling hours, accepted committee resignations and appointments, discussed listening tours and approved creation of a junior firefighter program.
Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., residents of Rockport will be able to cast votes at Rockport Town Office's Richardson Room. The special town meeting vote will address a proposed change to the Shoreland Zone Overlay District. The change in the zoning would add municipal buildings to the acceptable use section of the ordinance. Renovation or new construction of the public library could take place at its existing location in the harbor village if the change is approved by both voters and Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
A sewer ordinance amendment, a sewer extension bond and an amendment to public utility installation were also added to the warrant.
The select board accepted the resignation of Nicole Lutmiller from the conservation committee and approved the appointment of Bruce Kapp to the vacancy it created.
“I’m excited to serve on the committee and although I have no official experience in conservation, it has always been an interest of mine,” Kapp said.
Kapp’s term on the committee expires in June 2016.
Selectmen also heard a report from the library committee concerning upcoming listening tours scheduled in each of the five Rockport neighborhoods.
According to Kathleen Meil, the first two meetings are currently scheduled — the first on Oct. 22 beginning at 6:30 p.m. for Simonton Corner residents at the Masonic Center and the second meeting, for village residents, is scheduled for Oct.29 at Rockport Opera House starting at 6:30 p.m.
The idea behind the meetings is to collect resident input on the library and services it offers, as well as discussing ways to solve the issue of inadequate building space and parking at its current location. Anybody may attend any, or all, of the meetings, including non-resident library users. Additional meetings will be scheduled and announced at a later date.
Later, Pen Bay Medical Center presented a request to the select board for a Community Development Block Grant to help with start-up costs for its new Hospice House.
The hospital plans to construct a 9,740-square-foot, seven-bed facility on the northwest corner of the 63-acre hospital campus to house the hospice facility. No action was taken at the meeting as the presentation was purely informational.
The approval of a junior firefighter program and acceptance of funds from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation for the purchase new firefighting equipment met no resistance from the select board, which approved both requests with a unanimous vote.
“The grant will allow for us to buy the equipment we need to bring us up to the current standards,” Fire Chief Jason Peasley said. “We have quite a few sets of turnout gear that need to be replaced and this gives us the ability to purchase enough so that going forward we will only need to replace a couple of sets a year.”
Peasley also said the junior firefighter program would be a great asset to the town and the department.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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