Lincolnville citizens will be asked Monday, Jan. 25, at a special town meeting whether they favor assuming a small community zero-interest loan not to exceed $18,000 from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank to pursue public water and sewer services at Lincolnville Beach.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Walsh Common at the Lincolnville Central School and will precede a regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting.

If approved, the loan would be directed toward preparing an income survey, preparing legislation and tracking down potential funding sources to proceed with creating a quasi-municipal sewer, and possibly water, system at Lincolnville Beach.

The need for a sewer system has been established by the town’s water resources committee, which recommended the town pursue collecting the various private sewer systems into one new system. That system would initially stretch from the Maine State Ferry Terminal up to Route 1 in the vicinity of a new food market, Dot’s, up Route 173 to the area just before the Maine State Park, and then north along Route 1 to Windsor Chair company, and down to the shoreline.

Town Administrator David Kinney said the proposed system could be extended, and is not perpetually confined to the area outlined, which includes 70 properties.

Currently, the Lincolnville Beach Sanitary Facility, a privately managed sewer system, includes private and commercial properties in a smaller area of Lincolnville Beach; otherwise, properties at the beach have their own sewer systems, some with overboard discharge permits, and their own drinking wells. Over the years, some sewer systems have failed, and over the past five years, water-quality advisories have been posted 15 times at Lincolnville Beach.

The goal is to “connect the systems so we don’t have periodic issues,” Kinney said.

Kinney delivered testimony on Jan. 14 before the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Utilities and Energy, advocating for LD 1601, An Act to Create the Lincolnville Sewer District. Kinney told the committee that a proposed system “is very important to the town of Lincolnville for three primary reasons, public health and safety, environmental protection and economic enhancement.”

“Currently Lincolnville has no public wastewater disposal or water supply,” Kinney told the committee. “Several private wells have been contaminated by saltwater intrusion. To date the town has invested in an environmental study outlining the problems and possible solutions, and sources of funding are being researched.”

He told the committee that Lincolnville Beach attracts visitors from all over the world and is home to a vibrant year-round community. Besides its community and environmental attributes, it is also an economic asset and a former shell-fishing area, currently closed because of nearby overboard discharge systems.

“While we have been able to locate and seek corrections to inadequate wastewater disposal systems that may have contributed to the advisories being posted, we anticipate that future septic system failures may occur due to the marginal soils and small lot sizes in the beach area,” said Kinney. “The creation of a sewer district will assist in correcting any future deficiencies.”

Kinney also said that beach area businesses represent some of the town’s major employers and their growth is limited by wastewater and water supply systems.

“The creation of a sewer district that will also be able to provide potable water will assist in addressing these concerns,” Kinney said.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Carol Weston, R-Montville, and on Jan. 21, the committee voted it ought to pass.

The proposed loan is from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, which manages a series of programs for towns, school systems, water and sewer districts, and other governmental entities to tap capital financing. The $18,000 loan pursued by Lincolnville is zero-interest and if citizens approve on Monday, Jan. 25, the Lincolnville Water Resources Committee will work with the Maine Rural Water Association to “create a game plan to seek project funding for water supply and/or wastewater disposal at the traditional beach area,” according to the committee’s charge as stipulated last April by the Lincolnville selectmen.

The Monday, Jan. 25 special town meeting will be followed by a regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting, with an agenda that includes:

  • Further discussion about a Feb. 20 winter carnival at Breezemere Park and Norton Pond.
  • Hear an update from the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee.
  • Consider granting a special amusement permit to the Cellardoor Winery for a Feb. 20 event there.
  • Hear a presentation by the Rockport-based Citizens for Value In Education, a group of residents that advocates reducing the public education tax burden on taxpayers.