The Rockland City Council will face a number of issues when it meets Monday, May 3, including what to do with the soon-to-be vacant MacDougal School.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. The council will also hear a presentation on the possibility of choosing a geothermal heating system for the proposed public works garage. The council will also set the agenda for the Monday, May 10 meeting.

Voters approved the closure of the MacDougal School on Nov. 5 on the recommendation of the Regional School Unit 13 School Board. State law requires that the municipality be given the first option on the building if it is no longer to be used as a public school.

The City Council initially discussed the matter at its April 5 meeting but came to no agreement. Councilors asked for more information, including whether the lot could be divided, with the school district retaining some land and the city keeping the property fronting Broadway.

The school was built in 1954. The parcel totals 5.2 acres with the 24,150-square-foot building.

A group of organizations including Broadreach and Penquis have expressed interest in using the property for a preschool. The district, however, wants to turn the property over to the city.

Several councilors said the property would be ideal for house lots.

The city has the land valued at $445,800 although the land is currently exempt from property taxes because it is a publicly owned school.

Energy efficiency

The council will also hear a presentation from an engineer on the option of using geothermal for the proposed public works garage.

Voters may be asked in November whether to approve borrowing to build a new garage on the same property where the current garage is located on Burrows Street off Pleasant Street, adjacent to city hall.

The garage is included in the city manager’s proposed capital improvement budget at $1.7 million.

The council will also delve into the topic of energy efficiency with a proposal to study the creation of a program called PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy).

PACE is a financing structure that enables local governments to raise money through the issuance of bonds or other sources of capital to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A vote on that study would come at the May 10 meeting.

Also at the May 10 meeting, the council will consider approval of a labor contract with the Teamsters union, which represents police, public works and clerical workers in Rockland. Negotiations had been in mediation between the parties.