Maine’s Deputy Director of Economic and Community Development Brian Hodges will leave that post to do a similar job for the town of Camden, beginning March 14.

That announcement was made at the start of the March 1 meeting of the Camden Select Board.

Hodges, of West Gardiner, has worked for the state for 20 years and has been with DECD since 2006. Prior to his current post, he worked for the Department of Labor and the Department of Revenue Services.

Hodges will receive a salary of $62,858. He said that was less than he was paid at DECD, “but I see this as a great opportunity.”

“This is a chance to apply what I’ve learned at the policy level and apply it to a municipality,” Hodges said prior to the board meeting. “I couldn’t have picked a better town.”

“We’re lucky to have snagged him from the state,” Town Manager Roberta Smith told the board.

In other business, Don White, chairman of the now suspended Gateway 1 Implementation Steering Committee, told the board he hoped the 20 communities whose representatives comprised that committee will continue to work together on the planning issues that helped initiate the Gateway 1 process.

An economic forecast and action plan designed to address issues of economic growth was paid for with a Gateway 1 grant and created for Camden by Development Concepts, a planning and development firm. That report is available online at the town’s website at camdenmaine.gov.

Board member John French asked that a meeting be scheduled with Rockport officials to continue an exploration into the potential for the two towns to share public safety functions. Smith was directed to begin that process.

The select board approved the replacement of the Camden Police Department’s base repeater at Ragged Mountain. Police Chief Randy Gagne said replacing the communications device now, while the Knox Regional Communications Center was in the process of updating its equipment, would save the town added expense in advance of a required upgrade in 2013. Gagne said that work could be completed more cost effectively at this time, while other equipment was being located on top of Ragged Mountain.

The cost of the upgrade will be $6,500 and Gagne said that amount was available in his current budget.

A revocable license for Megunticook Rowing for the use of town property at Barrett’s Cove has been renewed for a period of five years. The Select Board awarded a bid of $320 per tree to Hoboken Gardens for the 2011 Shade Tree Planting Program.

The board agreed to spend approximately $50,000 from contingency funds to repair gutters on the south side of the Camden Opera House, replace the deck at the Camden-Rockport -Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce building, and replace the boiler at the Public Safety Building.

Smith reminded the board that budget season had begun, with meetings in regard to the fiscal year 2012 budget scheduled for every Thursday in March. Those meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Washington Street Conference Room and be televised on Channel 22.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.