A new hiking, biking and Nordic ski trail at the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area will be built by a Skowhegan firm. The Camden Select Board voted 4-1 on Aug. 16 to empower Recreation Director Jeff Kuller, Town Manager Roberta Smith and Town Attorney William Kelly to enter into negotiation with Applied Forestry of Skowhegan to begin work this fall.

Board member John French opposed the motion, after stating his preference that the contract should be given to the lowest bidder, Rockport-based Farley and Son. Kuller said Applied Forestry’s machine operators also have experience grooming Nordic ski trails and that the company has done work on the Maine Huts system and other trail systems similar to the one planned for the Snow Bowl.

Kuller said the Ragged Mountain Foundation pledged an additional $10,000 beyond the amount already allocated for the redevelopment project to be dedicated to the trail work.

No further money is expected from the town, he said.

The Select Board capped payment for the construction at $105,000. Kuller said other project costs, including payment to Gartley & Dorsky for engineering, permitting and oversight, were not included in that figure.

Waterfront concession

A request from Susie Laidlaw of Harbor Dogs, a food concession that rents space on the public landing, asked the board to consider transferring the license agreement between her business and the town to two of her employees who hope to purchase the business.

Laidlaw is the wife of Select Board member Morgan Laidlaw, who did not participate in the discussion.

Susie Laidlaw said the buyers needed a one- to three-year lease from the town in order to secure financing for the purchase. Laidlaw’s current lease expires in 2013.

“I don’t think this was ever intended to be passed on,” said French. “With competition for public space, is that the proper way to deal with town space?”

While no other business has specifically requested the use of that location, the board has stated that there is not room for more than one food concession on the public landing.

“It’s never been advertised as space available,” said French.

Laidlaw asked if the board would consider giving Harbor Dogs a five-year lease, before opening the spot to other businesses. Such agreements are generally made between the town and the owner of a business, rather than with the business entity.

The board did not act on the request, but suggested the buyers request that financing be contingent on a multi-year agreement between them and the town. Once financing is secured, the buyers would return to the Select Board to discuss the terms of an agreement to operate Harbor Dogs at the public landing.

Fire truck bid awarded

The Select Board agreed to move forward with a lease-purchase agreement with Pierce Manufacturing for a 2012 pump truck, similar to the current engine No. 5 but with more storage capability.

The cost of the truck will be $557,560, but that could be reduced, based on a variety of financing options and possible changes in interest rates.

Voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to authorize the board to make final negotiation with Pierce Manufacturing.

Farley & Son to build boat ramp

With a bid of $86,579, Rockport firm Farley & Son was the lowest of three bidders for the contract to rebuild the Bog Bridge boat ramp on Route 105, on the west side of Megunticook Lake.

The project is to be funded by the state and includes constructing a concrete plank boat ramp, repaving the existing parking lot, and building a new gravel parking area at the launch site, officially referred to as the Megunticook Lake Boating Facility on Route 52.

Public hearing scheduled for ballot questions

A public hearing will take place Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Washington Street Conference Room to review articles that are being considered for Camden’s Nov. 8 referendum ballot.

The following matters will be discussed in that hearing.

  • The fire department’s capital improvement purchase of a new truck
  • Renewal of the town’s 20-year lease to the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce of space at the public landing
  • An historic preservation ordinance
  • A property assessed clean energy ordinance
  • The release of the town’s rights for land owned by Rebecca Conrad regarding the encroachment of a portion of the building footprint at 8 Bayview St. that has existed for more than 40 years

The next meeting of the Camden Select Board is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Washington Street Conference Room.

A referendum vote will take place Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Public Safety Building.

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