CAMDEN — The Camden and Lincolnville select boards are seeking a path forward as they consider sharing the costs on major dam maintenance and repair projects in the future.

The boards met in a joint session Monday night, Feb. 7, in Camden.

“We don’t have rules of engagement,” said Camden Select Board member Sophie Romana at one point.

Lincolnville Chair Ladleah Dunn said, “We are tasked with spending other people’s money.” She said the board does not want to send money to other communities such as Camden without a clear mechanism, either an ordinance or inter-local agreement outlining how that cooperation works.

Traditionally, Lincolnville has provided one third of the costs for care and maintenance of the Megunticook East and West dams. In the past, a dam committee involving members from both towns and stakeholders, such as the lakes association, met to discuss these issues.

At some point the dam committee stopped meeting and the towns have not been meeting to discuss issues involving the dams. Lincolnville officials noted that at one point they got a large bill from Camden for dam work seemingly out of the blue.

Camden Vice Chair Alison McKellar said the agreement between the towns was never formalized through a town meeting vote and compared it to a handshake agreement.

A spreadsheet was provided showing future costs including an expected $100,000 in fiscal year 2024 to replace the sluiceway gate and rails at Megunticook East dam and another $100,000 in 2026 for refacing concrete structures at the same dam.

The Seabright Dam is going to need $250,000 in work in 2025.

McKellar noted that a lot of funding for improvements and changes to dams is available if the projects include certain features or meet certain environmental criteria.

Both boards are going to work on creating lists of priorities and determining how to work together now that they have had this workshop discussion.

 

 

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