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Rockport board approves $5.8 million sewer project bid

Short-term rentals petition, public works truck also discussed
By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 23, 2021
Source: Screenshot Rockport Select Board takes action on several important items Feb. 22. Pictured are: Top, from left, Michelle Hannan, Debra Hall, Jeff Hamilton, and bottom row, Bill Post and Denise Munger.

Rockport — Rockport Select Board voted 4-0 Feb. 22 to award Nitram Excavation & General Contractor, Inc. the $5.8 million bid to complete a Route 1 water and sewer expansion project.

The town’s share is $4,485,428 with the other $1,361,320 to be provided by Maine Water Company.

Town Manager William Post explained that users pay for the system. He also noted the town may receive a $2 million grant to help pay for the project and since the project falls within the Route 1 TIF district, much of the annual payment or possibly all of it would be covered by revenue from the TIF district.

In addition, the project would provide for access to the system by 40 additional users, who would also pay into the system.

The town had received three bids on the project and Nitram was the low bidder.

The Select Board discussed the possibility of a non-binding question concerning short-term rental regulations on the June ballot and plans to discuss the issue more March 8.

The town has received a petition signed by 34 residents stating: “We, the undersigned residents of Rockport, request that the select board place the ordinance regarding short term rentals on the June ballot thereby giving all town residents a chance to vote on the matter.”

Post said the signatures have not been validated yet by the town clerk, but that would fall below the number that would force the board to put the question on a ballot.

The board had recently voted to table the proposed short-term rental ordinance after the issue caused heated debate in the community. The ordinance would have regulated the short-term rentals in the town, requiring rental owners to register with the town, pay an annual fee and adhere to health and safety and parking requirements. The proposed ordinance was more strict for people who did not live on the property they were renting out than for owner-occupied short-term rentals.

Vice Chair Denise Munger said she likes the idea of a non-binding question to poll the residents after it was proposed by Jeff Hamilton.

Chair Debra Hall said other town questions including library location and the fireworks ordinance had been placed on ballots as non-binding questions in the past.

The Select Board approved Camden resident Mark Siegenthaler’s $43,250 bid for the tax-acquired property located at 280 Rockland Street.

The board also voted to approve financing for a 2022 Public Works Western Star 4700SF plow truck through Androscoggin Bank for $202,730 with a rate of 1.89% for a 7-year term.

Two donors have donated the purchase and installation of a propane boiler for the library, Post reported. "This boiler is connected to the radiant heat that was installed as part of the lower-level upgrades." He said the town appreciates this generous gift.

The board also voted to approve Comprehensive Plan Committee bylaws.

In addition, Select Board members held an executive session on a legal matter.


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