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Camden voters to decide eminent domain issues Nov. 3

By Susan Mustapich | Sep 17, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich New drainage under the Public Landing at the end of Commercial Street and in front of the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce requires voter approval Nov. 3.

CAMDEN — Camden Select Board members unanimously approved two local items for voters to decide Nov. 3.

One ballot item involves approval of the taking of a piece of a private property by the town to make way for a Washington Street sidewalk to the town-owned Shirttail Park and swimming area. Another involves the taking of property by the state to install new drainage at the Public Landing.

The board vote took place at their Sept. 15 meeting.

Sidewalk

Voters will be asked to approve the taking by eminent domain of approximately 120 square feet of property at 225 Washington St. “for highway purposes to slightly enlarge the right of way for sidewalk improvements, and to obtain an easement."

In exchange for the taking, the town will pay $2,150 to property owner Karin Pennoyer. The property is next to the driveway into Shirttail Point park, and is the last piece of property needed to build the sidewalk. The sidewalk will be built on the north side of Washington Street, from Matthew John Avenue to Shirttail Point, to provide pedestrian access to the park.

Public Landing drainage

Voters will also be asked to allow the Maine Department of Transportation to take town-owned property on the Public Landing to install a drainage system near the Sea Dog Restaurant and harbor walkway.

This is part of a major drainage project that runs along Elm Street to the Public Landing.

The land DOT wants is about 3,000 square feet, and begins on the harbor walkway near the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce visitor center, and extends to the bank of the Megunticook River. The town will receive $18,650 in compensation.

In response to a question from Select Board member Marc Ratner, Town Manager Audra Caler confirmed there was nothing controversial about this and the town knew it was part of the drainage project.

MDOT’s process is not like the town’s process of negotiating with property owners along the Washington St. sidewalk route, Caler said. MDOT goes through its own process and at the end tells the town the area it is taking and the amount of compensation. Ratner said he believed DOT is also going to help with sprucing up the harbor walkway.

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