City council looks at goals for Camden Street as Walmart move approaches

By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 08, 2013

Rockland — Rockland City Council will consider resolves at the Monday, Feb. 11, meeting aimed at establishing objectives for Camden Street redevelopment.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

The council will consider adopting a series of "value statements" proposed by the Economic Development Advisory Committee, which has been looking at goals for Camden Street. How will it be re-developed after the Walmart in Rockland closes and relocates to the new superstore being built on Route 1 in Thomaston?

The values include access to the harbor for recreation, economic and cultural identity; celebrating historic character; and embracing the hometown qualities of life including city-wide neighborliness and a small-town feel.

"We appreciate the availability of comprehensive goods and services including commercial, retail, recreational, educational, religious and cultural," the resolve document states.

Also mentioned are public service, volunteerism, beauty, natural resources and diversity.

"We desire enhanced walkability, bicycling and transit in order to promote personal health, safety, enjoyment and convenience," it states.

Specific goals include:

  • Diluting highway focus without diminishing capacity by building a civilized street that enriches the experience of all users of the corridor, including pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles and transit.
  • Reinforce mixed use, including residential, commercial and recreational uses.
  • Enhance all networks including wildlife, storm water, transit, and pedestrian linkages, etc.
  • Changing the perception of the area
  • Creating economic opportunities for redevelopment
  • Planning for the long term

The resolve is sponsored by City Manager James Smith.

The Rockland Economic Development Committee has been working with Friends of Midcoast Maine and local residents developing a community plan for the Camden Street strip.

Included in the study to be developed will be ways to improve car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Part of the scope would be increase of real estate values and reformation of Camden Street as a gateway to the downtown, a benefit to the adjacent neighborhoods, and the city as a whole.

City councilors met with members of the committee during the agenda-setting meeting Feb. 4.

Meanwhile, plans are continuing for the new Walmart Superstore in Thomaston.

The February Thomaston newsletter provided the following update:

"The project continues toward the goal of substantial completion set for Aug. 24. Followed by the fixture set completion on Sept. 6 with the final stocking, the grand opening is set for Oct. 16, 2013.

"...Currently the 2-foot by 1 1⁄2-foot perimeter footings are being installed in preparation for precast walls to be installed. This will be followed by steel beams and the roof scheduled for mid-March completion by Pike Construction."

Courier Publications Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at or 594-4401.

Comments (13)
Posted by: Dan Dunkle | Feb 11, 2013 11:02

Will Clayton forwarded this email he sent to Dale to us here at the paper:

Good evening Dale
I wanted to reach out to you after last nights comments on Village Soup.  The reason I posted my comments is because in the 2+ years I have been on council I have seen way more negativity in this city than anything, and it is quite a shame.  Perhaps I was a little terse and I apologize for that.  I want to, and have been trying to get people to interact with the council, manager etc and collectively move forward with a vision we can all share in.  Your comments on line last night I felt did not pertain to the article.  Camden street is a major concern to the council and should be for all the residents of Rockland as well since we are losing one of the anchor stores.  The REDAC members are all citizens that take their personal time to work on developing ideas to promote prosperity.  All comments listed on that story last night were seemingly against their efforts and I am not sure if any of you have read the plan they have come up with, but it is worth a look.
Now, to your response.  I understand where you are coming from in regards to the open collections and past accounts such as Plan-It Recycling.  However I cannot reiternate enough that is why we must be vigilant in moving forward wtih the lessons learned.  Inclusion and comments from residents such as yourself is what we need to do.  But, it is hard to hear those comments when they are only posted on online forums.  Please try to work with us as much as possible.  If you do not want to, that is certainly your right.
Regarding your comments on your fabric structure, the courts of Maine have weighed in and I prefer to leave it to them.
One last question.  You mention 'payouts' in your comments online.  What and who are you referring to?   If there is something like that happening, or have happened, I would like to know.  Otherwise comments like that are speculative and inflammatory.
Mayor Clayton

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Feb 11, 2013 09:14

My experience with city government committees has proven true to the fact that most members have an agenda for being on such committee. When I went to a meeting concerning Walgreen's building in the City, I thought the organizers really cared about what was best for all. Turned out I was wrong and these folks have no use for you unless you see it their way. I tried another couple of committees but they are not for me. I find that many times personalities are placed above perspectives and that's what has made Camden Street the mess it is today. Being on the Council takes much time and a thick skin. It's a thankless job and I'd like to believe that most are worthy of the job. If you can't be part of the solution then be part of the problem. Keep writing Dale and don't worry about grammar.


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Feb 11, 2013 07:08

I need to brush up on my computer skills, proofreading skills, spell check skills and probably others. But in this computer world and as I gain age  I find myself perhaps being careless/overly cautious  in my typing and proofreading. I have always been a good speller and do not blame it on the computer, the dog did not  them. I do have a college education and then some, but, as one member of the Camden School Board put it; " If your writing skills are so poor, I am amazed that the school continued to employ you". Well ,fortunately, for me, I guess,  the school departments do not give substitute teachers writing tests, nor do they insist that every student can write cursive or print, even their names, with legible correctness, another story I suppose. I make that connection only to find even the Mayor Rockland is not perfect with his grammatical endeavors for which I find could be for the same reason I have aforementioned and will hereafter try to improve. Even in my recent posting to this comment opportunity, so gracefully available, I find myself, as hard as it is to believe making these life altering errors repeatedly. For that I must continue to feel inadequate to properly create an image of the issues that are being discussed inasmuch as the focal point appears to be hidden behind a huge snowbank on Funk and Wagnalls porch. All, that being said I welcome any comments be they harsh, frightful, misspelled, or in the minds of our great leaders of our educational system(s), wish we were all perfect. Thank you again, Dale Hayward

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Feb 10, 2013 15:44

I am a positive, upbeat, optimistic person with a "CAN DO" attitude. What I CANNOT DO is pay any more taxes. It could mean having to sell my house of over forty years. If nobody speaks out nothing will change.  Focus needs to be on drastically cutting our upcoming budget; as Steve Carroll mentioned at the last council meeting. Talk about "negativity bringing down a group"; what about those of us who have lived here all our lives and would like to continue?

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Feb 10, 2013 08:48

I do not know what happened that made my prior post so long, I guess the post expected me to provide more information as I was on a roll and could do so. When I type I type faster than I should and I sometimes, as you will see make mistakes, whether they are in spelling, punctuation, or just sloppy. I went back but was unsuccessful in being able to proofread.  So please put your emphasis on the point of the article. Thanks.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Feb 10, 2013 07:50

more double talk.

Posted by: Christine Clayton | Feb 09, 2013 23:06

Sorry the last comment was by me, Mayor Clayton.  I truly look forward to hearing all concerns and potential answers brought forward by those who have posted on this article.

Posted by: Christine Clayton | Feb 09, 2013 22:55

Sorry the last comment was by me, Mayor Clayton.  I truly look forward to hearing all concerns and potential answers brought forward by those who have posted on this article.

Posted by: Christine Clayton | Feb 09, 2013 22:53

How about some positivity?  How about being part of the solution that can bring a major enhancement to this city?  All I have seen on here is the negativity that brings down a group working towards prosperity.  I ask you to bring forth any negative or positive comments to us Monday night at Council meeting, 7pm.  I look forward to seeing you both there.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Feb 09, 2013 16:58

Good points Mr. Ecker, Mr. Hayward and Mrs. Wass. 

Posted by: Edwin Ecker | Feb 09, 2013 13:17

Moved out of Rockland when my taxes doubled in two years and I never looked back,too bad the CC isn't working to benefit all it's citizens.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Feb 09, 2013 10:23

Let's see, Goodwill is a major retail outlet, they pay no property taxes (they are non profit). Why should my tax dollars go toward "enhancing" Home Depot, Staples, Shaw's and all the rest. They need to take responsibility in advertising and promotion. Another city council said  there was not enough room, maybe so, but it is wally's choice to move and not the Rockland City Council to try and repair the damage. That space will be rented, too good of a commerical location and not a political one. City Councils  are like cats, covering their  tracks after doing their duty. Maybe this city needs an "UPTOWN BUSINESS GROUP" SO THEY CAN GET GRANT MONEY TO PUT A NEW FACADE ON SOME BUILDINGS OR TO REPAVE THE SIDEWALKS EVERY YEAR.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Feb 09, 2013 06:48

Well, Rockland did have it's chance to have a Super Walmart.  They said "No".   Wondering if these ideas for "Enhancing" Camden Street will cost the taxpayers and how much?  Just seems like a waste of time and money at this point.

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