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Eminent domain question on Camden ballot Nov. 3

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 28, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich A small piece of property needed to build a long-planned sidewalk to Shirttail Point is the subject of the eminent domain item on the local ballot Nov. 3.

CAMDEN — Camden voters will decide one item on the local ballot that will clear the way for a long-planned sidewalk to Shirttail Point park and swimming area, if approved.

The issue involves the town taking a piece of a private property by eminent domain, which involves voters approving an order of condemnation. The stated purpose of the taking is “for highway purposes to slightly enlarge the right of way for sidewalk improvements, and to obtain an easement."

In return the town pays the property owner compensation.

The piece of private property is approximately 120 square feet in size. It is located at 225 Washington St., next to the driveway to Shirttail and is the last piece of property needed by the town to build the sidewalk.

In exchange for the taking, the town will pay $2,150 to property owner Karin Pennoyer.

There were four properties where the sidewalk either went outside the right of way or where the town needed a construction easement, according to Town Manager Audra Caler. The town was able to come to agreements with three of the four property owners, she said Oct. 27.

The sidewalk will be built on the north east side of Washington Street, from Matthew John Avenue to Shirttail Point, to provide pedestrian access to the park.

The Maine Department of Transportation is funding the project, along with the town of Camden.

The town has been saving money to build the sidewalk for many years. Back in 2010, there was around $32,500 in a Washington Street Sidewalk Extension Reserve Fund. By 2018, the reserve fund had increased to $35,000. The reserve fund currently contains about $64,000, according to Finance Director Jodi Hanson.

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