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Camden Town Manager's Report

Rawson Avenue bridge, pedestrian safety, energy improvement updates

Mar 29, 2021

CAMDEN — Updates on the Rawson Avenue bridge, energy savings, federal COVID-19 relief funds and police and fire department reports are highlighted in Camden Town Manager Audra Caler's March report.

The town of Camden is estimated to receive approximately $480,000 from the federal government as its allocation from the American Rescue Plan, according to Caler.

While detailed guidance has yet to be issued on what the federal funds can be used for, she will be asking the Select Board to meet and discuss a preliminary program outline for using these funds.

The Rockland City Council has invited the Camden Select Board, along with all the Select Boards in Knox County, as well as Lincolnville, Northport and Belfast, to join them in a discussion about renewable energy in the Midcoast. This meeting is scheduled for March 30 at 6 p.m.

The town of Camden is also working with Rockland on bidding road-line striping.

Caler and Public Works Director Dave St. Laurent plan to have a second meeting with the Maine Department of Transportation regional planner for the Midcoast and the director of the Bridge Program to discuss the removal of the Rawson Avenue bridge and its replacement with a pedestrian bridge the week of April 4.

The proposed FY22 Budget contains half the funding that can be used as a matching contribution to MDOT for the bridge project, with the remaining match to be allocated in FY23.

A meeting with Patrick Adams took place March 24 to review pedestrian safety improvements. Specifically, this involves intown crosswalks and the use of $57,200 in federal safety funds that were awarded to Camden.

Siemens Energy has completed the building envelope work on the Camden Public Library, Public Works and Snow Bowl buildings. The O2Prime units have been installed in the Opera House and Library. The O2Prime units operational efficiency were tested and validated. O2Prime is an air cleaning technology that uses ionization to remove particles, including viruses, from building air handling systems. The building and facility lighting upgrades should begin in April.

Caler is working with Siemens on getting rebates from Efficiency Maine for the LED lighting upgrades to all town buildings. This portion of the project is scheduled to be completed by late May.

The repointing of the Elm Street side of the Opera House was completed March 26. This work was overseen by the Public Works Department.

Consultant John Burke has reached out to Caler about beginning a Parking Management Study. Her first task is to provide him with a map of all time-restricted parking, both on and off-street, in the downtown.

Work continues on stormwater mapping attributes with Alison McKellar. McKellar and Caler plan to meet with CAI Technologies April 1 to review some needed changes to data fields and other components of the database. They will also be meeting with Leticia VanVuuren to explore ways that the town and Knox County can further collaborate on future geographic information system mapping (GIS) projects.

The Harbor Master was assisted with coordination of tying in a future boat pump out station to the sewer lift station.

Police Department

The Police Department reported the following statistics from February 15 to March 15. The statistics reflect a partial listing of the total number received. The complaints listed denote those that are used for reporting purposes or had a significant number reported to the police during this period.

The department has been certified in the use of the National Incident-Based Reporting System for the reporting of incidents to the State of Maine. NIBRS is replacing the old Uniform Crime Reporting system.

All employees who opted for the COVID-19 vaccine have received their two shots.

Det. Sgt. Curt Andrick completed the Mid Coast Leadership Academy. Officer Mark Bennet has received ongoing education in animal control operations.

Services to seniors include the seasonal Sand for Seniors and the Good Morning Program, where officers and staff call every morning to senior citizens or adults with disabilities living alone in the community, who sign up for the service.

Four hundred complaints were received during this period: 23 Responses to 911 hang up /open line; 14 agency assist calls; 13 alarm responses; 7 animal complaints; 5 animal problem, 1 animal welfare and 1 animal bite or attack; 2 assaults; 1 domestic; 5 drug take back; 2 DUI alcohol/drugs; 39 foot patrol; 5 haz-mat responses; 16 information complaints; 15 mental health issues; 1 overdose; 116 property checks; 5 traffic accidents; 17 w/damage and 3 w/injuries; 7 radar details; 3 Sand for Seniors requests; 3 suspicious persons/circumstances; 14 theft; 8 traffic hazard; 39 well-being checks.

Fire Department

The Department continues to assist the State Fire Marshal’s Office with their investigation of the cause and origin of the fire at 7 Mount Battie St.

The Camden Fire Department started an initiative with mutual aid partners in Rockland and Rockport to provide home safety surveys and replacement smoke detectors.

At the request of homeowners, Camden has conducted seven safety assessments and provided one homeowner with several replacement detectors.

An online training platform is being used to provide an annual review of safety programs and general training programs for firefighters. Regular in-person bi-weekly training sessions are planned to resume in April.

Two on-call firefighters are enrolled in a Knox County Fire Academy training program. The department is continuing to work towards Emergency Medical training requirements.

Firefighters who are also certified code enforcement officers conduct multiple, daily inspections for the Code Enforcement Office along with Rosie Curtis. The season when most of the inspections for lodging and victualer’s licenses inspection are conducted is rapidly approaching.

Firefighters are beginning to review the process to renew certifications for code enforcement as well as certified fire inspectors.

One on-call firefighter resigned this week due to purchasing a home in Rockland, and Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley has met with two people interested in becoming on-call firefighters.

Regular, routine maintenance is conducted on apparatus and equipment.

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