Rockport select board approves articles for special town meeting vote

By Dwight Collins | Jan 14, 2014
Photo by: Dwight Collins Rockport Select Board members approved four warrant articles for the Feb. 10 special town meeting at its monthly meeting at Rockport Opera House Jan. 13.

Rockport — A focus on the economic future of Rockport spurred select board members Jan. 13 to approve four warrant articles that will be put to vote in February.

The select board has scheduled a special town meeting Feb. 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Opera House to vote the four warrant articles that will help the town develop a stronger economic base by creating new jobs and helping existing business continue to operate in Rockport through Community Development Block Grants.

The CDBG program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs and is the oldest grant program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Voters will be asked to decide whether or not to approve a CBDG application from Kno-Wal-Lin for $390,000 for start-up costs to support the new Hospice House on the grounds of Pen Bay Medical Center. If approved, Kno-Wal-Lin would only draw money as each job is created, according to Rockport Town Manager Richard Bates.

“It is kind of a suspenders and belt situation,” he said.

Another CDBG application from Fresh Off the Farm for $270,000 to construct a sewer extension along Route 1 also needs voter approval to move forward. If approved, the funding will allow the owners to keep their business in Rockport and reduce sewer cost for users along the extension, Bates said.

Bates said the articles are designed to create jobs and help with economic development.  He noted bringing fiber optic cable to the village will also draw people to the area.

“By bringing the fiber optic cable to all the buildings in the village, Rockport will be on the forefront of technology,” Bates said.

Residents will also be asked to vote on amending the Rockport Downtown Municipal Development Tax Increment Financing District to add fiber optic cable as an acceptable use of TIF funds, classifying it as a utility.

The final article on the warrant asks voters to authorize the select board to spend an amount not to exceed $30,000 from the Downtown TIF to expand high speed internet service in the downtown area.

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