Monday, March 27, 2017
The Rockland Report March 24th, 2017
The regular April City Council meeting will be moved from April 10th to April 12th in observance of Passover.
An order will be on the agenda for the April 3rd Council Agenda Setting meeting to formally change the meeting date. There will also be an order on the April 3rd meeting agenda to set hearing dates for the following 4 dangerous/abandoned buildings:
o 29 Broad Street
o 17 Warren Street
o 236 Maverick Street
o 10 Philbrick Avenue
There will be a Special City Council meeting on April 19th for the Auditors to present the FY16 Audit findings and to hold hearings for 2 of the 4 dangerous buildings listed above. The remaining 2 buildings will have hearings scheduled for May.
Budget working group has completed work on the FY18 budget. The Finance Director and I will be working on refinements but the budget is largely complete. The Committee was very successful in putting together a budget that only marginally increases spending but preserves current levels of service and progresses capital projects while also honoring salary increased negotiated in the union contracts and absorbing the 11% increase in health insurance costs. I’m very proud of the work of the budget working group and given the constraints we were faced with in budgeting for the next financial year I think we’ve come up with a very strong budget that will only improve with the Council’s input.
The City of Rockland was invited by the Department of Economic & Community Development to apply for a 2017 Downtown Revitalization Grant. There will be a public hearing on March 30th at 5pm for this grant project which will focus on making improvements to the Public Pier & Harbor Park.
The City has two requests for proposals for City owned properties – 59 Camden Street and 56 Talbot Avenue. Proposals will be due March 30th at 2pm.
OFFICE OF THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
John has met with three more property owners of short-term rentals to discuss requirements and
restrictions as well as designed their site plans for Planning Board review. We have received seven new applications for Short-Term Rentals and scheduled five of those for Planning Board review.
Seven more Short-Term Rental properties have received their permits. Two of them are STR-1’s, meaning that they are owner occupied, and they are both owned by residents of Rockland. Four are STR-2’s; all single-family whole house rentals and they are all owned by non-residents. And finally one STR-3 which is a single unit within a multi-unit dwelling, which is owned by a resident of Rockland.
John attended a site visit and meeting of the Rockland Planning Board.
John and Bill attended a meeting of Maine Building Officials and Inspectors Association in Waterville.
Bill attended a Safety Committee meeting and two meetings of the Comprehensive Planning Commission.
Roxy organized, prepared for, and sent out abutters’ notices for two meetings of the Rockland Planning Board.
John and Roxy met with the new City website designers and have begun working on content for the Code Enforcement Office pages.
John met with contractors, property, and business owners regarding various proposed projects throughout the city, some of these meetings were in conjunction with the Fire Department and included on-site inspections.
Bill performed eight victualers’ license inspections and three lodging house license inspections which were performed in conjunction with the Fire Department. John performed one victualers inspection in conjunction with the Fire Department for a new mobile food-trailer.
John performed a Change of Use inspection for a two-family dwelling on Brick Street, an inspection to reoccupy a condemned dwelling on Grace Street, and an inspection of a newly-acquired City-owned property on Talbot Avenue.
Seven complaints were filed. One was regarding an abandoned building on Halls Lane. One was regarding a roof in poor shape on Philbrick Avenue. One was regarding trash and clutter blocking egress on Lovejoy Street. One was regarding lack of property maintenance and an illegal trailer on Rankin Street. One was regarding an unregistered vehicle in the right-of-way on Fulton Street. One was regarding a large pile of trash on Broad Street. And finally, one was regarding an overflowing trash receptacle on Main Street. We remain very busy investigating and following-up on complaint issues within the city.
At its March 7th meeting, the Planning Board had a site visit at the proposed new Mid-Coast School of Technology and held a public hearing on that site plan. They will continue to review Mid-Coast School of Technology at their April 4, 2017 meeting. Additionally, they reviewed and approved the site plans for two single-family whole house Short-Term Rentals which are not owner occupied at 9 Suffolk Street and 11 Lake View Terrace.
A new Planning Board Site Plan Review Application was received from Front Row Management, LLC for The Function Junction, a 2,436 square foot function room for public assembly at 31 New County Road. This application and site plan are scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Board at their April 4, 2017 meeting.
We issued ten building permits. Four were for commercial alterations all within their existing buildings at 117 Tillson Avenue, 1 Sea Street Place, 147 Park Street, and 4 White Street. One was for replacement of a commercial 24 x 40 gas pump canopy at 103 Main Street. One was for a residential shed on Mountain View Extension. One to make repairs to a residential porch on Broad Street. One to make structural changes for change of use to a single-family dwelling on Broadway. One for a residential 16 x 25 addition on Broadway. And one for renovations to an in-law apartment on Carroll Lane.
Roxy sent courtesy abutters notices to property owners within 300 feet of American Tower’s telecommunications tower at 34 Benner Road for a building permit submitted by Structure Consulting Group to replace Verizon antennas and supporting equipment on the existing free-standing tower.
Bill performed three Certificate of Occupancy inspections and John performed one. We issued Certificates for three single-family dwellings on Glenwood Avenue, Old County Road, and Berkeley Street, as well as one for Swift Storage’s new storage building at 35 Farwell Drive.
We issued a Notice of Violation to the owner of 10 Trinity Street and a second notice was sent on the abandoned building at 38 Admontem Avenue.
We continue to be busy with various other permits, inspections, and assisting the public with questions.
The following permits were issued by the Code Office:
10 Building Permits
6 Electrical Permits
8 Plumbing Permits
5 Street Excavation Permits
1 Sign Permit
7 Short-Term Rental Permits
OFFICE OF THE LIBRARY DIRECTOR
The Monday Adult Drawing class, and the Children’s class, both by Catinka Knoth, had “Spring” as their theme.
Patty King and Jessie Blanchard have been training a new on call/substitute part-time staff member, Joanna Hynd, who comes to us with years of library service under her belt.
The AARP Tax Assistance volunteers were here Tuesday, Wednesday (special make-up), and Saturday; this will continue through April 11. They provide free income tax preparation; there are limitations on what they can offer, and assistance with the more complex returns is not part of their service.
On Tuesday, Maine author Caitlin Shetterly discussed her new book, Modified: GMOs and the Threat To Our Food, Our Land, Our Future. She also signed copies of Modified upon request.
A massive clean-up of staff space is underway. Thank you so much to Public Services Staff for their hard work at the Library this week! We are so appreciative!!
A tech from Eastern Fire was here to do testing on Wednesday morning.
I attended a meeting of the City Budget Committee, and sat in on interviews by the Personnel Board.
For Wednesday Storytime, Judith Andersen was back as our reader. This event was almost snowed away but at the last minute Ms. Judy braved the roads to the delight of her adult audience who had been waiting an hour. They happily enjoyed song books like “The Bear Went over the Mountain” and “Frosty the Snowman” then moved on to old favorites, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems, “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” by Mary Ann Hoberman and “Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth” by Jarvis.
I met with Tom Maynard and David from Mechanical Services, during a site visit here.
On Thursday, the creative series continued in the Children’s Area, Art with Susan Beebe: Fairy and Elf Houses, using simple materials, kids (and an adult or two) built fairy and elf houses to take home. Fairies and elves are sure to move in! This is part of the Arts … for Kids and their Families series.
This was also a LEGOS™ Club week, but sadly our LEGOS™ Master Jon Newton found himself deserted in favor of fairy and elf houses.
The Thursday evening Arts & Cultural Event was a film. Film: Eat That Question- Frank Zappa In His Own Words This documentary explores the life and career of avant-garde musician Frank Zappa entirely via archival footage of the man, including interviews and concert performances.
I was very pleased to be invited to attend the unveiling of the plans for the new Midcoast School of
Technology; I’ll be happy to share more about that.
On Saturday, we hosted the What Do You Love About Rockland? Poster? The Rockland Public Library, CMCA and Rockland Heart & Soul invite kids K-6th grade to drop by the Library Community Room to make a poster illustrating what they love about Rockland. Finished posters will be displayed in businesses downtown. Free, and all materials provided.
(ongoing) Reminder: The Friends of Rockland Public Library are hosting a year-round bottle drive and we need your help! They’ve signed up with CLYNK, the bag-drop bottle return system located at Hannaford supermarkets. It's easy: Get green CLYNK bags at the Book Stop (open Mon-Sat, 10-1) or from the Circulation Desk, fill them with your empty bottles and cans, and drop off your bags at the Rockland Hannaford CLYNK station. Funds raised will go automatically into our Friends of Rockland Public Library account. And please spread the word to neighbors and other community members!
Upcoming: Info Wars: Fact, Fiction or Opinion In an era with so many news outlets warring to
feed us information, discerning fact, fiction, and opinion is getting more difficult. Join us for a
discussion, with a moderated panel of seasoned journalists who will share their experience and knowledge to help attendees become informed consumers of the news. The evening will end with an opportunity for the audience to pose their questions to the panel. Hosted by the Midcoast Women’s Collective and the Rockland Public Library.
OFFICE OF THE HARBORMASTER
Repaired the inside of the Harbor Master building and the roof leaks.
When the spring weather arrives, we will be working on float maintenance for the upcoming installation in May.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE
Attended a department budget workshop.
Worked to create a policy for the promotional process.
DC Young worked with current patrol Sergeants to create a patrol sergeants written test for anticipated upcoming retirements.
Completed annual city employee evaluations.
DC Young conducted monthly building safety audit.
Continued the facilitation of annual trainings and policy updates.
Chief Boucher attended the Parking Committee meeting this past week.
Chief Boucher attended the Knox County Health Coalition’s presentation concerning a panel of substance use prevention/treatment and mental health providers services available within Knox County.
Criminal Investigation Divisions –
Assisted the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with an ongoing investigation.
Assisted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office with a fraud investigation.
Continued working on the background investigation of a candidate to fill a vacant patrol officer position within the department.
Continued working on active criminal investigations.
Patrol Division –
Officers met with staff at Penobscot Bay Medical Center to address any issues or concerns they may have.
Assisted the Belfast Police Department with the investigation of a hit and run accident in their city.
Assisted Rockland Fire / EMS with a medical issue at a retail store in Rockland.
Assisted the Thomaston Police Department with a theft investigation.
Assisted Probation and Parole with transporting a subject from the Probation office to the Knox County Jail.
Assisted the Thomaston Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office with a domestic violence complaint.
Assisted Ocean East High School staff in dealing with a confrontational parent.
Officers conducted regular visits at all schools in Rockland to interact with students and staff and help address any issues they might be having.
Officers conducted targeted traffic enforcement details at various locations throughout the city including Main St. and school zones. The focus of these details was speeding vehicles and seatbelt enforcement.
Officers responded to 170 calls for service, investigated 4 traffic accidents and conducted 28 motor vehicle stops. As a result 7 people were either arrested of summonsed for various violations.
OFFICE OF THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY DIRECTOR
Flow through the treatment plant has been averaging about 2 ½ million gallons per day.
Began inspection and testing of the pumps and controls for the chemical systems that will be put online when warm weather arrives.
Tested and replaced the speed control circuit board in the gravity belt thickener control panel.
Replaced the alternator on the F-250 Ford pick-up.
Removed and repaired the #1 pump at Park St. pump station.
Made repairs to the skimmer arm in the #2 secondary clarifier.
Weekly inspection and testing of the ten pump stations.
Completed preventative maintenance service on equipment in the grit removal system.
Repaired the gate at Tillson Ave. pump station.
Investigated and corrected a communication problem between the control panel at industrial park pump station and the S.C.A.D.A. system at the treatment plant.
Tested and exercised the backup generators at the treatment plant and pump stations.
Made repairs to the logic controller in the control panel at Glenwood Ave. pump station.
Installed cable to connect the new S.C.A.D.A. terminal in the plant operators’ office building for monitoring plant operations.
Summit GeoEngineering did test borings and ledge probes on Philbrook Ave. for the engineering of a new sewer main planned to service new homes HABITAT is planning to build.
Responded to an inquiry from a contractor regarding the location of the sewer lateral for a property on Cedar Street.
Worked on entry of sewer user account data into the G.I.S.
Investigated an odor complaint from employees at city hall.
Smoke tested the sewer system in the area of Thomaston, Lovejoy, and Autumn streets to determine where some of the properties connect to the city sewer.
Responded to five Dig-Safe requests for Maine Water.
Had two hours of on-site G.I.S. training with Leticia Vanvuuren from Knox County Emergency Management.
Met with John Root and the owners of the property at 12 Water St. to discuss the ongoing problem of sewer odors and sewer being detected in the stormwater system on their property.
Setup the new computer for remote entry of manhole inspection data into the GraniteNet inspection database.
OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES DIRECTOR
Submitted monthly wastewater pretreatment report.
Attended energy committee meeting, topics were continuation of street light replacement with LED’s and follow-up on Weatherize Rockland work being done by Penobscot Home Performance.
Attended Parks Commission Meeting.
Completed written report on the McLain school building audit.
Attended Council meetings pertaining to ecomaine waste and recycling contracts.
Worked on final details of the ecomaine waste and recycling contracts and submitted to City Manager for legal review.
Replaced flag at City Hall.
Coordinated Eastern Mold and Remediation to conduct a mold audit at City Hall. Limited mold was present, musty odor in council chambers were attributed to the old carpet. Mechanical Services were contacted to replace HVAC filters with charcoal filters.
Safety training was conducted Job Hazard Analysis were reviewed.
Attended budget meetings.
Set up and dismantled for special election at Community Building.
Road and Sidewalk snow removal and treatment was performed. Both sidewalk snow removal machines had mechanical problems during the last storm. One foot of snow followed up by freezing rain made snow removal in this last storm very difficult and was very hard on the snow removal equipment.
Snow removal from the downtown and parking lots and trucking to the upland snow dump was performed.
Citywide Sign repair.
The engine was replaced in sign truck.
The fuel tank was replaced on truck #8.
The sweepers are being prepped for service.
Replaced the cutting edges on grader.
Changed oil on dozer, hydraulic leak on lift cylinder.
Replaced hydraulic hoses on loader.
Changed oil in small equipment ,generator, cement mixer, cutoff saw.
Picked up waste oil auto master and the fire station.
Trash run two times per week.
Continued ongoing litter pick up landfill, researched installation of a litter fence.
Started street sweeping.
Started sidewalk sweeping.
Started cutting brush roadside.
Cleaned out brooks and basins.
Routine cold patching was performed.
Wrapped up culvert replacement at Lincoln street school.
Conducted roadside trash pick up.
Pretreatment sampling was performed.
OFFICE OF THE FIRE CHIEF
Over this preceding week, in addition to the response to 78 Fire and EMS calls, conducting apparatus checks, daily cleaning, routine repairs and maintenance to the fleet and of the quarters, the following occurred:
March 11th was the first duty shift for our new employee, AEMT Derek Booker. Derek is a lifelong mid-coast resident and has years of experience in emergency medicine. We are lucky to have him join the team and look forward to watching his career grow.
Last week brought with it an interesting and challenging snow storm for the department. The night of the storm was full of emergency calls followed by two days of digging out fire hydrants. Due to the changeover in precipitation it took the crews longer to move the snow than usual. A job well done to the guys and girls who were tasked with digging out, and a big thanks to those who continued to help out and shovel they hydrants near their homes. It makes a big difference and we can’t thank you enough for the help.
Members attended the Autism Awareness Day that was held at the Elks Lodge on Rankin Street. The event was focused on members within the Autism community to come together and show each other support.
10 personnel attended a tactics and strategies class put on by Pine Point Fire Training. The class focused on tactical considerations that incident commanders should use while battling fires within a structure. These classes are vital tour training and success as firefighters. I can’t stress enough the importance of training within our profession.
Assistant Chief Miceli attended a fire sprinkler conference in Augusta and brought back some important information regarding inspections.
Training continues for both FF Mullane and FF Pendleton. They are both progressing well in their probationary requirements and have grown to be valuable team members.
Chief Whytock attended numerous meeting the past few weeks and also did a walk through with the new Health and Safety Director at Rockland Marine.
Rockland Fire & EMS had four members attend the 2017 Fire Officer Academy in Belfast. FF. Cole, FF. Lowe, FF. Barnard, and FF. Anderson worked on reading, quizzes, projects, and workbooks over the course of 5 months in order to attend this 9 day academy. I am happy to report that all four completed the class as well as passed the 200 question exam. They worked extremely hard to pass the academy and I am very proud of their new accomplishments. Job well done!
CITY OF ROCKLAND
Meeting Weekly Schedule
Monday, March 27, 2017
4:15 PM Energy Committee, Mural Room, Public Library
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
5:15 PM Planning Board, Council Chambers
6:00 PM Harbor Management Commission, Harbormaster’s Office
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
5:00 PM CDBG Public Hearing, Council Chambers