Monday, April 10, 2017

The Rockland Report April 7, 2017

 I made a mistake at the Agenda Setting meeting on Monday by saying the cost of heating fuel for the McLain School Building was $90,000/year. Apparently $80,000 to $90,000 was the cost of heating fuel for the McLain School prior to the installation of the new boiler.
However, the operational costs for the McLain School building (heating fuel, utilities, maintenance, etc.) is $90,000/year with heating fuel ranging from $20,000 to $30,000/year.
In addition the lease for the new boiler is $11,174.55 - $16,619.43 (depending on the lease term).
 I thought it would be important to reiterate my concerns with the proposed purchase of land in the bog in the Manager’s report which I have expressed to the City Council through email. My primary concern is that the City had no opportunity to do any due diligence regarding the purchase of this property such as:
  o Reviewing the conservation easement agreement that is currently on this land
  o Determining if there are stewardship fees or maintenance requirements
  o Having an appraisal done of the land to determine what the market value is
  o Completing title work to make sure there are no other interests in the property
  o Understanding the impact on our insurance premium
  o Determining if the right of way access from Route 90 to this property will         apply to a new owner
  o In addition I think it’s important for the City Council to have a broader discussion on priorities and policy regarding how the City utilizes our incredibly limited resources in the context of open space, parks and recreation. We have a number of parks that are right in the center of town and are walking distance to 80% of our residents that are in poor condition. $52,000 would go a long way toward making much needed improvements to any one of these parks. There are a number of Committee/Boards/Commissions that have discussed these issues in detail such as the Parks Commission, Economic Development Advisory Committee, Comprehensive Planning Commission, Harbor Management Commission and the Harbor Trail Committee who would be important to engage in this discussion.
 Within the next two weeks MDOT will begin a 1 ½ inch shim and overlay of South Main Street and Camden Street. The Public Services Director provides more detail on these projects in that section of the Manager’s report. It is important to mention that South Main Street is a priority area for storm water separation and will make up the backbone for the South End’s storm water system. While it would be ideal for the City to do this separation work prior to MDOT’s maintenance paving, the timing does not allow for this. The City has informed MDOT that storm water separation is required for this road and
engineering design of the system will be complete by next year. However, MDOT is going to continue with their project as scheduled.
 I have scheduled a public hearing for the CDBG Economic Development Program application for Rock Harbor Brewing to take place during the next Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, April 27th at 5pm. Rock Harbor Brewing is applying for $300,000 in funding to help develop a brewery at 5 Payne Avenue in Rockland, which will employ over 10 people full time. This funding will specifically be used for building improvements and equipment.
 I have been approached by a business owner about applying for a grant through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grants. These grants can be used for a variety of business assistance activities including loan and grants directly to businesses. I would like to develop a program to support small manufacturing/creative industries businesses and startups. The more interest and support I have from existing businesses in Rockland around this potential program the stronger our application will be. For this reason I wanted to include this in the Manager’s report to help get the word out to businesses which may be interested & supportive.

 We have received two new applications for Short-Term Rental and John created their site plans 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. Seven are STR-2’s; all single-family whole house rentals of which four are owned by non-residents and three by residents of Rockland.
 John attended two meetings of the Rockland Planning Board.
 John and Bill attended a meeting of Mid-Coast Code Enforcement Officers Association meeting in Owls Head.
 Bill attended a Safety Committee meeting.
 Roxy organized, prepared for, and sent out abutters’ notices for two meetings of the Rockland Planning Board, and drafted Findings of Fact for eight short-term rentals reviewed by the Planning Board.
 John continued working on content for the Code Enforcement Office pages of the new City website.
 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 three victualers’ license inspections and one second-hand merchant’s license inspections. John performed one lodging house license inspection in conjunction with the Fire Department.
 John performed inspections of two newly-acquired City-owned properties on Camden Street and Lake View Drive. Bill performed inspections of two newly-acquired Cityowned properties on North Main Street and Lovejoy Street.
 John performed two pre-conveyance inspections of multi-unit dwellings, in conjunction with the Fire Department, on Talbot Avenue and State Street.
 John drafted two Ordinance Amendments for the Council’s consideration regarding yard sales and the use of recreational vehicles. They were then reviewed by the attorney.
 Seven complaints were filed. One was regarding a light that blinds traffic on Mountain Road. One was regarding street lights and a fence in disrepair on Water Street. One was regarding bed bugs on Main Street. One was regarding demo debris on a front lawn on Halet Avenue. One was regarding an illegal & unsafe apartment on Mechanic Street. One was regarding a hog on Talbot Avenue. And finally, one was regarding an illegal occupant on Lincoln Street. We remain very busy investigating and following-up on complaint issues within the city.
 At its March 28th meeting, the Planning Board reviewed and approved the site plans for seven single-family whole house Short-Term Rentals which are not owner occupied and one unit in two-family dwelling Short-Term Rental, not owner occupied.
 At its April 4th meeting, the Planning Board reviewed and approved the site plan for a single-family whole house Short-Term Rental, not owner occupied. They also reviewed the site plan and application for The Function Junction, a 2,436 square foot function room for public assembly. They will continue to review and approve the site plan at a future meeting.
 A new Planning Board Site Plan Review Application was received from Sail Power Steam Museum for Schooner Gem, a 505 square foot dry-docked schooner for deck visitation that has a 60’ tall pole at 73 Mechanic Street. The application and site plan are scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Board at their June 6th, 2017 meeting.
 We issued ten building permits. Two were for commercial alterations at 386 Main Street and 10 Leland Street. One commercial change of use from office to retail/gallery at 428 Main Street. One was for replacement of equipment on an existing tower on Benner Hill. One was for a residential shed on First Street. One for an accessory use structure on Cranberry Isles Drive. One to demolish a residential garage on Old County Road. One for a residential covered & screened porch and two decks on Lake View Drive. One to make residential repairs due to water damage on Grove Street. One for a temporary ramp at a residence on Summer Street. And finally, one to make alterations within the existing
footprint to a residential dwelling on Hill Street.
 We issued a Notice of Violation to the owner of 10 Halls Lane for an abandoned building and we issued two Notices of Violation for dangerous buildings at 64 Lawrence Street Extension and 80 Park Street.
 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:
 11 Building Permits
 7 Electrical Permits
 10 Plumbing Permits
 1 Sewer Connection Permit
 1 Sign Permit
 1 Sidewalk Display Permit
 9 Short-Term Rental Permits

 The Monday Adult Drawing class, Cherry trees and the Cherry Blossom Festival in celebration of the Japanese Spring Festival and the Children’s class, fairy tale papercuts in honor of Hans Christian Andersen's birthday.
 Poetry Month Rockland (PMR) kicked off with An Evening of Bilingual Poetry. Elisabeth Goodridge read poems in French by Ronsard, Nerval, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, and Éluard, as well as the English translations. She was followed by Billy Smith reading lesser-known poems of well-known Spanish-speaking poets such as Machado, Neruda, and Lorca. He too read the English translations.
 Jean Young presented Wednesday Storytime this week, with two adult listeners. For the craft piece, one attendee colored a picture featuring a little boy stomping in a puddle and planned to bring it back to their community center.
 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 some limitations on what they can offer, and assistance with the more complex returns is not part of their service. This remains an extremely popular program, and we’re happy to host this.
 Jessie Blanchard had been asked to do a presentation on library resources to the College Next program at U Rock; she’d done this several times before along with Keith Drago when he was here. She invited him to come from Rockport Library, and the dynamic duo responded to many questions following their talk—a sure sign of an engaged audience.
 On Thursday, the creative series with artist and teacher Susan Beebe continued in the Children’s Area. Kids were invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal, doll, or teddy bear and learn how to stitch a cape for him or her! This was part of The Arts for Kids & their Families…
 This was also a LEGOS™ Club week; there was no special theme.
 For me, Thursday was a Midcoast Leadership Academy program day. This was the first year that Environment was added as one of the monthly themes, and was held at Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville. I found the presentations by Matt Lutkus, Damariscotta Town Manager, on Getting Ready for Sea-level Rise & Storm Surge and by Phoebe Jekielek, Program Director for the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership; I was also really impressed by a report by three Camden Hills High School students on their energy efficiency and general “greening” work at the school.
 The Thursday evening Arts & Cultural Event was a Poetry Reading: Dave Morrison &Chris Fahy. Dave Morrison's poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies, and featured on Writer’s Almanac and Take Heart. Morrison has published eleven books of poetry. Christopher Fahy is the author of seventeen books, including his latest the novel Gone from the Game, in which a shell-shocked World War I vet attempts to kill Babe Ruth.
 I sat in on a conference call arranged by the Maine State Librarian, Jamie Ritter, about LD256, currently still in committee, specifically the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology s An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries.
 Also on Friday, Jean Young presented three separate Storytimes, at the YMCA Daycare program in Rockland. This relatively new outreach happens twice a month.
 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: Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestlebaum, and Wet Felting for Kids & Parentsa vacation afternoon craft program

 Installing electrical to the pier system
 Completed repairs to the second floor at the Harbor Masters building
 Replacing the landscaping in front of the building
 Applying for two grants for rebuilding the south end boat ramp

 The lab did BOD and TSS testing for Vinalhaven.
 Repairs to the truck body on the maintenance truck were completed by HEWES Inc. and it has been moved to O’Connor GMC for state inspection and service.
 Received confirmation from Electrical Installations Inc. that the controls upgrade to Ocean St. and Waldo Ave. pump stations will begin next week.
 Replaced the battery in the backup generator at Waldo Ave. pump station.
 Weekly inspection and testing of the ten pump stations.
 Rebuilt the spare skimmer arm assembly for the clarifiers.
 Completed the P.M. service on the #1 holding tank blower.
 Checked and corrected a communication problem between Thomaston St. pump station and the computer at the treatment plant.
 Cleared a blockage in the pumps at Waldo Ave. pump station.
 Completed P.M. service on three belt filter press pumps.
 Cleaned and inspected the influent bar screen.
 Lubricated the aeration tank slide and sluice gates.
 Completed P.M. service on the polymer system batch mixer.
 Installed a new water heater for the process area and second floor offices.
 Worked with Interstate Septic to clean and pump the wetwell at the Industrial Park and Waldo Ave. pump stations.
 Changed the hydraulic oil and filters in the belt filter presses.
 Began set up and testing of the chemical pumps and analyzers in preparation for the mandatory start up deadline in May.
 Continued entry of sewer lateral data into the G.I.S.
 Completed CCTV inspection of 850 ft. of the sewer main on Thomaston Street. The inspection revealed a portion of the pipe that is broken and collapsed. This is very critical and the repair is high priority. A contractor has been hired and scheduled to make the repair next week.
 Met with Maine Water and exchanged records to update the water system data in the G.I.S.
 Responded to three Dig-Safe requests for Maine Water.
 Tested a sewer lateral on Ocean St. to verify the connection to the city sewer.
 Collected samples for lab testing from two storm water outfall pipes at 12 Water Street as part of the ongoing investigation into sewer in the drainage system on the property.
 Responded to a call about a flooded basement on Summer Street.

 Submitted monthly wastewater pretreatment report.
 Made more updates to the Solid Waste Facility Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
 Attended Parks Commission Meeting.
 Camden Street & Route 73 paving- DOT has awarded the bids to Crooker Construction, On Target has been marking out utilities and doing prep work, Maine Water is preparing to lower water valves, Rockland Public Services will be lowering sewer manholes from the railroad tracks South to Owls Head line for grinding, then raising them back again, same for Camden Street North of Glenn Street to the Rockport Town line. The railroad is preparing to improve the crossing on 73 and various as well as several other crossings in the City.
 Main Street Group are working on banner designs that will be displayed on the light poles.
 Flowers for Main Street and Park Street have been ordered.
 Attended demonstration of the new downtown street lights as part of the EnergyCommittee. Several other communities were present as well as staff from Efficiency Maine.
 Continued work on finalizing budget.
 Incorporated legal comments into the ecomaine waste disposal and recycling contracts.
 Provided City manager with comments on integrating city infrastructure improvements into a matrix with Maine DOT, and Maine Water work to begin a 5 to 10 year work plan.
 Attended Maine Asphalt Pavement Association conference.
 Attended meeting with Casco Bay Engineering regarding the Rockland Public Library. Casco Bay suggested and the City agreed that we would begin the scope of work and plan to go out to bid in the fall of 2017. Work would begin in the spring of 2018. Casco Bay will be providing the City with a punch list of items that the City should do to get us thru the winter and minimize any further deterioration of the library as well as ensure the safety of the building. The condition of the Community building was also brought up, specifically the fact that the building continues to leak water from the masonry. The Community building was inspected with Casco Bay after the meeting and Casco Bay
provided recommendations on what to do to prevent further leakage.
 Lowered City Flags to half-mast for John Glenn.
 Walked parts of harbor trail with members of Harbor Trail Committee. Harbor Trail Committee would like part of the trail to be better marked with additional cross walks painted for pedestrian safety.
 Working on street signage. Specifically we have been asked to assist with incorporating recommendations provided by Rockland Main Street Design Committee.
 Provided safety training to Public Services Department specifically, Hazard
Communication/Global Harmonization, PPE and Video Display Terminal required training.
 Worked with Maine DOT to post the section of Old County Road North of Route 17 until the subbase dries. This is a critical time of the year and roads are most susceptible to damage. Since the new section of OCR North only has the first coat of pavement we want to protect it. Crooker Construction will be back in early summer to lay down the final coat of pavement. The weight limit posting will be in effect until the road subbase becomes less saturated and dries.
 The landfill property is being cleaned up after the winter snow melt. We are in the process of installing a litter fence to keep litter from blowing in areas surrounding the landfill.
 Citywide Sign repair.
 Trash run two times per week
 Continued ongoing litter pick up at landfill, researched installation of a litter fence.
 Started street sweeping.
 Started cutting brush roadside.
 Routine cold patching was performed.
 Conducted roadside trash pick up.
 Pretreatment sampling was performed.
 Roadside tree trimming.
 One snow event had to be responded to.

Over this preceding week, in addition to the response to 63 Fire and EMS calls, conducting apparatus checks, daily cleaning, routine repairs and maintenance to the fleet and of the quarters, the following occurred:
 The shifts and call division have been training on hose advancement in an acquired structure in the north end of the city this week. First line hose placement is crucial in the success at any fire and we have been putting our guys and girls through the paces. We greatly appreciate the opportunity.
 Tower 3 received new tires this week. Almost 10 years out of the original tires, they were starting to show their age. Eastern Tire worked hard to get the truck back in service and we thank them for that.
 Rescue 2, our oldest ambulance, has been having mechanical problems and needed some service work at Rockland Ford this past week.
 All members were here for our annual “Super Saturday” mandatory training. We use this time to work through all the required training and paperwork set by both the Department of Labor and the City’s insurance company. The time was put to good use and staying compliant and up to date is a necessity.
 We attended a meeting hosted by the Mid-Coast School of Technology to cover their plans for the new school that will start to be built later this year. What a great opportunity for the area to have a school like this. Please stop in and see Beth to find out how exciting this project is going to be.
 Chief Whytock attended a 2 day class in Portland for safety planning and response to sporting events and festivals. The class focused on assessments being made to protect the event patrons and responses that may need to happen.
 The department also attended a course at the Knox County EMA office for damage assessments after a storm or other natural disaster. Proper assessments will help fast track any money that can be recouped from the federal government.
 Preparation is ongoing for the upcoming Lieutenants Promotional Exam to be held next week. One of our members will soon be retiring and we have qualified candidates that hope to fill the vacancy.
 Chief Whytock also attended the Safety Committee meeting last week for the City.
 Rockland Fire and EMS is happy to report that William, “Ben” Adams has been hired to fill the vacancy created by another fulltime member. Ben comes to us with years of emergency service work and knowledge of the local area. We look forward to having him join our team.

Meeting Weekly Schedule

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
5:30 PM Parking Committee, Board Room, City Hall

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
4:00 PM Harbor Trail Committee, Council Chambers
5:30 PM Executive Session, Hardship Abatement, City Manager’s Office
6:00 PM City Council Meeting, Council Chambers

Thursday, April 13, 2017
5:30 PM Executive Session, City Manager Search Committee, Board Room
6:00 PM COMPS, Council Chambers

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