- PUBLIC COMMENT: Public discussion entirely concerned the status
of the [Damariscotta] River
Road, its present condition, repairs and
improvements needed, and the likelihood of achieving them.
- OLD BUSINESS:
- Lallis: The status of the several
state liens must be checked.
- Appeals Board: The Board
plans to meet next week, following the schedule set up by Martha Speed.
The one possible appeal was found to have lapsed, so no longer an issue.
- Town Hall Energy Audit: Paul Kando will conduct it on Friday, March 7, starting at
9:00 a.m.. He will borrow a key from Jo.
- Town Audit: Stuart will call
Fred Brewer about this.
- Capital Investment Plan:
- Assisted Living Complex: It
was voted unanimously to accept the improved form provided by Kyle
Coolidge of Woodard and Curran, and to let them go ahead with
implementing inspections, etc. necessary.
- Broadband Committee: Jo
recommended that in addition to Barry Hathorne,
Janet Blevins and John Markowski, that Mike Requa and Tom Boudin be
appointed to this second committee, whose charge will be oversight of
installation of the new infrastructure. Stuart Smith will serve as well.
- Letter of thanks to Barbara
Martin was signed by all and mailed.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- The River Road: State Representative
Jonathan McKane introduced Rhonda Fletcher, the
Midcoast district manager in the MDOT Rockland office. He then explained
that this is a state-assisted road serving three towns, one of many such
river roads in bad condition throughout the state.
reviewed the recent history, an attempt to have a small (.17 mile) section
repaired, for which the Town in 2005 approved $25,000, at the time, 1/3 of MDOT's estimated cost for repair; that every year since,
the state's cost had risen, necessitating the Town to increase its 1/3 amount.
Fletcher described the "hierarchy" of roads in Maine, from the Interstate and federal
highways, the state highway system, the major and minor collectors, and
finally, the town roads. She distinguished between "built" and "unbuilt" roads. 75% of the minor collectors are unbuilt. In the funding decisions, those with the highest
traffic count win. This year's MDOT budget is $200mil. Ten years ago, the State
budgeted 25% on its roads; these days, only 10%
suggested a maintenance mulch, a sand mix which lasts
roughly seven to ten years, but it was pointed out that such a mix would not
fill the deep cracks which have been caused not only by weather, but by the
recent running of fibre optic cable from Nobleboro to Boothbay
Harbor. Road Commissioner
Scott Griffin said the shape of the road is so bad. that
there are places a snowplow blade cannot touch the surface.
estimated a total re-paving of the River
Road might cost $10 mil., adding that as oil
prices rise, so does the price of asphalt, which is a petroleum-based material.
She said collector improvement programs are now costing $1mil/mile. It was
suggested that the existing surface could be torn up, smashed, and
reconstituted with reclamation asphalt, a technique for road stabilization
known to last from 8 to 10 years. One resident said the last time the River Road was
re-paved was when the Maine Turnpike was repaved. How bad does a road have to
get before it can claim MDOT attention? However, Rhonda said the River Road, an unbuilt road, has never had a comprehensive re-paving.
we change its classification? What classification is minimal for a road to
become "built?" What is the lowest class that brings in federal
funds? A resident pointed out that of five criteria cited on the MDOT website,
the River Road
complied with four. Although praised by tourists as one of Maine's most beautiful roads, the business
traffic is turning increasingly to State Route 27. Other residents warned that
changing its classification might result in unwelcome widening, loss of trees,
with increased car speeds resulting. Recent accidents and vehicle damage were
cited as due to the rough surface.
the recent Sheepscot
Bridge rebuild, residents
suggested several short-term measures while we are waiting for a permanent or
long-term solution: Could we not have the River Road posted with weight limits?
Could it be closed to semis and gravel trucks? Would a 35 mph speed limit be
resident said that the River Road
functioned as an evacuation route, dating from the time of an active nuclear
power plant in Wiscasset, but also desirable in case of hurricane or other
natural disaster. He said that the State has a responsibility to maintain it
for that purpose. The Homeland Defense Department might have hazard mitigation
funds for which the River Road
Peter Drum recommended that the three towns continue on a collaborative course,
that regional meetings be arranged as soon as possible to discuss follow-up.
McKane was asked if he could get the State to
re-prioritize the local roads issue. He said we need some hard numbers, and
asked Rhonda Fletcher to send a list of options, with their total cost, and the
shares expected from the three towns. He also suggested an MDOT study of the River Road.
- Gateway I: Jo said that
regional workshops were being scheduled during the weeks of April 28 and
May 5, that selectmen, planning boards and
comprehensive plan task forces are urged to attend, to learn the
implications of land use planning vs. Route 1 planning.
- The Budget meetings with
department heads were on-going through this meeting, with the Planning
Board, Harbor Master, and Roads. March 10 will be devoted to the School
Board and the Selectmen. One department to be scheduled is Animal
- Town Report and Warrant:
Stuart recommended re-grouping the budget by expense category, as for
example, Supplies, secretarial services, legal services, set amounts to
be apportioned among the several departments. He recommended moving the
Town Planner's salary from its own line item to the Salary category. He
also recommended a Warrant Article establishing secretarial service for
the Selectmen. It was agreed that the Selectmen should schedule time,
perhaps a separate meeting, to discuss warrant articles for the Town
- OTHER BUSINESS: None,
- DHHS, survey of residents'
heating needs: referred to Jo
- Wachovia, Hammond Fund statement
and 1099 form: referred to Treasurer
- MMA Grant writing workshop:
Jo will attend
- Wiscasset Library budget
request of $8,252 for 2008-0: filed in 2008 Warrant folder
- MMA, LD1 review: referred to
in the amount $143,372.43 was voted unanimously to be accepted for payment.
- EXECUTIVE SESSION: None.
- ADJOURNMENT: Adjourned at 8:27 p.m .