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Saturday, June 25, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25

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3/27/2013 2:00:00 PM
Multimillion Dollar Paving Bond Proposed For Edgecomb
Edgecomb Selectmen Jack Sarmanian and Jessica Chubbuck at the March 25 meeting of the Edgecomb Capital Improvements Committee. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
Edgecomb Selectmen Jack Sarmanian and Jessica Chubbuck at the March 25 meeting of the Edgecomb Capital Improvements Committee. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
By Dominik Lobkowicz


The Edgecomb Capital Improvements Committee is seeking public input on a proposed multimillion dollar bond for paving and resurfacing of town roads.

The committee has prepared three preliminary options for people to consider, and though the numbers are not yet firm, the options include a scope of work ranging from $1.64 million to $2.95 million.

The purpose of the bond is to get the town's roads on a 10-year maintenance cycle, according to committee member Selectman Stuart Smith.

In the past, the town has considered road maintenance as an area where cuts could be made and would postpone paving projects if a road looked okay in a given year, Smith said on March 21.

"Over time, putting it off for another year just added to the problem," Smith said. "Now we've got some roads that look pretty dilapidated. We're way behind on the maintenance."

The bond would cover paving all the currently paved roads that the town is responsible for maintaining, as well as resurfacing of dirt roads, Smith said. Depending on what option for the bond is chosen, it could fund repaving and resurfacing of between 23 and 24 miles of road, he said.

The paving project would take about three years to complete, and the first roads paved would likely start needing repaving after about 10 years, Smith said. "We want to get into a 10 year cycle on our roads, so our roads are always maintained well."

The hope is to get a 15 year bond with payments roughly the size of the town's current annual paving budget of $155,000, Smith said.

Additionally, once the town's obligation for tax increment financing, commonly referred to as a TIF, for improvements on Davis Island is fulfilled in an estimated eight or nine years, there will be an additional $175,000 in taxes going to the town's general fund which could be used for road maintenance, Smith said.

The TIF might be paid off sooner if more development in the TIF district raises the district's valuation, or if the town's tax rate increases, he said.

At the Capital Improvement Committee's March 25 meeting, members discussed the three preliminary options of the project they have developed for residents to consider.

Chairman Northrup "Nort" Fowler outlined the choices: Option A, the most expensive, would fund something for every road under the town's care, Option B would be for paving the town's five highest priority roads and several lower priority roads, and Option C would be for paving just the five highest priority roads. All options would include resurfacing the dirt roads under the town's care, he said.

The proposed project may also include the purchase of a lot at the corner of Cunningham Road and Mill Road, Smith said. The town would need to buy the lot in order to move the end of Cunningham Road slightly to improve the sight line at the intersection, he said.

The landowner has expressed a willingness to sell the property for a reasonable price, said member and Selectman Jack Sarmanian.

Options A and C are essentially to show the citizens that the committee has done its homework in investigating the options, committee members indicated. "We are heavily behind plan B," Fowler said.

Option B would be a total cost to the town of $2.175 million. The bond would be for $2.02 million, made up of $1.845 for paving and resurfacing and $175,000 in overhead, Fowler said. The total project would also include an additional $155,000 from appropriations, he said.

The $2.02 million bond with a 15 year term and a 2.44 percent interest rate would be an annual payment of $158,725, Fowler said. "That's within $3000 of what this year's proposal for paving is," he said.

All three options should still be presented at the informational meetings even if the voters will only vote on one at town meeting, said member and Selectman Chair Chubbuck.

The committee indicated after feedback is collected at the first public informational meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8, only one option would be selected to go on the warrant for town meeting.

"I would stay with one [option] and present it to the town," said Sarmanian.

Once the committee determines what option will be on the warrant, the article as well as supporting documentation should be brought to the second public informational meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 15, so people can have a few extra weeks to digest the information and consult with other residents before voting, Chubbuck said.

Sarmanian said he has already submitted a formal application to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, but the figures would need to be adjusted based on input from the April 8 meeting.

If voters approve the bond, it would be potentially approved and disbursed by the Maine Municipal Bond Bank in October, Sarmanian said. At that point, the funds could be put in an interest bearing account until they are utilized and the town would own both the funds and the interest, he said.

"If the town supports it, it looks quite likely we'll receive the bond," he said.

Several of the committee members indicated the townspeople would likely pass some form of the bond.

"I think everybody wants the roads done, or pretty much everybody," Chubbuck said.

"By delaying, we're really causing more havoc," Sarmanian said.

On March 21, Smith said, "One of the things that is critical in our town, and we hear it all the time, is our roads. Some people feel all they get for their tax dollars is plowing and maintaining the roads,"

"We're at the point now where some of these roads are crumbling and we need to do something about it," he said.

The Capital Improvements Committee is seeking input from Edgecomb residents at the first public informational meeting on the paving bond issue, scheduled for Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. at the Edgecomb Town Hall.

Based on the feedback they receive, the committee plans to finalize the version to bring to the voters, which they will share at the second public informational meeting, scheduled for Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Edgecomb Town Hall.



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