2015-07-17 / Community

News Briefs

Power outage planned for early Sunday morning

Kennebunk Light and Power District has scheduled routine maintenance to its Water Street substation that will result in a power outage for customers on that line.

The outage will occur at 1 a.m. on Sunday, July 19, and last for approximately one hour.

“Unfortunately the easiest and most direct way to reference who these customers are will be to remind than of the Thanksgiving 2014 outage. These will be the customers affected,” KLP General Manager Todd Shea wrote in a July 9 notice to the newspaper.

“This outage is necessitated by routine maintenance that will prevent an unscheduled outage for these customers in the future,” Shea said. “To be very clear, because I get this question a lot, the outage will occur one hour after midnight Saturday, which will make it 1 a.m., Sunday, July 19.”

Wastewater department to receive 12 new grinder pumps

Kennebunk selectmen have agreed to buy 12 Barnes grinder pumps for the wastewater department at a cost of $19,740. The board had budgeted $20,000 as part of the town’s FY 2016 budget.

Ron Taylor, chief operator for the department, said the new pumps would be used to replace any of 90 existing pumps in the town’s sewer system as they fail.

“Typically, if we have an alarm or we have a problem, we bring a new pump down, swap it out, and don’t even worry about fixing it,” he said. “It works for the guys. They just unplug the old one, plug the new one in, make sure it runs, and then they can go home.”

The old pumps are then serviced the following business day and are returned to inventory, if repairable.

“That way we’ve always got a few on hand, but any- thing that breaks down this year will get one of the new pumps,” Taylor said.

The purchase was not put out to bid, as the department preferred to stay with Barnes after choosing the company last year from among two vendors reviewed when the town decided to move away from E/One pumps.

“They’d probably had six different design changes in the last 10 years and they weren’t standing up,” Taylor said of the decision to change brands.

Selectmen approve purchase of plow truck

It may be July, but Kennebunkport selectmen are already planning for winter.

At its most recent meeting, the board voted 4-0 to buy a plow truck for $156,765. The contract went to Portland North Truck Center of Falmouth for an International single axle dump truck with a body and plow gear fabricated and installed by Viking Cives of Lewiston. The bid was the lowest of those submitted by five dealers and three body/plow suppliers, which ranged as high as $175,507.

“This is basically the same as the last truck we bought,” Public Works Director Michael Claus said.

Board to ponder existence of Solid Waste Committee

Kennebunkport Selectmen dedicated a large portion of their July 9 meeting to making annual appointments to various volunteer committees — all except one.

When the board got to the Solid Waste Committee, it found there was only one applicant in sitting member Jim Mulligan, which prompted Selectman Stuart Barwise to wonder aloud why the committee even exists.

“I think it’s from back when the town ran a dump,” Town Manager Laurie Smith said. “We contract out all of our solid waste operations now.”

Selectmen decided to hold off on Mulligan’s appointment in order to advance the question at their next meeting, July 23: Should the Solid Waste Committee be disbanded.

But what will become of Mulligan?

“He’s very good about volunteering,” board Chairman Sheila Matthews-Bull said. “He would love to move to a different committee.”

Flashing light on North Street drawing attention

Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen are mulling what to do about the flashing light on North Street, which, given that it flashes constantly, has proven to be a nuisance to some residents of the small village.

“There are far less obtrusive warning signs you see around than that great big flashing yellow light,” said David James, spokesman for the Kennebunkport Residents Association, at the board’s July 9 meeting.

“In the wintertime, there’s not a lot of traffic there, especially at 10 or 11 at night,” agreed Selectman Allen Daggett.

According to Town Manager Laurie Smith, the light exists because the curve of the road at the intersection of North and Maine Streets makes the crosswalk hard to see.

Public Works Director Michael Claus said one solution might be to install a signal device for use by pedestrians, which would cause the light to flash only when the crosswalk was in use. That system, he said, might cost as much as $10,000 to install.

“I don’t want to spend $10,000,” Daggett said.

That prompted Smith to pose an alternative.

“The pedestrian traffic is trying to get to the downtown from the Village (Fire) Station parking lot,” she said. “A sidewalk on the other side of North Street makes a lot of sense, so people don’t have to cross.”

“I don’t really want to spend $30,000 either,” Daggett replied. “I say just cut the light off and call it a day.”

“We’re not asking you to make a decision tonight,” Smith said. “We just wanted to get your thoughts and feedback as we try to deliver a solution to you. So, I’m hearing something a little more low key, depending on the price tag.”

Selectmen agreed that fit the bill. A proposal will be put forward at a future meeting, Smith said.

– Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington.

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