2017-09-08 / Community

News Briefs

PORT TAXES — The new mil rate in Kennebunkport has been set at $8.73 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a 45-cent increase over the current rate of $8.28. According to Town Manager Laurie Smith, “only about one penny” of the increase is attributable to the $8.46 million municipal budget for fiscal year 2018, with rest due to increases in the town’s $9.94 million share of the RSU 21 budget.

The new tax rate means the owner of the median single family home in Kennebunkport, assessed at $300,000, can expect a property tax bill this year of $2,619 — an increase of $135.

The mil rate chosen by selectmen will allow the town to collect about $74,002 more than the $16.88 million to be raised in taxes for county, school, and town operations for the year, after accounting for other revenue sources. That $74,000, known as the overlay, is used primarily to pay for any tax abatements granted during the year.

SPECIAL MEETING — Kennebunkport had a special town meeting scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7 to authorize extension of the sewer line on Mills Road. That meeting, which took place before the regular selectmen’s meeting, occurred after the deadline for this week’s Post.

The request would allow for a road opening permit to allow Saco-based Cripple Creek LLC (d/b/a/ Mills Road LLC), developers of a proposed 14-unit subdivsion off Mills Road, to install a 1,820-foot sewer line into the development, of which 800 feet would be in the town’s right of way and would be gifted to the town to become part of the municipal sewer network.

According to Pinkham & Greer Civil Engineers in Portland, the new subdivision would add 2,184 gallons of water and waste per day into the sewer system, adding 22 minutes of run time per day to pump stations along the line, an increase it said is “well within an acceptable range.”

The planning board voted in June to recommend the installation. According to board chairman Peter Fellenz, that nod was “based on the fact that, for a cluster style subdivision, there is no reasonable alternative method of sewage disposal at the site.”

Fellenz also noted that, “in addition, the proposed sewer extension would result in significant benefit to the environmental quality in that area.” The sewer extension needs to be approved by voters before the project can be OK’d by the planning board.

NEW HOMES — There are 15 new homes coming to Kennebunkport. At its August 16 meeting, the planning board gave final approval to a cluster development of single family homes on 43.4 acres off New Biddeford Road, in the town’s Goose Rocks and shoreland zones. Known as the Binnacle Hill subdivision, the $998 million project will leave almost 24 acres of open space. A new 1,020-foot dead-end road will be built into the subdivision. At its Aug. 24 meeting, the board of selectmen agreed to hire Foglio Inc. of Waterboro to install new sewer connections to the site.

NEW HOUSING — At its Aug. 16 meeting, the Kennebunkport Planning Board approved an application by Seaside Hotel Associates, owners of the Nonantum Resort, to demolish staff housing located across Ocean Avenue from the hotel and put up a new building for staff on the same foundation.

The two-story structure was built in 1940 on a 1.1-acre lot. In its review, the board noted the foundation may also need to be replaced, and granted approval to replace that as well, if needed.

SALT BID — In a meteorological sense, at least, the official end of summer is still a few weeks away, but selectmen don’t have to be fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones to know, “Winter is coming.”

At its Aug. 10 meeting, the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen awarded a bid for sodium chloride (a.k.a. rock salt) to Morton Salt for $60.60 per ton, delivered.

One other company submitted a bid of $63.63 per ton. Morton was the only vendor to bid on the contract for treated Ice B’Gone, and will supply that product at $78.60 per ton. Meanwhile, Massachusetts-based Safe Road Services was the only bidder for Safe Melt liquid salt, and will provide 4,500 gallons at $1.23 per gallon.

“This is the first year anyone can remember that the price has actually gone down,” Town Manager Laurie Smith said, noting that Morton’s offer was off $3 per ton from last year’s price.

The new bid is also below the $61.50 per ton Kennebunkport paid during the 2015-2016 winter season.

PORT PUMPS — Kennebunkport selectmen voted unanimously August 10 to spend $23,725 to purchased 13 new grinder pumps for the town’s wastewater treatment program, as part of a system-wide overhaul begun in 2017. The sole source bid went to Ohio-based Barnes Pumps.

Wastewater Superintendent Allan Moir said there was only one other vendor offering the type of pumps needed to grind effluent into fine enough particles to move through the town sewer system. However, because of “some issues” with the other type, he has been slowly moving to Barnes, which, he said, “is a better pump.” The system uses 90 such pumps in all, and replaces about a dozen each year.

The pumps slated for replacement are about 12 years old Moir said. The town budgeted $25,000 for the purchase as part of the current annual budget.

APPOINTMENTS — Kennebunkport selectmen voted August 10 to appoint Oak Street resident Neil Higgins to an alternate position on the town planning board through July 2018.

An attorney, Higgins is an national underwriter for First National Title Insurance dealing in real estate and property law. A Kennebunkport native, he moved back to town about a year ago, he said.

Selectmen also appointed Jonathan Nunan to a one-year post on the Cape Porpoise Pier Advisory Committee. A Cape resident, Nunan part of the Nunan’s Lobster Hut family and owns and operates his own lobster boat, the fishing vessel Vengeance.

Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington. He can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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