ROCKLAND, Maine — A reconstruction of a highly traveled Route 1 commercial stretch tops the list of capital improvement projects for the upcoming year.
In submitting his plan to councilors last week, however, City Manager James Chaousis cautioned that the capital improvement package was not a complete one but was submitted to meet a February date required by charter.
The total cost of the projects included in the manager’s preliminary 2016-2017 capital budget is more than $10 million.
The single largest proposed project involves the reconstruction of Camden Street with an estimated price tag of more than $4.7 million. This would be paid for largely through borrowing that would need voter approval to go forward. The city also hopes to get state transportation money and federal money to undertake the project that would enlarge that stretch of Route 1 to make more room for pedestrians and bicyclists.
In January, the manager issued a news release stating that the Camden Street project was back on track with work underway on an engineering study.
“We are so glad that momentum is back behind the effort to revitalize a gateway into Rockland,” Chaousis stated. “This is the first part of Rockland people see when they come in from the north. Let’s make it more attractive, accessible and vibrant for businesses, visitors and our citizens.”
Chaousis said the state transportation department has included $500,000 in its budget for resurfacing the road. He said he has asked the state to hold off until at least next year so the city can see if it can get additional grants to help with the overall project.
The reconstruction of Old County Road is expected to be done in the upcoming budget year at a cost of $2.6 million. City residents approved borrowing $1.6 million for that project in November 2014 with the remainder of the money for the work coming from the state. The manager said he expects a bid to be awarded soon for the Old County Road work.
Another $1.3 million is proposed to make repairs to the public library. The building needs significant repointing of its masonry exterior and roof work. Nearly all of the cost is proposed to come from borrowing, which also would need voter approval. New lighting, carpets and painting also are needed, according to the proposed budget.
Resurfacing the municipal fish pier is projected to cost $1 million with nearly all of that amount expected to come from a grant.
Other proposed capital improvements include equipment purchases, including for three plow trucks, two new police vehicles and an ambulance.
The city manager is expected to submit his proposed operational budget to the council in April and at that point councilors will review operational and capital submissions. The budgets will be approved in late June.